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.
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 Finland’s most important development cooperation partner in the Western Balkans. Finland has actively supported Kosovo since 1999. The areas of focus in Finland’s Framework Program for the Western Balkans until 2013 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 four twinning projects going on in Kosovo. They deal with police and rescue sector, remigration, border safety and environment sector.
The commercial and economical ties between Finland and Kosovo are still thin. Possibilities for cooperation are being charted for example in the agriculture and forest sector.