Northern-European security and defence cooperation between Finland and Sweden will be the main topics of this year’s Kultaranta talks, to be hosted by President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö on 19 and 20 June 2016. As the keynote speaker, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven will deliver a speech on Sunday evening. In addition, President Niinistö and Prime Minister Löfven will hold a bilateral meeting prior to the talks.

Monday’s programme will begin with a discussion on Baltic and Northern-European security. This panel discussion will involve MP Erkki Tuomioja and Ambassador René Nyberg from Finland, and MP and Chairman of the Parliamentary Defence Committee Allan Widman and Ambassador Mats Bergquist from Sweden. The discussion will be led by Finnish Member of Parliament Carl Haglund.

In another discussion, Director of the Centre for Parliamentary Studies Markku Jokisipilä, MP Kai Mykkänen, Director the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Teija Tiilikainen and MEP Paavo Väyrynen will consider the future of the EU. The discussion will be led by Elina Ravantti, Head of World News and Current Affairs at the Finnish broadcasting company YLE.

In the afternoon, the integration of immigrants, defence cooperation between Finland and Sweden and Arctic cooperation will be discussed in smaller working groups. The moderators of the working groups will sum up the group discussions at the closing session of the talks.

Around a hundred participants from various sectors of society have been invited to what will be the fourth set of Kultaranta talks. The participants include political decision-makers; researchers; representatives of administrative branches, business life, various organisations and the media; and experts on immigration. Participants are being invited from Sweden for the first time. The event is being organised by the Office of the President of the Republic of Finland in cooperation with the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.