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  • Author: Toivo Martikainen, Katri Pynnöniemi, Sinikukka Saari
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia has perceived itself as a great power and has sought international acknowledgement of its status for years. The fact that Moscow regards the post-Soviet space as its sphere of ‘privileged interests’ and the sovereignty of the other post-Soviet states as subordinate to Russia’s national interests is nothing new. Likewise, Russia has persistently objected to the dominant role played by the US in world politics, and the enlargement of NATO. It has attempted to influence the security policy orientation and political choices made by post-Soviet states, and other states neighbouring Russia, such as Finland. These goals are well-established and are likely to remain fundamentally un- changed for years to come.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Finland
  • Author: Katri Pynnöniemi, Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Mika Aaltola, Kristi Raik
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: New turbulence in the international environment is pushing Estonia and Finland closer together in the foreign and security policy domain. The Ukraine crisis has re-introduced old geopolitical constraints and concerns about national security and sovereignty, limiting the room for manoeuvre for small states. Estonia and Finland took similar positions on many key issues regarding the Ukraine crisis. The common ground is based on both countries' attachment to the liberal world order and Western structures. However, there are deep-rooted differences between the Estonian and Finnish positions on the way to handle Russia and the need to adjust security arrangements, notably the role of NATO in the Nordic-Baltic region. It is common in Finland to see Estonia's approach as unhelpfully hawkish, and common in Estonia to see Finland's approach as too accommodating towards Russia. Shared interests stem from an understanding that the weakening of the security of one country inevitably weakens the security of the other. As both countries are investing more in national security and defence, relevant bilateral cooperation is increasing.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Estonia
  • Author: Tuomas Iso-Markku
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: It has long been acknowledged that the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) act in a complex political setting. They represent national parties and are elected nationally, and their campaigns are often built around domestic issues. However, in the European Parliament (EP), the MEPs mostly work within transnational party groups, which form the main channel through which they can influence European decision-making. Although most national parties have affiliated themselves to party groups with similar ideological leanings, the views of the MEPs' national parties and their European party groups do not always overlap. In such situations, the MEPs are forced to choose between their different 'principals'. This raises several questions: Who do the MEPs ultimately represent? To what degree do domestic political factors and national concerns condition their behaviour in the EP? And to what extent do the political cleavages in the EP reflect the conflict lines in national politics?
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Charly Salonius-Pasternak
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Finland and Sweden are increasing their bilateral defence cooperation. Officially, it is restricted to peacetime and international crisis management operation activities, but it nonetheless has national territorial defence impacts. The planned deepening of cooperation between Finland and Sweden builds on the already extensive daily cooperation between the two countries. Both Finland and Sweden see deeper cooperation as an important addition to cooperation within the EU, NATO, and NORDEFCO frameworks, as well as other significant bilateral cooperative relationships. Fruitful cooperation will require strengthening trust among military and political actors, as well as an acknowledgement of differing perspectives regarding the role of the defence industry in security and defence policy formation. Cooperation may continue to deepen as the momentum for it builds, or through a binding agreement developing into a defence alliance – Defence Alliance Finland-Sweden (DAFS).
  • Political Geography: Finland, Sweden
  • Author: Harri Mikkola, Jukka Anteroinen, Ville Lauttamäki
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The European defence industrial base is transforming. The changes in the European defence market legislation, the decrease in defence materiel demand and changing defence requirements are redefining the industry in a way that has not been seen in decades. The new European legislation in particular poses serious challenges for the Finnish defence industry, including the national market opening and the diminishing possibility for offset arrangements. It is likely that the major European states are trying to protect their own defence industrial base. The future of the Finnish defence industry will be determined by whether the European market opens up in the first place, in part or in its entirety. There is no going back to the time preceding the new legislation. It is crucial for the Finnish defence industry to find and utilize new market opportunities. Networking with the European system integrators and sub-contracting chains will be of paramount importance.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Touko Piiparinen, Ville Brummer (eds.)
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The purpose of this report is to explore the contemporary dynamics of peace mediation with a view to three specific objectives. First, it aims to identify the distinctive characteristics of global peace mediation and the roles played by different actors, particularly governments, NGOs and regional organisations, in mediation processes. It also describes the new forms of co-operation between these actors and analyse the challenges and opportunities of the new co-operation frameworks in global peace mediation.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Non-Governmental Organization, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Finland
  • Author: Timo Behr, Charly Salonius-Pasternak
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: States which contribute to various international efforts in Afghanistan will find it increasingly difficult to balance a need to show long-term commitment with an unpredictable political and quickly changing operating environment. Recent events in Afghanistan are threatening to undermine the plans for an orderly transition of security responsibilities to Afghan authorities by the end of 2014. Countries must be ready to adjust contributions in both size and task during both 2012 and 2013. Germany has pledged to only gradually withdraw its forces and maintain its focus on partnering and training, despite an increasingly unstable environment. Current planning also foresees a German commitment in the post-2014 period. Finland will increasingly focus on civilian crisis management efforts and development assistance, and will stay engaged and committed as long as its closest partners also do so. Sweden is set to continue leading a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), but post-2014 commitments are unclear. The United States is set to return to 'pre-surge' force levels (though with a different force structure) of around 68,000 soldiers by autumn 2012. Further withdrawals of up to 30,000 soldiers are being discussed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Peace Studies, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Finland, Germany, Sweden
  • Author: Hanna Ojanen, Barbara Zanchetta
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The increasing tension around the Iranian nuclear programme and the uncompromising positions of the protagonists have made the goal of creating a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East seem utopic. Yet, the current strategy of maintaining a low profile in the discussions on the zone, while keeping the focus exclusively on Iran, is not likely to lead to progress. Instead, combining the Iranian question with the zone and enlarging the content and scope of the negotiations even further by including Iran's neighbours could be a better strategy. Turkey could play a key role because of its unique relations with Iran, and because of its strong quest for a more prominent international position — if it can only strike the right balance between the role of lead actor and team player. Turkish-Iranian relations could notably inspire the consideration of accompanying pragmatic agreements on regional cooperation in other fields as a way forward for the upcoming Middle East disarmament negotiations in Finland.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Finland
  • Author: Kaisa Korhonen, Juha Jokela
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Finnish parliamentary elections in spring 2011 were marked by a landslide victory for the Eurosceptic (True) Finns Party. Such an unprecedented upswing for anti-integrationist voices was expected to reshape Finland's EU policy. The Finns Party did not join the government, however, and the party has mainly influenced Finnish EU policymaking while in opposition, and indirectly through public opinion-building. While outright anti-integrationist rhetoric remains on the margins of national public debate, more critical approaches to EU politics have become increasingly pronounced. Political parties have, to varying degrees, adapted their rhetoric and policies to the changing environment. Importantly, the broad consensus on EU affairs in Finland has broken down, at least temporarily. The EU has featured high on the agendas of the recent election campaigns as well as in opposition politics. This has affected Finland's official position too. It has moved in a more cautious and self-contained direction, although the country remains a pro-integrationist member state.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Charly Salonius-Pasternak
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Finland's decision to acquire advanced semi-stealthy Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) from the United States is much more than an arms deal – it has significant political and regional military implications. Finland is only the second country to be approved for JASSM. No NATO country has ever received such approval. This suggests something about the closeness of the relationship between the United States and Finland, as well as something about how the United States sees European and regional defence arrangements. In the web of multilateral, multinational and bilateral relationships that Finland is weaving to enhance its security, the US relationship is a key cable The JASSM acquisition significantly changes Finland's ability to disrupt enemy activities, both within Finland and beyond its borders. Despite being a conventional weapon, it will serve as a deterrent. Finnish decision-makers have a responsibility to understand both the implications of the new capabilities, and to ensure that the continued development of the Finnish Defence Forces is not inhibited due to misunderstandings of what a modern defence requires and consists of.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Finland