17. December. 2019. | 09:07

Coffee with the Ambassador

Providing equal opportunities to all citizens, regardless of their gender and other personal traits, is a virtue of Finnish society that enabled Sanna Marin to lead the Finnish Cabinet as the world’s youngest sitting Prime Minister in a coalition with four other parties, all chaired by female leaders. These were the main reflections of the Ambassador of Finland to Kosovo Ms. Pia Stjernvall regarding the key takeaways from the new Finnish Cabinet which she shared during the event „Coffee with the Ambassador“ held at the Mitrovica Social Club on Monday, 16 December 2019.

Among the topics discussed with the Finnish Ambassador were also the wrapping-up of the Finnish presidency of the Council of the European Union, the EU perspective of the Western Balkans, as well as the protection of bilingualism in this respective Nordic country.

According to Her Excellency, the highlights of Finnish Presidency of the Council of EU pertain to the reduction of the carbon footprint of the EU institutions, strengthening the rule of law and the protection of freedoms across the EU, combating hybrid threats, enhancing the competitiveness of the single market through digitization, and strengthening the EU’s global role.

Regarding the EU perspective of the Western Balkans, the Ambassador Stjernvall expressed a belief that the EU member states share the awareness about the necessity to find the consensus regarding the continuation of the enlargement process. In that respect, the current standstill might be only temporary. On the other hand, the Ambassador stressed that the EU path of Kosovo primarily hinges on its progress as to strengthening the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, as well as with regards the implementation of laws concerning the position of communities.

Being a bilingual country itself with Finnish and Swedish enjoying the status of official languages, Finland is well acquainted with the challenges of preserving the identity of non-majority communities. In that regards, the Ambassador underlined that the protection of minority rights can serve as the indicator of a democracy development of a given country. Hence, Her Excellency expressed the expectation that Kosovo would continue to work in this direction.

Participants of the event, however, stressed that the Serb community in Kosovo feels that it is under great pressure precisely because it seeks to preserve its separate identity. Moreover, they pointed out that Brussels has not been making sufficient efforts to support Kosovo Serbs.

The „Coffee with the Ambassador“ was hosted by the NGO Aktiv within the framework Mitrovica Social Club project, which is financially supported by the Kosovo Open Society Foundation (KFOS).