Stubb Calls for Bold and Active Foreign Policy

Newly-minted Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb has called for boldness and action in Finnish foreign policy. In a news conference following his swearing in ceremony Friday, Stubb said he hoped to continue representing the interests of the ministry, as Finnish Foreign and Security Policy had been on the right track for some time. Stubb said his predecessor, Ilkka Kanerva had demonstrated a foreign policy line that was active, internally-driven and free of prejudice. He said he respected the precedent set by Kanerva, and added that he did not intend to tarnish it, but rather to build upon it. Stubb emphasised that Finland could only make its way in the world by being active and bold. "In the EU there are no free rides," he quipped. Stubb also paid homage to another former Foreign Minister, Erkki Tuomioja and to President Tarja Halonen, who had highlighted issues related to globalisation during her term in office. Stubb said that human rights questions would also be high on the agenda in the future. Dialogue with the Nation

Stubb assured the press that he would keep the Parliament abreast of all issues relating to foreign policy. And he promised that the people of Finland would also not be kept in the dark on these matters.

The new Foreign Minister said that everyone should be involved in shaping country's foreign policy and he pledged to devote his time to encouraging national dialogue on the matter. He added that discussion and dialogue must continue as "foreign policy is no mystical field".

Stubb said in his role as a Member of the European Parliament, he intended to increase the number of visits to Finnish high schools from 80 to at least 100 schools.