Strong political relations
This year, we celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations between Finland and Iceland, dating back to 15 August 1947. Finland opened an Embassy in Reykjavik in 1982 and Iceland´s Embassy in Helsinki was opened in 1997. Both countries are republics with elected presidents as head of state. During the last 75 years, there have been regular high-level visits.
Mr. Urho Kekkonen was the first Finnish President to visit Iceland in August 1957 and Iceland´s President Kristján Eldjárn the first to visit Finland in March 1972. President of Finland Mr. Sauli Niinistö made a state visit to Iceland in 2022 and President of Iceland Mr. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson visited Finland in 2017 for the 100 years anniversary celebrations of independence (state visit in 2018). The Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers of our countries meet several times a year, often in a Nordic format, as do our other Ministers.
Close cooperation and strong relations
Our bilateral political relations are strong. As neighbours in the north, Iceland and Finland participate actively in the work of the N5-group of the Nordic countries as well as in the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers. Both countries participate in the Nordic defence and security cooperation, NORDEFCO. The cooperation also goes beyond the Nordic region to include the Baltic States in the NB8-cooperation.
Our countries are actively engaged in the wider process of European integration – Finland as an EU member and Iceland as party to the European Economic Area (EEA). Both countries were earlier members of EFTA (Iceland still is). Iceland is a founding member of NATO where as Finland applied for membership this year. Work in the Arctic Council is also high on the agenda.
Shared values in the international arena
Internationally, Finland and Iceland are among the most active members of the United Nations and its agencies and programmes. Together with the other Nordic countries we have earned a strong reputation as defenders and promoters of human rights and the rule of law as embodied in the rule-based multilateral order and international law. Both Iceland and Finland build on our strenghts, prioritizing gender equality, tackling climate change, peaceful conflict-resolution and sustainable development in international work. During the Covid pandemic, Iceland and Finland have cooperated on various levels and both countries are among those with the highest vaccination rates in the world.