Press Releases 2012

20.12.2012 14:21

Minister Carl Haglund on the new Security and Defence Policy report

chOn Thursday 20 December, the Government submitted to Parliament a report on Finnish security and defence policy 2012. Defence Minister Carl Haglund is pleased to note that the report was completed through good cooperation between various administrative branches, political decision-makers and officials. Cooperation with all political parties in the parliament was also highly constructive.

Although the number of military threats against Finland has diminished the use of military means and a threat to use them cannot be completely excluded. "Therefore it is important that we maintain a defence capability also in the future to repel any armed aggression", says minister Haglund. According to him, Finland should also prepare for countering other threats when the situation so requires.

One of the most significant new focuses in the report is on the increasingly important international defence materiel cooperation. "We are more and more dependent on international cooperation", says minister Haglund. International defence cooperation and participation in military crisis management strengthen, for their part, Finland?s defence capability; minister Haglund notes that Nordic defence cooperation in particular plays an important role.

He is concerned about the financing of the activities of the Defence Forces in the second half of the 2010s: "According to an estimate drawn up in defence administration, the need for extra financing which is required to maintain defence capability in particular will be about 50 million EUR in 2016 and, by 2020, it will have risen progressively to 150 million EUR a year ? on top of index-based increases."

By the 2020s, a static defence budget would lead to a situation where the Defence Forces would no longer be capable of handling their set tasks. Activities would have to be prioritised and basic choices would have to reassessed. As a result of the weakening financial situation and prevailing uncertainty, it is not possible to change the future spending limits now. The future government will have to assess, for its part, the situation again.

As to the development of defence, minister Haglund underlines that the strategic basic choices of Finnish defence remain unchanged. These include general conscription for men, territorial defence that covers the entire country, and military non-alignment. It is important to remember that the balance between the resources and tasks of the Defence Forces is today more important than ever before.

As military national defence is a vital part of comprehensive security in society, also defence administration is required to network more extensively with society and the business community than before. "To safeguard sufficient resilience to crisis it is important to find means with which the support from society?s resources and the contributions of international cooperation to military national defence will be secured", minister Haglund concludes.

For more details, please contact Senior Staff Officer Hannu Ojala (0295 140331), Special Assistant Patrik Gayer (0295 140106) and Director for Public Policy Jyrki Iivonen (0295 140120).

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