Could the Finnish capital move north from Helsinki to Jyväskylä?
That’s the idea of Finns Party MP Toimi Kankaanniemi who wants a special provision of €10,000 added to next year’s budget to study his idea.
The politician believes that the capital’s location on the Baltic Sea puts it at risk, and that moving (much) further inland would be a better idea.
“The military stability of the Baltic Sea has deteriorated in recent years. The secutiry of the nation’s capital, and with it the independence and integrity of the state, are under threat” Kankaanniemi writes in his proposal to parliament.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Kankaanniemi represents the Central Finland constituency, and sites Jyväskylä’s good transport connections in favour of the idea.
“Jyväskylä is ideally located in the middle of the country. It is at the intersection of highways 4, 9, 13 and 23 which guarantees good road access” he says, and lists the city’s many railway connections and airport as positive points.
“Transportation to Jyväskylä would shorten trips and bring huge savings and emissions reductions. The cost of living is also reasonable when compared to the level of Helsinki” he adds.
Moving capitals is not a new idea
Of course moving capital cities is not a new idea. It’s been done fairly often and relatively recently in other countries.
In Belize the capital moved to Belmopan in 1970 after the previous capital Belize City was badly damaged in a hurricane. In 1997 the capital of Kazakhstan was moved from Almaty to Akmola (which was then renamed Astana, and later Nur-Sultan). And in 1991 the capital of Nigeria moved from coastal Lagos, inland to Abuja.
And Toimi Kankaanniemi recalls that Finland’s capital has also moved in the past as well.
“Turku was the capital of Finland until 1812 when the capital moved to Helsinki” the MP writes.
Maybe Helsinki’s time is up and Jyväskylä will be the new Finnish capital city in future?