The President of the Republic approved the amendments to the legislation on the provision and reception of international assistance by the Defence Forces
The President of the Republic has approved, on 28 June 2017, the amendments to the following acts: the Act on the Defence Forces, the Territorial Surveillance Act and the Conscription Act. The Acts will enter into force on 1 July 2017.
The new Act on Decision-making on the Provision of and Request for International Assistance and the amendments concerning international operation of the Ministry of the Interior's branch of government are part of the legislative package which was adopted at the same time.
The focus of the new legislation is on implementing the obligations of the EU solidarity clause and the mutual assistance clause and on ensuring that Finland has appropriate readiness to provide and receive international assistance.
Reception of assistance
Provisions concerning the reception of international assistance were included in the Act on the Defence Forces. After consulting the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence can request assistance that falls within the mandate of the Defence Forces from another state, the EU or an international organisation, unless otherwise provided in the Act on Decision-making on the Provision of and Request for International Assistance. For territorial surveillance, the Defence Forces can require assistance from military authorities of another country.
Provision of assistance
The Defence Forces' participation in providing international assistance has been changed so that it will be possible to provide assistance more extensively than what would be possible with another Finnish authority. In the future, assistance falling within the mandate of the Defence Forces can be provided to another state, the EU or an international organisation.
In addition, the limitations concerning the provision of assistance only by equipment, material or expert assistance have been removed and it will be possible to also use force while providing assistance.
Position of personnel
The personnel participating in providing international assistance or in other type of international activities is in an employment relationship or public service relationship at the Defence Forces. This refers in the first place to the personnel in the Defence Forces who is committed to contributing to international activities. Also reservists are allowed to take part in international tasks.
A person liable for military service who is in active service as a conscript or participating in reservist training may be assigned to a brief period of service abroad if he or she has given an express consent. Conscripts in active service are still not allowed to take part in tasks involving armed enforcement or other similarly dangerous tasks.
Inquiries: Hanna Nordström, Director of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Defence, tel. + 358 0295 140600.