The Swedish-Finnish Cultural Foundation is the largest bilateral foundation in the Nordics. In Finland its capital amounts to approximately 36 million euros (2014). In Sweden the capital amounts to approximately SEK 171 million.
The foundation aims to further cultural relations between Sweden and Finland by providing support for increased knowledge of, and contact between, the culture, economy and people of the two countries. To this end the Foundation dispenses project subsidies and travel grants. Beyond this, the Foundation also initiates its own projects.
The Cultural Foundation came into existence in 1960 after a decision by the Swedish government. At that time part of the interest on Finland’s national debt was set aside for a foundation for cultural co-operation between the two countries. Half of the Foundation’s original capital was placed in each country.
The work of the Foundation is managed by a board comprised of six members, three from Sweden and three from Finland. The board is appointed by the governments of the respective countries. The members are chosen for a period of three calendar years and individual deputies are appointed for each of the board members. The governments of Sweden and Finland also appoint one of the members from each country to serve in alternate years as chair and as vice chair.
During 2019 the Chairperson is Minister Jan-Erik Enestam (FIN) and former County Governor Chris Heister (SWE) is Vice Chair. The foundation´s day to day business is run by Gunvor Kronman in Finland and Mats Wallenius in Sweden.
Read more about the Foundation here>>