Finland and Crisis Management

By Ministry of Defence, Finland

Participation in international crisis management is a part of Finland’s active foreign and security policy. Finland participates in international crisis management activities led by the UN, the EU, NATO, the OSCE and international coalitions.

Participation in crisis management is seen as a contribution to international responsibility sharing. Resolving international crises improves Finland’s security environment and participation in crisis management cooperation will also support our country’s national security. Finland’s aim is to strengthen its participation in international activities in a comprehensive manner, in which military and civilian crisis management instruments are used in accordance with the special needs of crises and international operations.

In the future, attention will be increasingly paid to the effectiveness of crisis management and its assessment will be developed.

Finland emphasises the significance of support to the existing security structures in crisis areas, to the development of rule of law and training of security actors. The objective is to strengthen the target countries’ own capabilities.

Participation in international military crisis management and peacekeeping has become an important part of Finland’s security policy. Since 1956, Finland has participated in more than forty peacekeeping or crisis management operations and it has been entrusted with important tasks in operation management.

The Ministry of Defence is responsible for the political preparation, steering and monitoring of military crisis management participation and for ensuring resources unless the tasks fall within the competence of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Defence Forces are responsible for the practical preparation and implementation of military crisis management duties.

Participation in crisis management operations is financed separately from the main title appropriations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence, which are separate from the other appropriations of the administrative branches. Participation in crisis management requires diverse capabilities.

While developing internationally compatible and diverse military capabilities that meet high quality requirements, Finland takes actively part in international crisis management and multinational exercises. As military crisis management mainly uses the same resources that have been allocated to national defence, participation in crisis management provides valuable experience.

The readiness to participate is based on maintaining different types of troops; at a preliminary phase, suitable personnel can be found from a pool of volunteers and materiel reservation is based on experiences gained. Finland’s Rapid Deployment Force has been entered in the force registers of the UN, the EU and NATO. Based on the types of troops maintained, a Finnish crisis management team to be deployed is set up, equipped and trained in line with the requirements of each operation.

In an international environment, the need for more diverse and demanding military crisis management has increased. Crisis management requires even greater flexibility, speed of response and continuous adaptation to the changing security situation. This also requires Finland to adopt new practices. In addition to existing capabilities, Finland will invest in developing capabilities and units requiring specialisation. In addition to specialisation, the further development of international crisis management capabilities requires closer multinational cooperation and rapid response.

Under the Act on Military Crisis Management, Finland can participate under the mandate of the UN Security Council, or exceptionally in other international military crisis management. In addition, Finland can contribute with military resources to humanitarian assistance or to protecting such operations. The Act on Military Crisis Management does not apply to military activities carried out under Article 51 of the UN Charter.

Participation in a new operation always requires a separate decision at the national level. The decision to participate is usually made by the President of the Republic on a Government proposal. Before submitting the proposal, the Government shall consult the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

After consulting the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence may decide to second individual military personnel to military tasks of limited nature in military crisis management or similar tasks in other international crisis management. If the crisis management operation is particularly demanding in military terms or it is not based on the UN Security Council mandate, the Government must consult the entire Parliament by submitting a report.

Published December 4, 2020.