Enhanced cooperation between Finland and Norway is the focus of the current State Visit. On Thursday morning, His Majesty The King accompanied President Sauli Niinistö to the House of Literature where the President gave a presentation entitled In the same neighbourhood.
The President focused in particular on the potential for even closer cooperation in the Finnish-Norwegian northern areas and the Arctic. The lecture was followed by a conversation between President Niinistö and Ulf Sverdrup, Director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), with input from the audience.
The event was jointly organised by NUPI and the Embassy of Finland.
House of Literature
After the mornings presentation, Queen Sonja and Mrs Jenni Haukio were given an introduction to the House of Literature by Deputy Director Monica Helvig. Located in Oslo, the house opened in 2007, and is the largest house of literature in Europe, with space for a wide range of activities. The house features a bookshop and café, in addition to several venues for presentations and debate. The house has more than 25 000 visitors each year.
The House of Literature is located very close to the Palace Park. Queen Sonja and Mrs Jenni Haukio took advantage of the fine autumn weather and walked back to the Palace through the park.
Meeting with trade and industry leaders
Following the presentation, King Harald accompanied the President to a business roundtable on Norwegian-Finnish industry cooperation held at the headquarters of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO). Leaders from a number of major companies attended the meeting, and the topics of discussion included:
- sustainable buildings and sustainability as a competitive advantage
- Finnish-Norwegian cooperation in the defence and other high technology sectors
- cooperation on and management of resources in the Arctic
- a joint campaign vis-à-vis the Russian market
Thereafter, the Government hosted an official luncheon at the Government Guest House, with King Harald and Queen Sonja, President Niinistö and Mrs Haukio, and Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit in attendance. A visit to Rommen School and Cultural Centre followed in the afternoon.
Rommen School and Cultural Centre was opened by the Crown Princess in 2010. Rommen is located in Stovner, one of the most culturally diverse urban districts of Oslo. A high percentage of the schools pupils have a minority language background, and a full 55 different nations are represented there. Rommen School is regarded as a leader in efforts to promote integration and diversity. The King and Queen and the President and his wife had the opportunity to meet with teachers as well as pupils through information sessions and cultural presentations.
Rommen School and Cultural Centre serves both as an activity centre for the pupils and as a meeting place for their parents and the local community. The centre includes a library, multi-purpose sports hall and a performance stage.
In the evening, King Harald and Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit were the guests of President Niinistö and Mrs Jenni Haukio at a reception held at the Opera House.
Tomorrow the President and his wife will travel to Tromsø for the final day of their State Visit. Crown Prince Haakon will accompany them during the activities in Tromsø.
The King and Queen opened the new MUNCH
"I think that I speak for all of us when I say that we have been looking forward to this day! It is finally possible for us to gather together, and soon the great doors will open up a new attraction – not just for our capital city, but for Norway, and for the world," said His Majesty The King.
Congratulations from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Alar Karis, President of the Republic of Estonia.