The Security Policy Significance of EU Membership for Finland
I. The European Union and Finnish Security
Finland's membership in the European Union is a pragmatic line of action
in security policy. EU membership gives Finland new opportunities for
influencing change and stability in its security environment. The
importance of membership for Finnish security depends on Finland's own
contribution. Finland's military security remains its own
As a member of the EU, Finland has full powers and opportunities for
influencing the decisions taken in a community of democratic states
aiming to build lasting security.
Since the end of the East West division, the policy of neutrality that
Finland followed in the Cold War is no longer a viable line of action.
During the Cold War, Finland tried to avoid making political, and
especially military, commitments that might have drawn it into conflicts
between the great powers. In the new situation, Finland's strategy is an
active participation in international political and security cooperation
for prevention and resolution of security problems.
Finland has not made any security policy reservations concerning its
obligations under its founding treaties or the Maastricht Treaty.
Finland has joined the Union as a militarily nonaligned country which
wishes to play an active and constructive role in creating and
implementing a common foreign and security policy.
The EU is not a military alliance, nor is it an independent actor in the
field of defence. Those EU Member States that also belong to NATO manage
their defence through the collective defence offered by NATO, while the
militarily nonaligned member states rely on an independent defence.
Despite the provisions of its founding charter, the WEU is not a
fullscale military alliance; the common defence of its members is
managed in coordination with NATO and in practice relies on NATO's
military structures and resources.
Military nonalignment is no obstacle to Finland's pursuit of its
membership objectives, or to the fulfilment of its undertakings. No such
conflict can be found either in the clauses of the Maastricht Treaty or
in Finland's experiences or prospects as a member.
Finland's contribution to conflict prevention and crisis management
strengthens the Union's capacity to promote cooperative security in
Europe. Finland's credible independent defence capability is an
important contribution to the Union's common security. Finland will play
a constructive role in consideration of the defence issue within the
Union, decisions concerning which will be made unanimously among the
member states. Finland is convinced that its own interests and those of
the other member states can be reconciled on this issue.
It is by remaining outside military alliances that Finland under the
present circumstances can best support stability in northern Europe and
thus more widely on the continent as a whole. Considering the special
historical relationship between Sweden and Finland and the similar
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