On the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Finland, it is with great pleasure that we convey to all the Finns the warmest congratulations and the best wishes for peace and prosperity.
This profoundly significant moment culminates the Centennial year of the Republic of Finland. The anniversary celebrated on the 6th of December stands for a century of freedom and countless opportunities. Today Finland is a key international actor as well as an essential contributor to many regional and international organizations that have consolidated so many decades of peace after the two world wars.
Romania and Finland share a long and rich relationship. Romania was one of the first countries that, in the spring of 1920, recognized the independent and sovereign Finnish state.
The substantial dialogue that has shaped the bilateral relation between Romania and Finland, especially in historical times, has the chance of enhancement in the years to come, through a series of events of great importance. Our partnership in the framework of the Trio of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2019 is just one year ahead of the celebration of one hundred years of bilateral relations between Romania and the Republic of Finland, in 2020.
Within the EU, Romania and Finland share common values and principles. At the same time, our countries found each other even closer due to their special geographic position which makes them not only guardians of the Eastern borders of the Union, but also converging points from East to West.
The distance between our countries have already been diminished starting from the 15th of June 2017, with the resuming of direct flights between Bucharest and Helsinki and this will contribute to the development of the cooperation as well as to an enhancement of the exchanges in all important sectoral fields. To confirm this openness, this year Romania has opened a new honorary consulate in Finland, in Savonlinna that has the role to intensify the bilateral economic agenda.
The Romanian community in Finland comprises almost 3000 people, very well integrated in the Finnish society and appreciated for the quality of their work. It is especially telling that the President of the Republic of Finland addressed to the 18 years old son of a Romanian family living in Finland, an invitation to attend the Independence Day Reception of Finland.
The Romanian-Finnish cooperation has also made important progress in the field of education, a cooperation materialized through academic exchanges, based on inter-university agreements. We are proud to receive all the benefits from the Finnish language lectorate at the Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. Furthermore, the students in Romania have access to an appreciated Finnish book department within the Northern Studies Library of this University.
We also have two Romanian language lectorates, one at the University of Turku with a continuous activity since 1977 and another at the University of Tampere opened in 2014. The Romanian language lectorate at the University of Turku has an over 40-year tradition and it is worth mentioning that at that Finnish University the Romanian language has been studied since 1935.
As you can notice, the cultural ties are very strong between our countries and this special bond is reflected also in the translations of very important authors over the years. The first Romanian translation of “Kalevala” can be traced back in 1894, in Iași. One of the world famous Finnish authors, Mika Toimi Waltari is very well appreciated by the Romanians and the most recent translation of the ”Roman” has been received with a lot of enthusiasm. Among the Romanian literary works translated into Finnish language we can mention the poems written by our national poet Mihai Eminescu.
In the light of Romania’s Centennial year that we have just entered and considering furthermore all the bonds in the most diverse areas that have consolidated our bilateral dialogue, the Romanians are happy to share the joy of the celebration of the historic day of December 6 and to wish to all the Finns: Hyvää kansallispäivää! Felicitări de Ziua Națională!