Work has started on the third report about the future cooperation of Estonia and Finland which has the aim of accessing the current situation and adapting to changing situations.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) announced the official launch at a virtual event on March 8 with the Foreign Minister of Finland Pekka Haavisto and the co-authors of the report, Jaak Aaviksoo and Anne-Mari Virolainen.
"Estonia and Finland are like-minded partners and have close relations bilaterally, regionally, in the European Union and various international organisations," Liimets said.
"Our cooperation has been active and efficient on every level throughout the history of our countries. Finland was the first country to recognise the Republic of Estonia de jure after the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed in 1920. Today we are connected by cross-border data exchange, Estlink power cables, the Balticconnector gas pipeline, and everyday contacts. In the future, we must find more ways to create even more connections – both digital and transport links."
Liimets said that the aim of the third report was to assess the current state of Estonian-Finnish relations and find ways of adapting to a changing situation.
"Several completed projects have been initiated in light of the two previous reports. Currently, we have several shared challenges where finding solutions together is the most sensible way forward. For example, the adoption of future technologies could be one way of improving the lives of our citizens. Post-COVID-19 economic recovery is also an area where we aim to generate ideas."
The process is led by rapporteurs appointed by both countries who plan to include experts of various fields, entrepreneurs, and youth representatives. The report on future cooperation can address issues such as culture, education, research, environment and climate, economy and innovation, connectivity (transport and digitalisation), people-to-people contacts (cooperation of young people and senior experts), trade, and cooperation between cities and municipal governments.
Jaak Aaviksoo and Anne-Mari Virolainen will complete the report by February 2022 with support from the foreign policy institutes of both countries.
Previous reports with Finland were completed in 2003 and in 2008.
Watch the launch event below.
Editor: Helen Wright