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Havis Amanda statue and City Hall at the background. Picture: Mika Lappalainen
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Bilateral relations with other cities

Helsinki will develop cooperation relations with other capitals and metropolises around the world. Helsinki has selected strategic partners with which it will engage in broad and long-term cooperation. European capitals are a natural reference group for Helsinki. The closest partner cities are Tallinn and St. Petersburg. Outside the Gulf of Finland key partners are Stockholm and Berlin. Nordic cooperation has long traditions and these will be strengthened. Helsinki has a special partnership relation with Beijing and Moscow. 

Acting and learning in networks

Departments and units are encouraged to network with regions that are international leaders in their field and to seek influential positions in cooperation networks. The criterion for participating in networks and organizations is that participation promotes the achievement of the city’s and the department’s own strategic objectives and supports the strengthening of employees’ skills and important professional networks. In 2007 the City of Helsinki’s departments and units participated in about one hundred networks.

List of the networks that departments of the city participates

The City of Helsinki participates in selected networks that broadly cover the city’s sectors. Helsinki promotes the competitiveness and global visibility of the Baltic Sea region in the Baltic Metropoles Network (BaltMet) and the Baltic Development Forum (BDF) and develops expert cooperation in different sectors in the Union of Baltic Cities (UBC). Helsinki is a member of Helsinki-Tallinn Euregio.

Helsinki participates in the Eurocities network, which promotes cooperation among major European cities and conducts lobbying. European lobbying also takes place through the EU2020 Regions network. Helsinki is active in research networks that compile and compare urban information. It is also a member of the Union of Capitals of the European Union (UCUE). Globally cooperation takes place in the following organizations: the International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP), ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and the Global Cities Dialogue. 

International urban policy and European lobbying

The goal of Helsinki’s international urban policy is to influence EU legislation and programmes concerning local administration in accordance with the interests of Helsinki and the other cities in the region. In international urban policy Helsinki emphasizes the significance of metropolises’ competitiveness and sustainable development.


City diplomacy and hospitality

Through city diplomacy Helsinki accumulates diplomatic capital and acquires international influence to achieve its objectives. Helsinki displays hospitality to numerous international congress visitors. Strategically significant and high-level visits are organized by the city’s central administration in close cooperation with Finnish missions abroad and foreign diplomatic missions in Helsinki. In some cases visits are arranged in cooperation with the other cities in the Helsinki metropolitan area. 

International communications and marketing

The objective of Helsinki’s international communications is to promote awareness of Helsinki abroad and particularly in key areas for the city’s international activities. International communications include taking care of press relations, producing Helsinki information and arranging Helsinki events abroad. The Helsinki region will be marketed as a whole, using Helsinki as the marketing name.

City Communications
Greater Helsinki Promotion

Events as part of international activities

The city’s objective is to develop Helsinki as an internationally attractive venue for domestic and international events and congresses. Actively attracting and arranging significant domestic and international events will be part of the city’s regular activities according to Helsinki’s business strategy. Hosting congresses and major events is profitable for the city, since it has direct effects on employment and business as well as the city’s liveliness and image.

What's On

Services for immigrants

Helsinki serves different international customers such as students, immigrants and foreign workers and their families and produces advisory services for them. These are coordinated regionally. 

Immigration Division



 City Departments

Information on International activities:

City Library

Cultural Office

Education Department's Information Desk

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

Helsinki Zoo

Port of Helsinki

Youth Department


Ask the Museum
Short history of Helsinki
Facts about Helsinki in different languages

City Planning projects
Helsinki New Horizons

Teaching in foreign languages

Nature Information System
Let's Explore Nature in Helsinki
Helsinki and Espoo archipelago guide

Public Art in Helsinki

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