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The stability of neighbouring areas, the EU as a security community and Finland’s international position

Finland strives to promote stability in theNordic and Baltic Sea region. The strengthening of Nordic security policy cooperation, especially with Sweden, is significant for Finland. Estonia and the other Baltic States are important partners for Finland in the EU, bilaterally and as part of cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.

Finland is active in making effective use of the Arctic region and advocates for the development of Arctic cooperation as one priority of the EU’s external relations.

The tightened security situation, brought on by Russia’s actions and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, has far-reaching impacts on relations between the EU and Russia and on Europe’s security. Finland contributes to resolving the crisis in Ukraine. Finland also supports the stabilisation of Ukraine and the reforms it requires. The improvement of relations between the EU and Russia is desirable, but cooperation must be based on respect for international law and international commitments.

Finland complies with the European Union’s Common positions on Russia. Finland maintains relations with Russia that are as broad and functional as prevailing conditions allow.

The EU is an important security community for Finland, and EU membership connects Finland to the Western community of values. The most important task of the European Union is to safeguard peace, security, prosperity and the rule of law on our continent. The EU’s international influence, the strengthening of which serves Finland’s interests, requires that the Union acts with one voice in external policy.

Owing to the changed security environment, it is increasingly important for Finland to promote the strengthening of the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, and as part of this, the Common Security and Defence Policy and reform of the Union’s security strategy.

The EU’s enlargement policy must require strict compliance with the criteria. Development of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership in particular is important for the stability and prosperity of Europe.

As part of the EU and the international community, Finland exerts influence in controlling the flows of migration and refugees coming from Europe and conflict areas and in resolving the root causes of the Southern Neighbourhood’s instability.

Finland directs strong support to the countries of origin of migration and refugee flows, and to strengthening the capacity of transit countries. The point of departure is to secure and respect the basic and human rights of migrants in accordance with international obligations.

Finland strengthens wide-ranging trans-Atlantic cooperation both bilaterally and through the EU. It is important for Finland to maintain the United States’ interest in European security and commitment to multilateral cooperation.

The changed security situation has increased the activity of NATO in Finland’s neighbouring areas. Practical NATO partnership is important for Finland and is further strengthened. Finland maintains the option of seeking NATO membership, and will assess the effects of Finland’s possible NATO membership in connection with the Government’s report on foreign and security policy. 

In its comprehensive concept of security, Finland takes into account both the overlapping of internal and external security and climate change and other global challenges. Participation in international cooperation is also a basic precondition for Finland’s security.

Finland continues active participation in international crisis management. Coordination of military and civilian crisis management with development cooperation, humanitarian aid and mediation is stressed. Security and stability are also strengthened through arms control and conflict prevention measures.

Strengthening the key principles of international law and the UN Charter is of paramount importance in preventing both traditional and new threats from terrorism to cyber attacks and hybrid influence.

Increasing attention is paid to the empowerment of individuals and the rise of non-state actors in foreign and security policy.

This document

Updated 10/29/2015

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