Minister Lajčák Visits Finland

Minister Lajčák Visits Finland

20.2.2020 | Aktivity ministra

The excellent bilateral relations, the outstanding cooperation within the European Union and other international organisations, and also the ample experience with conflict prevention and resolution in the world –  these were among the themes of today’s visit (February, 20, 2020) of Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, to Finland. At his first meeting, the chief Slovak diplomat met with his counterpart Pekka Haavisto. “We talked about the European issues with the emphasis on the future of the European Union, the shaping of its foreign and security policy, including the possibilities of strengthening the Union as a global player,” emphasized Minister Lajčák. The partners also touched on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The expectations from the planned Conference on the Future of Europe were the central theme of the meeting. “Without a doubt, the question of EU enlargement in the future is part and parcel of this topic,” added Miroslav Lajčák. With his Finnish partner, he agreed on the European perspective for the countries of the Western Balkans, while Minister Lajčák acknowledged the personal engagement of the chief of Finnish diplomacy and also the commitment of the presidency of this Nordic country in the Council of the EU in the second half of the year 2019. Another topic discussed was the protection of the international order based both on rules, particularly in these times of increased multipolarity, and on respect for the principles of democracy, human rights and equality.

Minister Lajčák was then received by the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö. The meeting focused on the activities of these two countries in international organisations, while the Finnish president acknowledged Slovakia’s chairmanship in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) last year and the Slovak contribution to the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine. A part of the discussion focused on the sustainable development goals and how they are being fulfilled and on the cooperation with our international partners. During the meeting with the chief Slovak diplomat, President Niinistö also touched on the fight against climate change and a fair transition to a carbon-neutral economy, which would reflect the different starting points of the individual countries.

To conclude his working visit, Minister Lajčák met with  Alexander Stubb, Chairman of the Board of the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), an independent Finnish organisation. The chairman is a former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Other members of the board were also present at the meeting. The organisation focuses on the prevention and resolution of violent conflicts in the world by means of dialogue and mediation. “It is a well-known organisation with a very good reputation in the world for mediation,” concluded Miroslav Lajčák.