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Finnish President Niinistö on an official visit to Slovenia at the invitation of President Pahor

Ljubljana, 23. 5. 2019 | press release

Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland, is paying a two-day official visit to the Republic of Slovenia at the invitation of Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia.

Relations between Slovenia and Finland are good and friendly with no open issues. The countries maintain a regular political dialogue at various levels and constructively cooperate at the bilateral level, within the European Union and in other international forums. They hold similar positions regarding certain issues which they advocate within the European Union and the broader international sphere.

In their discussions, President Pahor and President Niinistö expressed mutual interest in further developing and deepening the overall cooperation between the countries with the emphasis on opportunities to enhance economic relations (in the fields of high technology, digitalisation, cyber security and artificial intelligence, among others).

The discussion partners exchanged their views on current European affairs, such as future of the European Union and the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which Finland will take over on 1 July. Slovenia wishes that the existing good cooperation between the countries within the framework of the European Union will be further enhanced in the context of the Finnish and also later during the Slovenian Presidency since the countries share their views on an array of topical issues. One of the important topics discussed by the presidents was an exchange of views on the Western Balkans and the assessment of the situation in this neighbouring region. The presidents spoke about good cooperation between both countries within international forums.

In the afternoon, presidents Pahor and Niinistö will visit Kranj Gimnazija, where they will discuss climate change, and the effects resulting therefrom, with secondary school students. The World Summit of Students for Climate will take place in Helsinki this year under the honorary patronage of the Finnish President. The summit will also be attended by the Slovenian delegation working within Environment Online – ENO, a global virtual school and community for sustainable development established by Finnish teacher Mika Vanhanen in 2000. The Slovenian initiative on adopting trees, whose honorary patron is President Pahor, will be presented at the discussions in Kranj, while this initiative will be presented to the global public in Helsinki.

The presidents will start the second day with a visit to the Jelovica Hiše company, which is one of the pioneers in the field of self-sufficient houses in Slovenia. They will continue their visit in Suha, where testing of the latest technologies for storing electric energy at the level of a transformer station is taking place in cooperation with Finnish partners within the framework of the European development project, STORY. The presidents will view the demonstration polygon for testing various technical solutions for managing voltage conditions and balancing electric energy consumption.

In the afternoon, the Slovenian and Finnish presidents will unveil the friendship bench in Planica. The bench, located in the valley of ski jumping hills, will thus remind visitors of the numerous successes attained by Finnish competitors in Slovenia. In 1994, for example, at the 13th Ski Flying World Championship in Planica, Finnish boy wonder Toni Nieminen jumped 203 metres and was the first man in history to have jumped the threshold of 200 metres and remained on his feet. The bench in Planica will be the sixteenth friendship bench unveiled by President Pahor and his guests during official visits of presidents to Slovenia as a lasting reminder of the visits and the good and friendly relations between their countries and peoples.

Finnish President Niinistö on an official visit to Slovenia at the invitation of President Pahor
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Finnish President Niinistö on an official visit to Slovenia at the invitation of President Pahor
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA