Finnish PM Sanna Marin is on an official state visit to Iceland. On the agenda for her meetings with Icelandic PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir are the energy transition, climate change, Nordic cooperation, and the War in Ukraine.
Finland, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has applied for membership in NATO, to which Iceland has belonged since its 1949 foundation. Previously neutral, the invasion has forced Finland to reassess its security situation, which will now be the topic of talks between the two PMs.
Among the several events and roundtables the Finnish PM has attended include a talk at the Nordic House and a “lunch-time chat” at the National Museum of Iceland.
Though Finland has remained officially neutral for decades, it has in the past cooperated with NATO exercises and projects. This past May, it officially announced its intention to apply for NATO membership, alongside fellow Nordic nation Sweden, which had also been neutral.
PM Sanna Marin also spoke about the importance of women in positions of power, calling it a great need. Even in Europe, few women are in leadership positions, but she identified the Nordic nations as leading forces in this regard. Icelandic PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir likewise spoke to the importance of having people with diverse backgrounds in leadership positions, and for people with different experiences to be heard and recognised.
Katrín Jakobsdóttir also highlighted the common commitment shared by the Nordic nations to social-democratic ideals: “We have open debates and we have strong national assemblies in our communities. This is not least important because we are seeing certain democratic setbacks. Not only in distant countries, but in Europe as well. These values of the Nordic countries are more important than ever.”
Agreeing that the Nordics share much in terms of history and culture, the Finnish PM stated that Iceland and Finland stand to learn much from one another. Joking, she also stated: “Of course, even though Iceland isn’t a part of the EU, it’s always welcome.”
Building on the strong history of cooperation, Katrín Jakobsdóttir cited research, development, and education as fields to be further improved between the nations.
Notably, Iceland was one of he first nations to openly support Finland and Sweden’s NATO applications, which are still pending approval.