Participation in international crisis management is an element in Finland’s active foreign, security and defence policy. Finland takes part in international crisis management activities led by the UN, the OSCE, the EU and Nato.


Solving international crises improves Finland’s security environment and participation in crisis management cooperation supports also national security. Finland aims at strengthening participation in international activities with a comprehensive approach where the means of military and civilian crisis management are used to respond to the needs emerging in crisis situations and international operations. In the future, more and more attention will be paid to the influence of crisis management with the aim to develop its assessment.

Finland focuses on supporting the security structures and rule of law in the crisis areas and on training security actors. In addition to participating in operations, Finland invests increasingly in exporting knowhow in military crisis management training. The aim is to strengthen the crisis-management capability in emerging states.

Participation in international crisis management or peacekeeping activities has become an important part of Finland’s security policy. Since 1956, Finland has participated in over 40 peacekeeping or crisis-management operations. Finland has also taken on the command of important operations. The Ministry of Defence is responsible for political preparation, steering and monitoring of participation in military crisis management as well as for ensuring resources when the tasks do not fall within the remit of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Defence Forces are responsible for the practical preparations and implementation of crisis-management activities. Separate from other activities of the administrative branches, participation in crisis-management operations is financed from appropriations that are allocated to the main titles of expenditure of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Participation in crisis management requires multifaceted capabilities. Finland develops internationally compatible and multifaceted military capabilities which meet high standards of quality and takes actively part in international crisis management and multinational exercises. Resources that are allocated to national defence are mainly used also for military crisis management.

Finland’s readiness to participate in crisis management activities is based on maintaining a number of different types of troops and on preliminary deployment of personnel and materiel reserves. Finnish international stand-by force has been entered into the UN, EU and Nato registers. A Finnish crisis management force is then generated, equipped and trained on the basis of the requirements of each operation.

A need for increasingly multiform and demanding military crisis-management activities can be seen in the international operating environment. Crisis management requires more flexibility and faster reaction time than before as well as continuous adaptation to the changing security situation. This means that also Finland needs to adopt new modes of operation. In addition to the existing capabilities, Finland invests in developing specialised skills and units. Consequently, specialisation and developing the international crisis management capacity further require even closer multinational cooperation and rapid response capability.

According to the Act on Military Crisis Management, Finland may participate in military crisis management authorised by the UN or the OSCE, and support or protect humanitarian assistance operations with military resources. The Act on Military Crisis Management will not be applied to peace enforcement operations.

Participation in a new operation always requires a separate national decision. The President of the Republic makes the decision on the proposal by the Government. Before the proposal is put forward the Government must hear the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament. If the authorisation to use force in a crisis management operation was more extensive than that of a traditional crisis management operation the Government would have to hear the entire Parliament by submitting a report to it.

For additional information on Finland’s participation in peacekeeping operations please see

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