Press Releases 2018

29.11.2018 13:36

Government’s proposal on reliability requirements for military posts when close links to another state may be involved

The Government submitted today a proposal to Parliament, which defines reliability requirements when a person is appointed to a military post in the Defence Forces. Appointments to military posts would only be available to persons who have no citizenship in or close links to another state that could constitute a danger to the state security, general security, national defence or Finland’s international relations.

The same requirements would apply to persons who are selected for studies at the National Defence University that lead to officer posts or for military posts and border official training at the Border Guard.

As for reliability, it is vital to assess whether links to another state mean that the person can be inappropriately influenced. 

This must be considered also from the point of the person’s own status and protection; he or she may face a conflict situation where the nearest and dearest are threatened with violence or he or she is otherwise pressured into acting in a manner contrary to his or her duties.

As Minister Niinistö notes, it is important to be able to prevent access to military posts in the Defence Forces by persons whose close links to another state could harm national security. - There are states whose citizens are obliged, despite their dual citizenship, to assist the security authorities of that state by a threat of punishment. In addition to security clearances, the Government’s proposal provides a new tool to intervene in situations where national security might be at risk while respecting the freedoms of citizens.

According to Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen, it is important to prevent links that could impose risks for Finland or the person in question. - When assessing the significance of foreign links and dual citizenship, the practices of the foreign state and the nature and duration of the links could have an impact. For example, a dual citizenship between Finland and another Nordic country would not prevent anyone from seeking a military post in the future, says Minister Mykkänen.

 The proposal would amend the Act on the Defence Forces, Act on the National Defence University and Act on the Administration of the Border Guard. The objective is that the acts would enter into force in the course of 2019.

Inquiries: Jenni Herrala, Senior Adviser for Legal Affairs, Ministry of Defence, tel. +295 295 140 072, and Ari-Pekka Koivisto, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 295 42 1601.

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