Territorial sovereignty is an essential element in national sovereignty. Finland’s territorial sovereignty is constantly monitored and to secure it, force will be used if necessary. The goals of territorial surveillance at the national borders are to prevent, discover and clear up territorial infringements and violations of territorial sovereignty whereas elsewhere in Finland the goal is to prevent activities which could endanger military security. Territorial surveillance is divided in ground surveillance, sea surveillance and air surveillance.

In matters pertaining to the Territorial Surveillance Act, the Ministry of Defence is the highest authorising body. It decides on the use of military force to secure territorial sovereignty and it steers the territorial surveillance authorities of the Defence Forces.

In territorial surveillance the goal of defence policy is to lead and coordinate the activities of authorities in matters related to the application of the Territorial Surveillance Act. Knowledge and know-how about territorial surveillance is compiled and disseminated through coordination which also makes political decision-making possible in territorial surveillance projects. Through coordination it is ensured that projects and activities do not overlap.

As to developing the situation picture in international territorial surveillance, the objective of defence policy is to strengthen networking, secure the interests and scope of action of Finland and improve security in air travel and sea traffic. Readiness to prevent asymmetric threats is improved by taking actively part in development work and extensive cooperation between authorities.

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