On Wednesday 13 April, the Government adopted a report on changes in the security environment and submitted it to Parliament for consideration. The report assesses fundamental changes in Finland’s foreign and security policy environment following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The report does not include any conclusions or present new security policy guidelines.
The war of aggression started by Russia is a blatant violation of international law and jeopardises the security and stability of the whole of Europe both over the short and long term. Russia’s aggression is also a violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The report describes this change. Finland will strengthen its preparedness and security in response to the changes in the operating environment.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto has led the Government-appointed coordination group and the foreign and security policy group in the preparation of the report. The foreign, security and defence policy section was discussed in meetings with the President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy.
In addition, the Ministerial Working Group on Preparedness, the Ministerial Working Group on Internal Security and Strengthening the Rule of Law, and the Ministerial Working Group on the Digital Transformation the Data Economy and Public Administration deliberated other areas of the report.
“The report assesses the consequences of the changed security environment for Finland. The report is intended to provide Parliament the opportunity to engage in a broad and thorough debate on foreign, security and defence policy. Parliament is expected to respond to the report by issuing a parliamentary communication. This means the matter will then be referred back to the Government and the President of the Republic for consideration,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto.
Finland is strengthening its security
The changed security environment calls for a reassessment of security policy. “In response to the changed security situation, Finland will continue active and proactive diplomacy, strengthen its security and its defence capability and intensify its long-term cooperation with key partners. Finland makes its foreign and security policy decisions independently,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto.
The report examines actions to develop our national defence capability, the European Union as a security policy actor and closer bilateral cooperation with Sweden, Norway and other Nordic countries. It also discusses our relationship with the United States, the United Kingdom, NATO and our multilateral defence cooperation partners. The report describes the opportunities these forms of cooperation and partnerships provide Finland in the current security situation.
The role of the EU as a player in foreign policy, security policy and defence policy has strengthened. The more unified and stronger the EU is, the more secure is Finland’s position.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland has further deepened cooperation with NATO. Finland considers it important that NATO has consistently reaffirmed its open door policy.
The report also presents an assessment the effects on Finland if Finland were to seek membership and describes the possible accession process. Maintaining national room to manoeuvre and freedom of choice remain integral parts of Finland’s foreign, security and defence policy. Finland retains the option of joining a military alliance and applying for NATO membership. Solutions are always examined in real time.
The importance of society’s resilience and preparedness is highlighted
The report also describes preparedness for hybrid and cyber influence activities as well as the effects on and preparedness relating to internal security, civil defence, resilience, the economy, security of supply, the wider functions of society and critical infrastructure. The importance to Finland’s security of maintaining resilience in society, national defence and internal security is highlighted.
The active security policy debate in Finland is likely to be reflected in attempts to exert influence. The threshold for externally exerting influence on Finnish society will be heightened by means of preparedness in different administrative branches in line with the model for comprehensive security and by means of citizens’ resilience to crisis.
The report complements the Government Report on Finnish Foreign and Security Policy, Government Defence Report, Government Report on Internal Security, and Government Report on EU Policy.
Information on the handling of the report in Parliament is available on the Parliament website.
- Johanna Sumuvuori, State Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 983
- Joel Linnainmäki, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 466
- Esa Pulkkinen, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, tel. +358 295 140 120 (via Director of Communications Niina Hyrsky)
- Secretariat for the Government report on changes in the security environment:
- Lauri Hirvonen, Counsellor, tel. +358 295 350 063, email@example.com
- Salla Sammalkivi, Counsellor, tel. +358 295 350 020, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Karoliina Honkanen, Defence Policy Adviser, Ministry of Defence, tel. +358 295 140 354, firstname.lastname @gov.fi