Finland- EU- Russia security
The Security Policy
Significance of EU Membership for Finland
I. The European Union and
membership in the European Union is a pragmatic line of action in security
policy. EU membership gives Finland new opportunities for influencing change
and stability in its security environment. The importance of membership for
Finnish security depends on Finland's own contribution. Finland's military
security remains its own responsibility.
a member of the EU, Finland has full powers and opportunities for influencing
the decisions taken in a community of democratic states aiming to build lasting
the end of the East West division, the policy of neutrality that Finland
followed in the Cold War is no longer a viable line of action. During the Cold
War, Finland tried to avoid making political, and especially military,
commitments that might have drawn it into conflicts between the great powers.
In the new situation, Finland's strategy is an active participation in
international political and security cooperation for prevention and resolution
of security problems.
has not made any security policy reservations concerning its obligations under
its founding treaties or the Maastricht Treaty. Finland has joined the Union as
a militarily nonaligned country which wishes to play an active and constructive
role in creating and implementing a common foreign and security policy.
EU is not a military alliance, nor is it an independent actor in the field of
defence. Those EU Member States that also belong to NATO manage their defence
through the collective defence offered by NATO, while the militarily nonaligned
member states rely on an independent defence. Despite the provisions of its
founding charter, the WEU is not a fullscale military alliance; the common
defence of its members is managed in coordination with NATO and in practice
relies on NATO's military structures and resources.
nonalignment is no obstacle to Finland's pursuit of its membership objectives,
or to the fulfilment of its undertakings. No such conflict can be found either
in the clauses of the Maastricht Treaty or in Finland's experiences or
prospects as a member.
contribution to conflict prevention and crisis management strengthens the
Union's capacity to promote cooperative security in Europe. Finland's credible
independent defence capability is an important contribution to the Union's
common security. Finland will play a constructive role in consideration of the defence
issue within the Union, decisions concerning which will be made unanimously
among the member states. Finland is convinced that its own interests and those
of the other member states can be reconciled on this issue.
is by remaining outside military alliances that Finland under the present
circumstances can best support stability in northern Europe and thus more
widely on the continent as a whole. Considering the special historical
relationship between Sweden and Finland and the similar interests in their
vicinity, Sweden's security policy has always been an extremely important
factor in Finnish security.
European Union's goal is to safeguard the common values and interests and
independence of the Union, and to strengthen the security of the Union and all
its member states in all ways. A capable and unified European Union in which
the interests of all member states are taken equally into account will
strengthen Finnish security. Union membership will help Finland repel any
military threats and prevent attempts to exert political pressure.
an independent state, Finland will defend its political sovereignty and
territorial integrity. Under the UN Charter, Finland can request the assistance
and support of other countries if it becomes the object of aggression.
II. The Security Policy
Significance of EU Membership for Finland
1. Finland and the
Development of a Common Foreign and Security Policy
European Union pursues a common foreign and security policy in order to attain
the common objectives of its members. Under the Maastricht Treaty, the common
foreign and security policy shall include all questions related to the security
of the European Union. Within the Union's second intergovernmental pillar, the
member states have enhanced and expanded the foreign policy cooperation begun
during the Community era. In the longer term, the Treaty allows the EU a common
defence policy and a common defence.
common defence adopted as the Union's longterm goal in the Maastricht Treaty
continues to generate public debate, but there are as yet in sight no prospects
of it coming about. The primary task of the Union's defence dimension in the
short term is to develop a capability for crisis management. The means to this
are the strengthening of the WEU's operational and structural capabilities.
2. Finland's Experiences
security policy solutions made by Finland provide an adequate foundation for
involvement in international cooperation for crisis management. The framework
for Finnish action comprises its EU membership, its observer status in the WEU
its Partnership for Peace with NATO, and its OSCE and UN membership. Finland's
actual contribution in practice will depend on its own decisions and the
country's determination and capacity.
security policy derives from a national security assessment and national
decisionmaking. The national policies extend to all issues of foreign
the Union, the member states pursue a systematic policy of taking stands on
international disputes and conflicts, and of coordination and collaboration in
international organizations. The objects of a joint Union action include the
Pact on Stability in Europe and election monitoring, in arms control the
extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and OSCE projects such as
strengthening cooperation between the OSCE and the UN.
and security policy cooperation within the Union is an intergovernmental matter
which is normally implemented by unanimous decisions and solutions of the
member states. Their common values and similar goals and interests in building
up a European security order are the basis for unity and mutual solidarity between
the member states. By sharing in these collective efforts, Finland can expect
support from other members for its own aspirations and for its position.
experiences as a member of the Union show that Finnish security interests can
be reconciled with the Union's common interests.
has had no difficulty in concurring with the common stands and joint measures
on which the members of the Union have attained unanimity. Finland has made an
active contribution to the Union's joint strategy on Russia, which aims at
building a lasting partnership between the EU and a democratic Russia. Finland
has been able to participate in and concur with the Union's action in the
Chechen crisis, where the Union has called upon Russia to observe the norms and
obligations it has endorsed, as a condition for putting into force the
partnership and cooperation agreement with the Union. Finland has won support
from the Union for its own, and the Nordic, line of action in consolidating the
independence of the Baltic states, in supporting their political and economic
reforms and in opening for them the perspective of Union membership.
security policy significance of EU membership for Finland depends not only on
the Union's capability but also, and crucially, on Finland's own capability and
activeness as a Union member. In terms of Finnish security, strategically
important objects for cooperation in the future will be to enhance the
capabilities of the OSCE and to build a cooperative security order in Europe,
to create an EU strategy on Russia, and to expand the Union into Central Europe
and the Baltics.
supports consolidation of the EU's crisis management capacity. Finland is
preparing to contribute constructively to debate on the future of the Union's
and WEU's institutional relations.
national defence is the best way to guarantee that Finnish territory will not
become the object of military speculation, or that a war will not result from
the threat of military force in even minor crises. The entire territory of the
country will be defended. The creation of capabilities for receiving assistance
in a crisis situation is taken into consideration in developing Finland's
President of the Republic is the Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces. The
Government Committee on Foreign and Security Policy is the highest consultative
and planning body on defence matters. Its members are the ministers responsible
for national security, the Prime Minister acting as its chairman. The President
may attend the meetings. As a part of the Council of State, the Ministry of
Defence is responsible for national defence policy, as well as international
Chief of Defence leads the Defence Forces, which are responsible for securing
the territorial integrity of the country, and the defence of the nation and its
military preparedness in general. Administratively, the Defence Forces are
under the Ministry of Defence. In respect to operational orders, the Chief of
Defence is directly responsible to the President.
addition to military defence, the concept of total defence includes measures
concerning national economy, civil defence, the media, social welfare,
communications and civil order. In accordance with the 1991 State of Readiness
Act, the defence of the nation is shared among several different administrative
country is divided into three commands and 12 military provinces, a structure
that ensures the whole territory is defended. The most important tasks of the
Defence Forces are surveillance of the nation's land, sea and air spaces,
securing territorial integrity and, if necessary, the defence of the country.
to Finnish law, all male citizens between the ages of 18 and 60 are under
obligation to carry out military service. The conscripts serve either a period
of twelve (12), nine (9) or six (6) months. Each year more than 80% of those
called up complete their national service. An essential part of national
service is military training of reservists. In accordance with a law passed in
1995, it is possible for women to volunteer for military service, and 400-500
women do so annually.
wartime defence is based on mobilised forces. The general development in Europe,
including the environs of Finland, has made a reduction in the strength of
Defence Forces possible, provided the technical level of the remaining forces
is raised. The reductions in the Defence Forces wartime strength will be
continued, bringing the maximum strength down to 350,000 men by the end of
developing Finland's defence system, priority will be given to the command and
control system, the Army's readiness formations, military crisis management
capacity and the wartime economy arrangements in the information society.
4. The Finnish Defence
spends about 1.4 % of its GDP on military defence. An essential part of the
Defence Forces' capability is its materiel preparedness, and about one third of
defence expenditure is spent on procurement.
military crisis management capacity is developed to meet the crisis management
objectives of the European Union and the UN, the primary tool being the NATO
Planning and Review Process (PARP). Development of the troops and systems of
the Finnish Defence Forces for crisis management purposes will be of benefit to
national defence. Finland can participate in military crisis management
operations implemented by the UN, the OSCE, the EU or NATO, provided these
operations are under a UN or OSCE mandate consistent with the provisions of the
Finnish Act on Peace Support Operations. Finland may have up to 2,000
peacekeepers in operations at any one time.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence are responsible for
military crisis management preparations, guidance and supervision. The Defence
Forces are responsible for practical implementation.
first priority is to take part in EU-led Peace Support Operations in the Nordic
framework. The Nordic Countries have developed the concept of a common pool of
forces for military crisis management within the framework of the Nordic
Coordinated Arrangement for Military Peace Support (NORDCAPS). ´Our
common Nordic aim is to create, by the year 2003, a Nordic force package up to
brigade level for Peace Support Operations. These troops could be used in both
EU and NATO-led operations, as well as UN and possible OSCE-led
cooperates with NATO in numerous ways. Finland signed the Partnership
for Peace (PfP) Framework Document in May 1994 and joined the Euro-Atlantic
Partnership Council (EAPC) in June 1997. Finland supports the strengthening of
the PfP and the participation of Partners in the planning of crisis management
the PfP Finland has taken part in the Planning and Review Process (PARP) since
February 1995. The Planning and Review Process is for Finland the central tool
for developing military interoperability and it helps to facilitate the
evaluation and development of the capabilities of forces to cooperate in crisis
participation in PARP and in other cooperative efforts with NATO has two
conditions: in the prevailing politico-security situation Finland remains
militarily non-allied and maintains a credible national defence. Through
cooperation, the preconditions for international crisis management are created,
as well as the possibility of influencing European security structures in the
Finland is not aspiring to NATO membership. However, close and constructive
cooperation with the Alliance is high on the Finnish agenda. While such
cooperation promotes European crisis management capabilities, it also enhances
Finland's interoperability with other nations and thus indirectly improves its
5. The Security Environment
the perspective of Finland, the European Union, Russia and NATO are the central
actors in security development in Europe. They are all in a state of transformation
and affect security and stability in Finland's environs in northern Europe.
Finland supports the stability of northern Europe and of the entire continent
by maintaining and developing a national defence, which is credible relative to
its security environment.
the preparatory phase of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), which later
led to the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997, Finland and Sweden took an active role
to include the so-called Petersberg tasks (humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping
tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peace
enforcement) in the tasks of the European Union. The Finnish-Swedish initiative
paved the way for developing the Common European Security and Defence Policy in
the Cologne and Helsinki European Council meetings in 1999.
supports a strong EU and participates constructively in developing the Union's
security and defence policy. Finland's commitment in developing the EU's crisis
management capabilities complements the work already done for years with the UN
and through NATO's Partnership for Peace Programme. While Finland continues to
closely co-operate with these organisations, it also contributes to the EU's
possibilities to prevent and react to crises and thus to strengthening the EU's
position as an international actor (from Security and defence policy, written
for Virtual Finland by Janne Kuusela, adviser; Ministry of Defence,
International Defence Policy Unit).
does not believe that Russia would increase its security, nor make its
neighbors more safe, by isolating itself from the rest of Europe. For this
reason Finland some time ago supported Russian membership in the Council of
same reason Finland is now actively participating in European Union-sponsored
assistance programs in Russia.
also believe that the first round of Russian presidential elections was a
victory for democratic development in Russia. It is another contribution to
stability in all of Europe. When stability and predictability inside Russia
increase, the chances for more intensive cooperation increase as well. For one
thing, this means that such open issues as NATO enlargement, the stipulations
of the CFE treaty, and Russia's relations with its neighbors, especially with
the Baltic States, can be a matter of negotiation, not one of confrontation
(from Security in a Changing Europe: A Finnish View Minister of Defense of
Finland Anneli Taina).
IV. Finnish and Swedish
Security - Comparing National Policies
main conclusions can be drawn from the preceding analysis of Finnish and
even though Finland and Sweden are neighbours and share histories and values,
they have had different perceptions of security and they pursued different security
policies in the inter-war period as well as during the Cold War even though the
countries were known as the Nordic neutrals.
much has changed since 1989. As a result of the end of the Cold War, the
Finnish and Swedish security policies are today in many respects closer to each
other than they have ever been before.
geopolitics explains many of the differences and similarities between Swedish
and Finnish security policies. Despite the geographical and cultural affinity,
geopolitics divided Finland and Sweden for the greater part of the twentieth
century. The single most important factor was the Soviet Union. In fact, it is
impossible to understand the policies pursued by Sweden and Finland without
taking into consideration the strength and security interests of the eastern
great power. The geopolitical shift caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union
and its effect, in particular, on Finland's international position have created
more equal opportunities for Swedish and Finnish security policies. Still, even
though the Cold War is now over, the presence of Russia influences Northern
European security and makes it distinct from security in many other regions of
Europe. Russia has retreated from its historical position in Central Europe and
is now far removed from the Balkans, but it is still very much a neighbour to
the Nordic and Baltic states.
even though the Nordic "sisters" pursued different policies in the
inter-war period and during the Cold War, Swedish and Finnish securities were
of the geographical affinity, Swedish policy affected Finnish security and vice
versa. Both countries took this relationship into consideration while shaping
their respective policies. This interdependence still exists today. To some
extent, it now also includes the Baltic states.
Finland and Sweden have committed themselves to the Common Foreign and Security
Policy of the Union. As a consequence, neutrality has de facto been redefined
in both countries to mean military non-alignment. Finland and Sweden take part
in the deepening of the CFSP and in the development of the ESDF but they draw a
distinction between crisis management and common defence. While the former is
to be developed and pursued, the latter remains unacceptable to them.
Maintaining the status of military non-alignment also determines policies
towards NATO. Sweden and Finland regard the presence of the US and NATO in
Northern Europe as important factors for balancing Russian power and they
co-operate increasingly with the Alliance, but they have no intention of
joining NATO at the moment. Public opinion remaining decidedly sceptical
towards NATO membership is, for both, one of the key factors behind this
Russia remains important for Finnish and Swedish security. It is in the
interests of both Sweden and Finland to work against new dividing lines
emerging in Northern Europe. The reinforcement of the independence and
international position of the Baltic states is also in the interest of Sweden
and Finland, and both are pushing for Baltic EU memberships.
geopolitical shift caused by the end of the Cold War changed the relationship
between Finland and Sweden. Due to EU membership, Finland is no longer that
dependent on Sweden and the countries can formulate their security policies
more as equal partners. While Finland has moved to where Sweden has been for a
long time, the Baltic states may now seem to have taken Finland's former place
in this relationship.
Baltics need Finland and Sweden for their security and the strengthening of
Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian independence. The Integration of the Baltic
states into the European and transatlantic institutions is in the interest also
of Finland and Sweden.
independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania increases Finland's and Sweden's
strategic distance from Russia. The reinforcement of their international position
helps to avoid conflicts between the Baltic states and Russia, which could also
easily affect Swedish and Finnish security. Much like the Swedish policy
towards Finland during the Cold War, Finland and Sweden are now trying to
strengthen their own security by strengthening the security of Estonia, Latvia
and Lithuania. They assist the Baltic states to help themselves - also by
developing self-defence capabilities, push for their integration into Europe,
and avoid taking measures that could complicate the position of the Baltic
of the constraints for Finnish and Swedish NATO membership has stemmed from the
position of the Baltic states. Were Finland and Sweden to join NATO without the
Baltic states, it could be assumed to increase Russian pressure on the Baltic
states and consequently decrease Swedish and Finnish security. Even if Sweden
and Finland recognise the importance of Baltic independence to their security,
they are not willing to commit themselves to take responsibility for the security
of the Baltic states. Finland and Sweden do not consider themselves capable of
taking on such a responsibility and emphasise, therefore, the importance of
linking Baltic Sea security to European and transatlantic security.
recent developments, such as the possibility of NATO heading for a "Big
Bang" enlargement process towards the East starting in 2002, the Nordics
should obviously not put up (or be seen as putting up) obstacles in the way of
Baltic NATO membership.
the increasing similarity between the Finnish and Swedish security policies,
there are still differences. Sweden shifted somewhat earlier than Finland
towards open support for Baltic independence and by first taking the decision
to apply for EU membership, while Finland seems to have moved ahead of Sweden
later in integrating itself into the EU and in establishing links with NATO.
Today, however, both countries co-operate extensively with NATO, with Sweden
now going full speed ahead in converting its Cold War anti-invasion defence
into a flexible and fully NATO compatible national and international projection
Sweden strongly underlined three issues – enlargement of the Union, engaging EU
citizens in the activities and future of the Union, and environmental issues,
to be handled by the Union members together - Finland sees itself putting more
emphasis than Sweden on deepening the EU and in belonging to the core of the
and historical experiences help to explain these differences. Finland has a
long border with Russia, whose future is uncertain, and changes in Russia would
more directly affect Finland than Sweden.
protection is one of the motivations of Finland's policy on the EU and NATO.
Membership of the EU, deepening the Union and co-operation with NATO, while
still retaining the basic structure of its anti-invasion defence, are regarded
in Finland as useful means to move the relationship with Russia into a
multilateral context, to create reciprocity and to prepare for receiving
brief, although Finland and Sweden have taken similar steps in their security
policies since the Cold War, the motivations for their policies are not
entirely identical. The future relationship between Finnish and Swedish
security policies will depend on their membership of the European Union. The
relationship between their security policies will, however, also depend on the
situation in Russia. If Russia moves closer to Europe and becomes a benign
power, it is probable that the common elements in the two security policies -
based upon their common history and geographical affinity -will be emphasised.
If, on the other hand, things start to go fundamentally wrong in Russia,
Finland and Sweden may be more likely to drift apart with their security policy
choices. (from Finnish and Swedesh Security- Comparing National Policies, Bo
Huldt, Teija Tiilikainen, Tapani Vaahtoranta and Anna Helkama-Rågård)
1. Security and defence policy,
written for Virtual Finland by Janne Kuusela, adviser; Ministry of Defence,
International Defence Policy Unit;
2. Security in a Changing Europe: A
Finnish View Minister of Defense of Finland Anneli Taina;
3. Finnish and Swedesh Security-
Comparing National Policies, Bo Huldt, Teija Tiilikainen, Tapani Vaahtoranta
and Anna Helkama-Rågård.