Kosovo declared independence on February 17th 2008 and Finland recognized it on March 7th 2008. Finnish representation in Kosovo was upgraded to an Embassy on February 1st 2009. The Embassy received its first Ambassador on September 1st 2015. Before that the Ambassador was accredited from Sofia, Bulgaria and in Pristina the Head of Mission was the Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
In Kosovo Finland has in use all foreign policy instruments: traditional diplomacy along with military and civilian crisis management, development cooperation and consular services. The instruments complement one another, and the embassy has an important role in bringing synergy between them.
The relationship between Finland and Kosovo is warm. The work of President Martti Ahtisaari as UN Special Representative during the Kosovo status negotiations is central when it comes to the good reputation of Finland. The Constitution adopted on June 15th 2008 is based on the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement also known as “the Ahtisaari Plan”. Also Elisabeth Rehn's work as Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in former Yugoslavia in 1995–1997, Olli Rehn’swork as the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Minister Harri Holkeri’s work as Special Representative of the Secretary General for Kosovo from August 2003 to June 2004 have made Finland known.
Finland has had an active role in the military crisis management in Kosovo; nowadays the focus has shifted to civilian crisis management. Finland takes part in EULEX – the biggest civilian crisis management operation both in Finnish and EU history. There are Finnish experts working also in other international bodies like OSCE and various UN organizations.
Kosovo is the sole development cooperation partner in Western Balkans. The lack of Rule of Law is the biggest challenge for Kosovo which restrains also the development of the society. The guidelines for Finland's development policy and the implementation of development cooperation for Western Balkan are set in the Finland's Development Policy Program. During the years 2015–2016 the amount of development assistance is 2 million euro per year.
The areas of focus in Finland’s Framework Program for the Western Balkans are stability and security, aid for trade, environment and social sustainability. The projects during the rest of the period focus mainly on employment, aid for trade as well as reintegration.
Finland has taken part in many Twinning project competitions. Currently Finland has two twinning projects in Kosovo. These projects deal with education of security sector and development of educational sector. Finland has also taken part on TAIEX-projects and several technical assistance projects that are funded by the European Commission.
The commercial and economic ties between Finland and Kosovo are still thin. Possibilities for cooperation are being charted for example in the agriculture and forest sector.