Social activist

Veijo Baltzar in National Library of Croatia 29 Jun 2017. Photo: Aino Sederholm

Veijo Baltzar was granted an honorary title Cultural Counsellor in 2011 by the President of Finland Tarja Halonen. Honorary titles, granted by the President are rare, altogether 13 000 since 1918. There are eight Cultural Counsellors in Finland.

Baltzar has been a significant activist in the sector of societal, cultural, Roma and multicultural politcs in Finland and internationally since the 1960s. His active involvement in political discourse has always stemmed from his personal interest and motivation. Baltzar has run as a candidate in Parliamentary elections and he constantly works closely with the leading Finnish and European politicians.

Veijo Baltzar is an author of numerous international and domestic societal and cultural-political initiatives. He raised the discussion of Roma Holocaust in Finland in public debate in 2010 (project The Forgotten Genocide). The exhibition “Miranda – The Roma Holocaust”, created by Baltzar the following year, launched its World Tour in Spring 2017.

Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar and Member of Parliament Veljko Kajtazi at the Parliament of Croatia, Zagreb 29 Jun 2017.

Baltzar was one of the firsts to bring out the minority questions in Finland and has been a leading contributor in multicultural issues ever since. In March 2014 Veijo Baltzar organized an international two-day minister-level conference ”The Conscience of Europe”, in which he published his 24 law initiatives for renewal of EU’s policies of multiculturalism.

Veijo Baltzar is a chairman of Creative Association for Arts and Culture DROM’s strategic steering committee. The committee consists of Finland's former Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen; MEP Liisa Jaakonsaari, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Member of Parliament Ilkka Kanerva; former minister of the Environment, Member of Parliamet Pekka Haavisto, professor of multicultural education Fred Dervin, Youth Counsellor Olli Saarela and the director of the Alexander Theatre Reima Jokinen. The work of steering committee has involved also former Member of Parliament Astrid Thors (current OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities) and Kimmo Tiilikainen who is currently Finland’s Minister of Environment.