22 March 2012 National Assembly Speaker Prof. Dr Slavica Djukic Dejanovic visits Finland

22 March 2012 National Assembly Speaker Prof. Dr Slavica Djukic Dejanovic visits Finland

Thursday, 22 March 2012

National Assembly Speaker Visits Finland

The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Prof. Dr Slavica Djukic Dejanovic is currently in a one-day visit to Finland at the invitation of the Finnish Parliament Speaker Eero Heinäluoma.

Speaking with her host, representatives of the political parties and members of the Grand Committee, National Assembly Speaker Slavica Djukic Dejanovic shared her pleasure at the two countries’ extensive political relations, dating back to 1928. She thanked Finland for the support it extended Serbia in gaining EU candidate status, as well as for ratifying the SAA. Finnish Parliament Speaker Eero Heinäluoma shared his expectations that Serbia would soon become a member of the European Union which would also improve cooperation between Finland and Serbia.

The National Assembly Speaker deemed it necessary to improve parliamentary cooperation between NARS and the Finnish Parliament so that this type of cooperation might also reach a high level of political relations. To that end, it was proposed to establish cooperation between both parliaments’ friendship groups, foreign affairs and European integration Committees, after the elections.

Djukic Dejanovic stressed that the amendments and modifications to the Law on Election of Deputies stipulate an increase in quotas for women on the election lists to one third which will result in more women MPs at the National Assembly. Considering that Finland has one of the best results in applied gender equality, evidenced by the fact that 44.5% of parliamentary representatives are women, an exchange of experiences between the two parliaments in the sphere would be significant, which the Finnish officials were more than happy to endorse.

The Finnish officials were particularly interested in the upcoming elections, possible future coalitions and the elections called in Kosovo-Metohija. The Speaker explained that the elections were called in line with the Constitution and law since the terms of office of the National Assembly MPs are soon to expire. She emphasised that this was the first National Assembly legislature to complete its four-year term of office since the year 2000.

It was pointed out that economic cooperation between Serbia and Finland is on a very low level and does not correspond with the level of political relations. Military cooperation was deemed to be developing very well, particularly from the aspect of Finland’s readiness to provide expert assistance to the modernisation of the Serbian Army.

The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia also spoke with the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö, who deemed it a pleasure to see Serbia’s progress toward European Union membership, which Finland supported from the very beginning.

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