Twinning activities extended to new countries: Finland’s success in winning tenders continues, with Zambia as new beneficiary
Early this year, Twinning activities were extended to seven new countries under the three-year pilot of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA). The results of the calls for proposals for the first two pilot projects have already been published, and Finland is very proud to have been awarded both projects. Finland will now help Zambia enhance anti-corruption measures and audits of central government finances. Winning these two tenders is a fine complement to Finland’s recent successes in Twinning projects.
Partners in Development series brought up the role of companies, organisation and universities in development cooperation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Finnish Development NGOs Fingo and Finnish chambers of commerce held a new kind of series of live broadcasts, entitled Partners in Development, in March and April. The series comprised seven events, in which various bodies from different parts of Finland presented their contribution to development cooperation.
Finland committed to ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines
Finland supports developing countries to fight against COVID-19 with more than EUR 80 million from its development cooperation appropriations. The sum includes a EUR 2.5 million core contribution paid to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, last year. International cooperation is instrumental for defeating the pandemic.
New Ambassador to Iraq, Permanent Representative to the OSCE and non-resident Ambassador to the Vatican
At the presidential session on Friday 9 April, the President of the Republic appointed a new Ambassador to Iraq, granted an authorisation to represent Finland in the OSCE and appointed a non-resident Ambassador to the Vatican.
Now accepting nominations for the third International Gender Equality prize
The Finnish Government launched the International Gender Equality Prize in 2017, when Finland celebrated the centenary of its independence. The purpose of the prize is to promote gender equality in global contexts and to promote discussion about equality. The nominations are open until 16 May 2021.
Business travel during COVID-19: topical information about entry restrictions on the websites of Finnish missions abroad
To support people travelling on essential business during the coronavirus pandemic, Finnish missions abroad keep their websites updated on local travel restrictions. Rules and guidance in different countries can change rapidly, which is why the Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises people travelling on business to always check the official website of the country of destination, to consider whether the trip is essential, and to act responsibly.
Improvements to the status of foreign berry pickers
On 31 March 2021, the Government proposed new legislation to improve the legal status and earnings opportunities of foreign berry pickers and to make the competitive environment equal to companies in the sector. As foreign berry pickers have not been deemed to be in an employment relationship but instead to work as entrepreneurs, their status is currently unregulated from a legal point of view.
Visa applications for seasonal work to be received in Minsk, Belarus
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will open a Visa Application Centre in Minsk for the reception of visa applications for people in Belarus wishing to apply for seasonal work in Finland. Estonia represents Finland in Minsk in other Schengen visa application matters. People who aim to submit a visa application for other than seasonal work purposes should follow the instructions of the Embassy of Estonia.
Finland raised alert level of its travel advice to Myanmar
Due to the military coup on 1 February 2021, the situation in Myanmar is now deeply disturbing. On 29 March 2021, Finland together with the other Nordic countries raised the alert level of its travel advice, urging travellers “to leave the country as soon as possible”.
Joint op-ed by 18 foreign ministers on the fight against impunity for crimes committed in Syria
Ten years ago, millions of Syrians took to the streets of Dara’a, Aleppo and Damascus, calling for democracy and respect of their fundamental rights and basic freedoms. The brutal response by the regime triggered over the span of a decade one of the most serious criminal enterprises and humanitarian crises since the Second World War resulting in more than 400 000 deaths and in countless violations of human rights.
Advance voting abroad in Finland's municipal elections in 2021
The municipal elections will be held on Sunday 13 June 2021. The Act on the Postponement of the 2021 Municipal Elections entered into force on 29 March 2021. The advance voting period will be from 26 May to 8 June in Finland and from 2 to 5 June abroad.
Finland opened Honorary Consulate in Mosul, Iraq
On 18 March 2021, Finnish Ambassador to Iraq Vesa Häkkinen opened an Honorary Consulate of Finland in Mosul together with Najm Al-Jubouri, Governor of the Nineveh Governorate. The Honorary Consulate of Finland is the first foreign honorary consulate in Mosul.
Let us celebrate Nordic Day together!
Nordic Day is celebrated on 23 March in all the Nordic countries and Åland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland in honour of the fundamental treaty of Nordic cooperation, which was named after Helsinki and was signed on 23 March 1962. It defines the duties and composition of the Nordic Council and Nordic Council of Ministers and, in general, the main areas and methods of Nordic cooperation.
Finland’s Africa strategy – Towards stronger political and economic partnership
The Finnish Government has approved Finland's Africa strategy on 18 March 2021. It will be used to diversify and deepen Finland’s relations with African countries, the African Union (AU) and regional organisations, with focus on political and economic relations.