The Contact Group between the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Government of Åland was founded in 1998. It’s 20th anniversary was celebrated on December 14th in Helsinki, where two of its founders, President Tarja Halonen and former MP Roger Jansson held speeches at a seminar held for an invited audience. At the seminar, Susann Simolin, the Ålands Islands Peace Institute, presented a report about the first 20 years of the group. The report was written as an assignment from the Contact Group.
The group was formed after Åland’s long-standing request for such a group, The Ministry for Foreign Affairs endorsed the idea with then Foreign Minister Tarja Halonen at the forefront. The purpose of the Contact Group is to “develop and increase the use of the Åland Example in international contexts as well as to further enhance information about and contacts with Åland”.
On the basis of protocols, activity plans and reports, as well as interviews; this report identifies the objectives of the contact group and how they were implemented; who participated in the work and how the cooperation was conducted; what significance the group’s work has had on the dissemination of knowledge about the Åland Example; and the highlights and difficulties in the contact group’s work over the last 20 years.
The report, written in Swedish, can be downloaded here.