Medals and decorations 

We help to coordinate the awarding of various medals and decorations. 

Regional State Administrative Agencies handle nominations for the following decorations: 

  • Order of the White Rose of Finland and Order of the Lion of Finland 
  • Mother’s Day honours 
  • Life Saving Medals and Medals of Merit of Civil Defence 
  • Order of the Cross of Liberty 
  • Military Merit Medals.

Medals and decorations

Our job is to ask town and city boards, local authorities, local education partnerships, hospital districts and rescue departments for nominations of individuals to be honoured. 

We compile lists of the nominees and forward them to the relevant ministries and government agencies, namely the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Finnish National Agency for Education and the Ministry of the Interior. Each Regional State Administrative Agency can only put forward a certain number of names, which means that not all nominees necessarily make the list. The Board of the Orders presents a final list of candidates to the President of the Republic of Finland.   

Regional State Administrative Agencies collect nominations for the honours given out on Finland’s Independence Day on behalf of the following ministries:  

  • Ministry of Education and Culture 
  • Ministry of the Interior 
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 
  • Ministry of Finance 

Each ministry has its own instructions for the nomination collection process, which we must follow.  

The launch of the nomination collection process is announced towards the end of February each year. Nomination letters must be carefully written and well reasoned and submitted to the Regional State Administrative Agency in whose jurisdiction the nominee resides by 30 April. We then forward our lists of nominees to the competent ministries. 

The Board of the Orders presents a final list of candidates to the President of the Republic of Finland. An annual awards ceremony is held on Finland’s Independence Day on 6 December. 

Further information 

[email protected] 

Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland (registry), P.O. Box 1, 13035 AVI, Finland 

  • Ministry of Education and Culture: Head of Education, Senior Legal Counsel Asta Sark, tel. +358 (0)29 501 6202 
  • Ministry of the Interior: Administrative Officer Sirpa Holopainen, tel. +358 (0)29 501 6084 
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Administrative Officer Päivi Åkerblom, tel. +358 (0)29 501 6210 
  • Ministry of Finance: Management Assistant Taina Kemppi, tel. +358 (0)29 501 6051 

Regional State Administrative Agency for Eastern Finland (registry), P.O. Box 2, 13035 AVI, Finland 

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry: Administrative Officer Eeva Eriksson, tel. +358 (0)29 501 6890 
  • Ministry of Education and Culture: Senior Library Officer Pirkko Rusi, tel. +358 (0)29 501 6518 
  • Ministry of the Interior: Planning Officer Eini Kaasinen, tel. +358 (0)29 501 6883 
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Administrative Officer Eeva Eriksson, tel. +358 (0)29 501 6890 
  • Ministry of Finance: Planning Officer Sirpa Kesonen, tel. +358 (0)29 501 6909 

Regional State Administrative Agency for Lapland (registry), P.O. Box 3, 13035 AVI, Finland 

  • Ministry of Education and Culture: Planning Officer Marketta Enbuska, tel. +358 (0)29 501 7380 
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Department Secretary Eija Kallo, tel. +358 (0)29 501 7362 
  • Ministry of Finance: Legal Counsel Kaisa Post, tel. +358 (0)29 501 7355 

Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwestern Finland (registry), P.O. Box 4, 13035 AVI, Finland 

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry: Regional Veterinary Officer Jani Soini, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8115 
  • Ministry of Education and Culture: Senior Education Officer Lea Karjomaa, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8077 
  • Ministry of the Interior: Emergency Services Officer Pirjo Tuominen, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8063 
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Administrative Officer Arja Saarenpää, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8109 
  • Ministry of Finance: Planning Officer Pirjo Ojanen, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8052 

Regional State Administrative Agency for Western and Inland Finland (registry), P.O. Box 5, 13035 AVI, Finland 

  • Ministry of Education and Culture:  Director Marja-Liisa Keski-Rauska, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8815; Head of Sports Ismo Myllyaho, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8820 
  • Swedish-language education and culture: Director Marianne West-Ståhl, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8815 
  • Ministry of the Interior: Management Assistant Tarja Siirilä, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8501 
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Administrative Officer Vuokko Asikainen, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8526  
  • Ministry of Finance: Decorations: Secretary to the Director-General Elisabet Heinrich, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8511; Life Saving Medals and honorary titles: Management Advisor Tove Lindell, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8510

Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland (registry), P.O. Box 6, 13035 AVI, Finland 

  • Ministry of Education and Culture: Senior Education Officer Jyri Ulvinen, tel. +358 (0)29 501 7525 
  • Ministry of the Interior: Department Secretary Sirpa Hassila, tel. +358 (0)29 501 7553 
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Development Manager Leena Meriläinen, tel. +358 (0)29 501 7523 
  • Ministry of Finance: Planning Officer Siiri Oinas-Panuma, tel. +358 (0)29 501 7535 

The decoration awarded to accomplished mothers by the President of the Republic of Finland on Mother’s Day is a first-class medal of the Order of the White Rose of Finland with a golden cross.  

Regional State Administrative Agencies welcome nominations for the Mother’s Day honours from local authorities, churches, non-governmental organisations and clubs as well as nominees’ own children.  

Mothers from all different walks of life can be honoured. Previous recipients include mothers who have shown exemplary dedication to parenting children and adolescents, been actively involved in their local community or promoted families and parenthood through their actions. Special attention is given to representatives of minority groups. The number of children that each nominee has is not a decisive factor. In addition to biological mothers, adoptive and foster mothers can also be nominated. The minimum age for candidates is 40 years.  

The Mother’s Day honours also celebrate mothers who have contributed to community parenting through, for example, child welfare or family organisations, youth and sports clubs or other community initiatives. Education professionals who are not parents themselves cannot be nominated for the Mother’s Day honours.  

Other accomplished caregivers, such as fathers, siblings and other close relatives, can be honoured in connection with the annual awards ceremony on Finland’s Independence Day on 6 December.  

Regional State Administrative Agencies’ aim in compiling the final list is to achieve a balanced regional and linguistic distribution of nominees.  

Both the Board of the Order of the White Rose of Finland and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have prepared a template for nominations for the Mother’s Day honours. Nominations submitted to Regional State Administrative Agencies are compiled into lists, which are then forwarded to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health uses the lists prepared by Regional State Administrative Agencies to select the candidates to be presented to the Board of the Order of the White Rose of Finland. The awards ceremony is held on Mother’s Day each year and hosted by the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare. 

The Life Saving Medal is given out in recognition of bravery, resourcefulness or risking one’s own life to save that of another person. The medal has often been awarded to a person who has put his or her life at risk when saving another person.

The Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland issues opinions to the Life Saving Medal Committee on the proposals for the medals and also performs secretarial duties for the Life Saving Medal Committee.

The Life Saving Medal Committee reviews nominations and the Ministry of the Interior presents acceptable candidates to the President of the Republic of Finland for approval.

Nominees must be put forward within five years of the end of the calendar year during which they performed their heroic act. 

The competent authority is the Regional State Administrative Agency in whose jurisdiction the act of bravery was performed. In the case of heroic acts performed abroad, the nomination letter should be sent to the registry of the Regional State Administrative Agency in whose jurisdiction the nominee or the rescued person resides. A link to the contact information of Regional State Administrative Agencies’ registries is provided at the bottom of this page.

Further information 

  • Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland, Ilkka Heinonen, Senior Emergency Services Officer, tel. +358 (0)29 501 6042 
  • Regional State Administrative Agency for Eastern Finland, Sirpa Kesonen, Planning Officer, tel. +358 (0)29 501 6909 
  • Regional State Administrative Agency for Lapland, Seppo Lehto, Senior Emergency Services Officer, tel. +358 (0)29 501 7357 
  • Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwestern Finland, Pirjo Tuominen, Emergency Services Officer, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8063 
  • Regional State Administrative Agency for Western and Inland Finland, Tove Lindell, Management Advisor, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8510 
  • Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland, Siiri Oinas-Panuma, Planning Officer, tel. +358 (0)29 501 7535 

The Medal of Merit of Civil Defence is awarded for meritorious conduct in combating threats that could jeopardise civilians and civilian life. 

We welcome nominations from local authorities, rescue departments and other civil defence organisations and forward them to the Ministry of the Interior. Medals of Merit of Civil Defence are presented by the Minister of the Interior, and there are two classes: first-class medals are awarded for highly meritorious and second-class medals for meritorious work for the good of civil defence. 

Medals of Merit of Civil Defence are awarded biennially.  

Further information 

Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwestern Finland, Pirjo Tuominen, Emergency Services Officer, tel. +358 (0)29 501 8063 

In peacetime, the Order of the Cross of Liberty recognises meritorious contributions to the Finnish Defence Forces, national defence and especially voluntary national defence as well as Finland’s security situation.  

Nominations are welcomed from government agencies, non-governmental organisations and individual citizens alike. Regional State Administrative Agencies’ role is to forward nomination letters to the Ministry of the Interior. 

Medals of the Order of the Cross of Liberty are usually given out twice a year. Officers of the Finnish Defence Forces and the Border Guard are recognised on the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces on 4 June. Medals awarded to other recipients are presented on Finland’s Independence Day on 6 December. In some circumstances, award ceremonies can also be held at other times. 

We submit nominations for the Military Merit Medal to the Ministry of the Interior by the end of January each year. The Ministry of the Interior compiles a list of all nominees and presents it to the Defence Command. 

Military Merit Medals are presented by the Chief of Defence and commander of the Finnish Defence Forces. The awards ceremony usually coincides with the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces, which is celebrated annually on 4 June. A Military Merit Medal can also be awarded to a civilian for exceptionally meritorious contributions to the work of the Defence Forces. 

Contact information of Regional State Administrative Agencies’ registries

Contact information for registries