President Kiska in Norway: We should still further our cooperation

On Monday, President Andrej Kiska arrived to the Kingdom of Norway on an official visit, at the invitation of His Majesty King Harald V.

At a meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, they discussed the furthering of Slovak-Norwegian cooperation: “We have a wonderful relationship with Norway, a country with which we have no issue. Instead, it is a question of how we can develop our relationship, what we can do better.”

Within the funds of the European Economic Area and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, Slovakia can draw a financial contribution of EUR 113 million between 2014 and 2021. According to Solberg, the resources from these funds should be directed, for example, into innovation, intelligent cities, cooperation between Norwegian and Slovak companies and the modernization of technologies. Thanks to the cooperation with Norwegian companies, the efficient spending of these resources would be ensured. 

“I absolutely agree with investing in innovation, investment in regions, in society. Norwegian funds should also be used to build a civil society that says ‘no’ to arrogance,” Kiska said, according to whom some politicians believe the state belongs to them.

“It is thought that in countries where there is a weak civil society we lose democracy. Building a strong civil society is the key,” Kiska said, adding that resources could also be directed toward the solution of the Roma issue. The cooperation with Norway was also considered excellent at the bilateral level.

A theme of the discussion between the two states was also the forthcoming NATO summit. 
This is historically the first visit of the President to the Kingdom of Norway. In the late afternoon, in company with King Harald V and Queen Sonja he laid wreaths at Akershus Fortress. Kiska then had a discussion with Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen, who is the president of the Storting.  

The Slovak head of state said some final words at the Slovak-Norwegian Business Seminar on building an intelligent urban infrastructure. Kiska remarked that Slovakia has magnificent innovative people. For example, he mentioned the companies Sygic and Eset, whose services are being used worldwide.

According to him, foreign investors also appreciate the quality of Slovak workers. “People are the basis. We have a great advantage in that our people want to learn and improve their quality. Our people want change,” Kiska said.

According to him, cooperation between the two countries is important. “Both countries have approximately the same population. We are small, so it is important to cooperate. It will help change the lives of not only our citizens but life around the world,” added Kiska.

The President of the NHO Confederation of Employers in Norway, Arvid Moss, said that there are many areas where modern technology can be used. For example, green energy or transport. “I believe that such conferences will contribute to improving cooperation between the two countries in the field of intelligent cities,” Moss added. 

The President also met with fellow Slovak citizens living in Norway, numbering from 5000 to 6000. While in Slovakia, nearly 1000 students from Norway have studied. Some of them met Kiska on Monday at the Slovak Embassy in Oslo.

On Tuesday, the head of state had a meeting with Wilhelmsen and also had a look at the Oslo Cancer Cluster, the world’s leading cancer research centre. He then travelled to Bergen along with the royal couple, where he ends his visit to Norway on Wednesday.