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  • Author: Matti Pesu
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This Briefing Paper looks into the fundamentals of the Baltic Sea security landscape in the early 2020s. It argues that three interconnected security dynamics shape the present, ‘post-2014’ security environment in Northeastern Europe. That is to say, Russia’s assertive behaviour in the region and in Europe more broadly, NATO’s reassurance and deterrence measures in the area, and Finland’s and Sweden’s closer integration into the Western defence network all affect hard se- curity dynamics in the Baltic Sea region. These three dynamics underlie the tense regional stability that emerged after a period of alarmism and turbulence in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s ac- tions in Ukraine. Fundamentally, the stability is the product of the interplay between the three dynamics. In other words, NATO’s reassurance and deterrence measures accompanied by Finland’s and Sweden’s in- tegration into the Western security and defence system act as a counterweight to Russia’s actions in the region, creating a balance of power holding Russia’s ambitions in check. Investigating the sources of regional balance is rele- vant for multiple reasons. The region remains a poten- tial hotspot between Russia and the West and, thus, it merits close and continuous attention. Moreover, the word ‘stability’ frequently features in foreign policy parlance in Northern Europe, particularly in Finland and Sweden. Given this rhetorical proclivity, attention needs to be paid to the factors that actually constitute stability and the state of hard security in the Baltic Sea area. The paper consists of three analytical parts. First, it provides a brief historical overview of the twists and turns in the regional security landscape from the early post-Cold War era to today. The second part introduces the three dynamics in detail, followed by an analysis of how they are interconnected. The paper concludes by contemplating how regional stability could best be preserved in the 2020s.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Baltic Sea
  • Author: Juha Jokela, Ilari Aula
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU needs to assume more responsibility in defending its interests and security. Brexit will constitute an additional challenge for the EU in this respect, and has led to calls to strengthen the efficiency of the the Common Foreign and Security Policy, including EU sanctions, which currently form one of the toughest and most increasingly used tools in the EU’s foreign policy toolbox. The UK has been the most active and influential member state in formulating the EU’s sanctions policy. The EU could largely replace the technical expertise provided by the UK, yet the level of ambition of the EU’s sanctions policy is likely to decrease. Even though the UK has taken measures to maintain the sanctions regimes it agreed to as an EU member state, an independent UK sanctions policy could result in divergence. The envisaged coordination mechanisms between EU and UK sanctions policies can mitigate some of the negative implications of Brexit, but they cannot replace the UK’s EU membership.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Sanctions, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Charly Salonius-Pasternak
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: To address Covid-19, Finland has activated its Emergency Powers Act for the first time ever. While the outcome remains uncertain, Finland’s plan for how to protect its citizens and vital functions of society has withstood its initial confrontation with reality. The authorities are cooperating with private and third-sector actors to ensure that implementation is effective and to anticipate further steps.
  • Topic: Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Medicine
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Marco Siddi
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Thus far, Italy has been the EU member most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the first one to take drastic measures to fight contagion. The country is now a reference for lessons learned and a test case for solidarity in the EU.
  • Topic: European Union, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Arkady Moshes, Ryhor Nizhnikau
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the Euromaidan Revolution, self-identification and attitudes within Ukrainian society have changed profoundly. This report takes stock of the identity changes both nationwide and in three major oblasts, namely Lviv, Kharkiv and Odesa, representing in this study the Western, Eastern and Southern regions of the country respectively, to identify new differences and unity points. To this end, the report focuses on two major issues, looking firstly at the trajectory of the identity shifts nationwide and in three key regions, and secondly, at their political effects. The question of the sustainability of the changes is also addressed. Taking the regional aspect into consideration is crucial given that cleavages have traditionally had a visible regional pattern, and that the identity shifts coincide with a realignment of centre-periphery relations within the context of the ongoing reforms, particularly decentralization. The report also furthers understanding of the potential risks – or lack thereof – of this process for the Ukrainian state. This publication is part of a research project “Ukraine after Euromaidan” conducted by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. The project is implemented with the financial support of the Nordic Council of Ministers 2020.
  • Topic: Revolution, Local, Decentralization , Identity, Euromaidan Revolution
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Veera Laine, Jussi Lassila
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In Russia, the confirmed Covid-19 infections have been suspiciously few. The official numbers do not reflect reality as there has been no systematic testing at any phase of the epidemic. Now, however, the number of cases has risen rapidly, and the new situation has an effect on the Kremlin’s position in the eyes of the people.
  • Topic: Leadership, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Toni Alaranta
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Turkey’s increasing activity in Africa is part of its new foreign policy doctrine within which Turkey is conceptualized as a global ‘order-producing’ country. The export-oriented companies supporting the AKP constantly seek new markets, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to export his brand of Islamic-conservative ideology to other Muslim-majority countries. Turkish government officials and NGOs emphasize the historical connections between the Ottoman state and the African target countries. Turkey currently plays a key role in the internal affairs of Libya and Somalia, upholding military bases and training programmes. Turkey’s emphasis on humanitarian aid and equality, and the use of government-affiliated NGOs, have produced positive results, but the tendency to see Africa as a terrain for hegemonic power struggles against Egypt and Saudi Arabia is likely to generate negative reactions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Humanitarian Aid, NGOs
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Saila Heinikoski
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Free movement within the Schengen Area has been challenged in recent years by national measures: from internal border checks after the ‘migration crisis’ to the closure of borders in the Covid-19 crisis. This is the first time in the history of Schengen that member states have categorically refused entry to other EU citizens who are not registered residents or cross-border workers. Seventeen Schengen countries have submitted a notification on reintroducing internal border control due to Covid-19: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland. The use of Schengen provisions was creative: 12 states justified their internal border controls as a case requiring immediate action (Art. 28), France and Denmark expanded their already existing internal border controls (Art. 25), Finland appealed to the ‘foreseeable event’ clause (Art. 25), and Slovakia and Poland introduced ‘healthcare-police measures’ (Art. 23) before launching border controls (Art. 28). The crisis illustrates the need to reform Schengen in order to maintain the legitimacy of commonly agreed rules.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, European Union, Public Health, Schengen, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Norway, France, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Estonia, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia
  • Author: Arkady Moshes, Ryhor Nizhnikau, Kristiina Silvan
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The pandemic is testing the effectiveness of the Eurasian Economic Union. However, its actions demonstrate the fundamental flaws of this integration project instead.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Niklas Helwig
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Covid-19 has revealed the risks of Europe’s global dependencies in strategic sectors and intensified the debate on European strategic autonomy. While some argue for a self-sufficient Europe, a smart approach to globalization is in the EU’s interest.
  • Topic: Globalization, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mariette Hagglund
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Changes in the security environment and Sweden’s related policy changes adopted in the early 2000s made large national-level planning and organization unnecessary. This led to a decentralization of Sweden’s crisis preparedness system. Covid-19 is the latest reminder of some of the shortcomings in Sweden’s crisis preparedness. Previous warning signs were the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, and the forest fires in 2014 and 2018. A major effort is currently underway in Sweden to build a streamlined system to respond to the broad scope of vulnerabilities and threats. A functioning crisis preparedness system is not only important in itself, but also as a contribution to Sweden’s total defence efforts. Rebuilding the system, however, will be slow and costly. Sweden’s crisis preparedness system is characterized by a complex authority landscape and discrepancies between sectors and regions. While the Swedish constitution does not allow for exceptions in crises, and ministerial governance is forbidden, the Covid-19 situation may spark a discussion about the need for changes in the legal framework.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Crisis Management, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Sweden
  • Author: Niklas Helwig
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The European Union (EU) increasingly uses sanctions in order to respond to breaches of international norms and adverse security developments in its neighbourhood and beyond. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the current state of EU sanctions and discusses options on how to maintain them as an effective tool. The study identifies the withdrawal of the UK as one of main architects of the instrument and an increasingly unilateral and unpredictable US sanctions policy as key challenges. In addition, the EU’s machinery for planning, deciding, implementing and enforcing sanctions exposes vulnerabilities in an increasingly geopolitical environment. The current shifts in international relations constitute an opportunity to clarify the strategic nature of EU sanctions and to fine-tune the sanctions machinery. EU unity and a joint diplomatic approach to international crises are vital for the success of the policy tool. Consequently, the efforts to improve the instrument need to ensure member states’ ownership of EU sanctions policy. Our economic analysis of Russia sanctions and countermeasures reveals rather minor macroeconomic repercussions for the EU and Finnish economy. The efforts to sharpen EU sanctions policy is important for Finland as one of the smaller and export oriented countries in the EU given the increasingly turbulent world marked by geopolitical competition. This publication is final report of a research project conducted by FIIA and ETLA entitled “Development of EU’s Sanctions Policy: Political and economic implications for Finland”. The project is part of the implementation of the Government Plan for Analysis, Assessment and Research for 2019
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Sanctions, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marco Siddi
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This Working Paper analyses the main aspects of the European Green Deal proposed by the European Commission in December 2019. It puts the Green Deal into the broader context of EU climate governance in order to assess whether and how it advances the EU’s climate agenda. The paper proposes four broad and interrelated categories to evaluate the Green Deal. Its performance depends on whether it is and will remain a policy priority, despite the Covid-19 emergency and the ensuing economic crisis. Second, successful implementation depends on adequate financial endowment, including the shift of public funding from hydrocarbons to renewables and energy efficiency in post-pandemic economic programmes. The legal competence of EU institutions to coordinate and enforce the implementation of the Green Deal is also essential, as highlighted by ongoing discussions concerning the governance to achieve zero net emissions by 2050. Furthermore, international cooperation with third partners on issues such as border carbon adjustment, technology transfers and green industry will influence both the implementation of the Green Deal in the EU and the contribution of other major emitters to the climate agenda.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Charly Salonius-Pasternak
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Defence cooperation between Finland and Sweden has a history that far predates the most recent ‘reignition’ of 2014, and is now deeper than at any time in the past. In 2020, Sweden and Finland can contribute to each other’s defence in an integrated and planned fashion; but any plans are best viewed as being supplementary to national preparations. While the security interests of Finland and Sweden have overlapped historically, cooperation has often been limited due to a combination of domestic drivers and foreign pressures, as well as the nature of the international security system. Yet these same variables are currently permitting even deeper cooperation. Four future paths of cooperation are identifiable, with the most likely being a continuation of bilateral deepening, with added trilateral cooperation with Norway and the United States.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Sweden, Scandinavia
  • Author: Tuomas Iso-Markku, Niklas Helwig
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In view of the pervasiveness of the Covid-19 crisis, Germany has rightly announced that its presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2020 will be a ‘Corona presidency’. However, it will also have to address other immediate issues as well as further longer-term priorities of the EU. The initial phase of the pandemic was characterised by largely uncoordinated member state action. The issues and instruments now on the table, particularly concerning economic recovery, are closer to the core of the EU’s authority, underlining the importance of a successful presidency. Somewhat surprisingly, the Covid crisis has moulded European politics in a way that may facilitate the work of the German presidency. The positions of the member states appear less fixed, whereas the German government itself has more domestic leeway than before the crisis. The political situation in the EU and in Germany remains highly volatile and the presidency’s success depends on factors that are partly out of Berlin’s control: the development of the pandemic, the depth of the economic slump and the public perception of the EU’s and Germany’s crisis management measures.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, European Union, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Tuomas Iso-Markku, Teemu Tammikko
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Terrorism is one of the most significant security threats in Europe. As it is transnational in character, countering it requires both cooperation between EU member states and widespread external action. This report examines the latter by focusing on the concepts, development, actors and structures, as well as the practices of the EU’s external action on counter-terrorism. The EU’s external action on counter-terrorism is performed in four different frameworks: diplomacy, crisis management, external aid, and the external action of the EU’s internal security agencies. All of these have their own policy-making structures with different actors and mandates, and hence the overall picture is complex. Several ongoing institutional reforms add to the complexity. Although the EU’s external action on counter-terrorism has its challenges and limitations, the EU has shown that it is capable of adapting its approach to changing needs. The EU can add value to the counter-terrorism action of its member states by developing and promoting common concepts and practices, maintaining an overview of the threat, and facilitating cooperation with different partners. However, the EU’s external action on counter-terrorism is dependent on the ability of the member states to agree on common goals and the ability of the different EU actors to coordinate their actions. This publication is updated version of the Finnish report published as part of the implementation of the Government Plan for Analysis, Assessment and Research in January 2020.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, European Union, Counter-terrorism, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jyri Lavikainen
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Non-compliance and disputes between Russia and the US resulted in the US exiting the Open Skies Treaty. If Russia withdraws in response, European countries will lose an important source of intelligence.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Intelligence, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Arkady Moshes, Ryhor Nizhnikau
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Alexander Lukashenko’s “victory” in the election cannot bridge the gap between the president and the modern part of Belarusian society. Turbulent times may lie ahead for Belarus. This will require the West to revise its current approach and invest more in supporting forces that want reforms and the country’s Europeanization.
  • Topic: Reform, Elections, Europeanization, Transition
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Belarus
  • Author: Ryhor Nizhnikau
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: During his first year as President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky prioritized presidential power-building. In order to do so, he relied heavily on the old system and established practices, such as “hands-on” management and the personalization of state agencies. Institution-building was replaced by the targeted fine-tuning of the dominant system. Some important reforms launched by the government in autumn 2019 were later stalled and reversed. As before, the adoption and implementation of comprehensive reforms will largely depend on Western pressure and conditionality. The major problem is that there are multiple centres of power in the country and the president’s actions only produce an illusion of control, while in reality the system is fragile and unstable. During the rest of his presidency, Volodymyr Zelensky will increasingly depend on oligarchs and govern through situational alliances. In exchange for their support, he may have to acquiesce to their continued dominance over the economy and the restoration of their influence in politics. Instability will intensify as his personal popularity wanes and economic and political crises deepen.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Leadership, Institutions, State Building, Transition, Elites
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Okko-Pekka Salmimies
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Finland is preparing a Strategic Programme for the Circular Economy this autumn. It offers an opportunity to strengthen policy coherence between domestic policies and different aspects of foreign policy relevant when promoting a circular economy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Scandinavia
  • Author: Jussi Lassila
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Peopleʼs grievances were not reflected in Russia’s regional elections this year. The Kremlin is reaping the benefits of increasingly blatant electoral fraud and citizensʼ political apathy.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Elections, Rigged Elections , Opposition
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Toni Alaranta
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This study analyzes Turkish foreign policy narratives generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and their intellectual and political context provided by Western debates. The approach is based on the assumption that the narratives about the pandemic provide an interesting window through which to observe the long-term fears and hopes concerning international politics in Turkey. The study utilizes Steven Ward’s conceptualization of distributive and normative revisionism as a theoretical framework for analyzing Turkey’s increasingly assertive foreign policy. It also discusses the analytical limits of this concept by introducing the idea of revisionism as a familiar narrative trope in Western International Relations scholarship. The study demonstrates that while Turkey remains loosely attached to its traditional commitment to defend the existing order, it increasingly expresses its dissatisfaction within that order, sometimes pushing it to the limits, and taking action that could even be defined as normative, or radical, revisionism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Revisionism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Matti Pesu, Tuomas Iso-Markku
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Finnish-Swedish defence cooperation has taken significant steps. Currently, the two countries engage in operative planning, which constitutes a significant part of their new cooperation agenda. Although interoperability between the Finnish and Swedish armed forces is crucial for the bilateral defence relationship, the countries should be ‘interoperable’ at the strategic level as well. Neither Finland’s and Sweden’s strategic cultures nor their decision-making systems or legislation are entirely similar. However, military non-alignment, similar threat perceptions and a shared assessment of their security environment facilitate their cooperation. In view of the future, questions remain about the two countries’ readiness to enter mutual defence commitments. There is also a need to ensure that their basic messages concerning the bilateral defence relationship are aligned. Over the longer term, the idea that one’s neighbour is worth defending should be entrenched in the strategic cultures of both states. This requires active nurturing of the already close relations between their national security communities.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Sweden, Scandinavia
  • Author: Tyyne Karjalainen
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The European Union is renewing its Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities after more than a decade. The new concept is being launched at a time when international peace mediation is at risk of lagging behind in the face of accelerating power politics. The United Nations Security Council seems to be paralysed, and many peace processes frozen solid. Regional actors, such as the EU, now have a window of opportunity to strengthen their role, albeit amid difficult circumstances, as learnt, for example, in Ukraine and Syria. This Working Paper suggests that the EU has special abilities to build on in peace mediation, including exceptional resources for capacity-building and mediation support. Capable of harnessing the resources of the member states, civil society and private mediation actors alike, the EU can build tailor-made, multi-level processes for resolving conflicts, and make the essential change-makers pull together. However, there is still room for improvement in EU action, for example in the evaluation of mediation, to which end this research sheds light on several concrete steps that the EU can take in order to optimize its efforts.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, United Nations, European Union, Peace
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Matti Pesu, Tuomas Iso-Markku, Juha Jokela
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This FIIA Finnish Foreign Policy Paper looks at the evolution of Finnish foreign and security policy during the country’s 25 years as an EU member. The paper aims to trace how – and with what kind of consequences – Finnish foreign and security policy has interacted with EU foreign policy during the membership period. More specifically, the study examines the interlinkage between Finnish and EU foreign policy in relation to three different topics: the policy towards and relations with Russia, security and defence, and Finland’s broadening international agenda. The paper argues that the Finnish policy vis-à-vis the three domains is marked by different patterns of continuity and change. However, the rise of a protective agenda in the Finnish policy towards Russia, Finland’s increased boldness in advancing the EU’s security and defence dimension, and the recent emphasis on the Union’s role as a bulwark against geo-economic threats all indicate that the EU’s role in enhancing Finnish security has become a top priority. Indeed, Finland is currently endeavouring to unlock the EU’s potential as a security community.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Finland, Scandinavia
  • Author: Henri Vanhanen
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The government reports on foreign and security policy have become a well-established and recognized practice in which the Government of Finland issues a report generally once during the parliamentary term. The reports can be regarded as comprehensive and strategic documents, whose purpose is to signal the strategic directions of Finland’s present and future policy for both domestic and foreign readers. Regardless of the government reports’ institutionalized role in Finnish foreign and security policy practices, they are not without problems. The main issue with the current report process is linked to the quickly changing operational environment. Thus, a more frequent process such as an annual announcement on foreign and security policy to support the government reports should be considered. It is relevant to ask whether the current tradition of producing reports is the most effective way to outline or signal Finland’s overall foreign and security policy. In order to address the issues of the reporting process, alternative methods to support and evaluate Finland’s foreign and security policy should be considered.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Scandinavia
  • Author: Niklas Helwig
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This Working Paper analyzes the current debate on EU strategic autonomy among European policymakers and think-tankers and evaluates it against the backdrop of the EU’s progress as a global actor in recent years. To bring more clarity to the debate, the paper distinguishes between a conventional and a global perspective on strategic autonomy. While conventional strategic autonomy focuses narrowly on the EU’s dependencies on the US as a security provider, global strategic autonomy highlights the EU’s ability to advance a range of international policies based on its distinct values and interests. The paper proposes three dimensions within which the capacity for EU strategic autonomy should be evaluated: institutional, material, and political. The EU has made progress in the development of its institutional framework and has also started to invest in its material resources. However, without advances in political autonomy – particularly concerning the convergence of European strategic cultures – the sovereign EU in global affairs project will be difficult to achieve.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, European Union, Autonomy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Elina Sinkkonen, Jussi Lassila
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China and Russia are jointly advancing their shared interests in the international arena and are building up cooperation in the tech sector. Despite far-reaching plans, the asymmetry of cooperation in favour of China is increasingly at odds with Russia’s national goals in digital technology. Differences in resources and standpoints are also reflected in the implementation of digital surveillance. China’s surveillance system is sophisticated and extensive whereas Russia’s is largely inconsistent and emerging, as evidenced by the fact that there was virtually no control of the internet in Russia until 2012. While advanced surveillance in authoritarian countries is worrying, technology in strategic sectors is also a key field of increasingly disconcerting great-power competition. As a result of strategic competition, the world is faced with the risk of technological decoupling, which would contribute to further fragmentation of the international community and deepening of existing rivalries.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Authoritarianism, Digital Economy, Surveillance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Kristiina Silvan
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan has embarked on a moderate reform programme that aims to achieve socio-economic growth without undoing the country’s authoritarian political system. The programme has implications beyond Uzbekistan’s borders because it has changed the way Uzbekistani foreign policy is formulated and implemented. Uzbekistan’s former isolationist stance has shifted to a foreign policy opening, which is most noticeable in the improvement of its relations with its neighbours. This Working Paper analyzes “good neighbourliness”, the key concept of Uzbekistan’s new Central Asia policy. It details the amendment of Uzbekistan’s bilateral relations with its neighbours and points to the positive reception of Uzbekistan’s new regional policy in Russia, China, and the West. The paper argues that while “good neighbourliness” is a pragmatic strategy rooted in economic rationality, the policy’s regional implications are substantial. It is laying the necessary foundation for sustainable Central Asian co-operation from within in a way that is acceptable to the Central Asian states and big non-regional actors alike.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Authoritarianism, Reform, Leadership
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Central Asia, Asia, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Saila Heinikoski
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2021, major symbolic changes are expected to be made to European migration and border policies, as Frontex standing corps is established in January and regulations for the New Pact on Migration and Asylum should be adopted by June. The Migration Pact proposed by the Commission in September 2020 would obligate member states to help each other in the event of migratory pressure, disembarkations or situations of crisis. Despite “mandatory solidarity” in the New Pact, there is no common migration policy, but the recognition rates continue to vary from country to country. Whereas common solutions to migration and asylum policy have not been found since 2015, countries were quick to adopt a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard 2019/1896, which stipulates the progressive deployment of Frontex’s own 10,000 European border guards from 2021 onwards. Both migration and border management reforms are symbolically important for European integration, but member states retain their sovereign competence to decide who can stay and who should return.
  • Topic: Migration, Border Control, Asylum, Integration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jyrki Kallio
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China’s recent policy paper on the European Union shows that the country continues to recognize the EU as an important partner in many fields. A new, distressing element is that China has toughened its demands towards the EU to respect its core interests and to refrain from meddling in its internal affairs.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Affairs, European Union, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Teemu Tammikko
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU Commission has proposed that the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, known as Frontex, should have a standing corps of 10,000 operational staff, who could be deployed anywhere in the world to willing host countries. Frontex would emphasize its focus on migration management and returns, and expands its tasks to countering terrorism.The reform would increase Frontex’s operational capabilities, but decrease the role of the member states by centralizing decision-making within the Commission. A partial overlap with the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) instruments, especially with civilian crisis management, could have an impact on the external action of the EU. Since the member states have diverging views on how to improve border security and the role that the Council should have in the decision-making, it is likely that the proposal will face some changes before it can be accepted by the Council and the European Parliament. To this end, the planned timeframe seems unrealistic.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, European Union, European Parliament, Centralization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ryhor Nizhnikau
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Moldovan parliamentary election is not about geopolitical or societal choices; it is about a power grab by oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, and the erosion of pluralism, freedoms and European aspirations under the EU’s watch.
  • Topic: Elections, European Union, Geopolitics, Election watch, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Moldavia
  • Author: Matti Pesu, Ville Sinkkonen
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The transatlantic relationship is undergoing a period of turmoil. President Trump’s unorthodox policies have exacerbated historical sources of mistrust between the U.S. and its European allies. This working paper approaches the transatlantic bond from the perspective of asymmetric trust, a perennial factor in transatlantic security and defence affairs. For Europe, the U.S. remains the ultimate guarantor of security, rendering allies dependent upon Washington’s decisions and goodwill. From the American perspective, the European allies are not crucial in ensuring U.S. national security, but remain a pool of reliable partners, whom Washington can periodically draw upon to pursue its global ambitions. This paper evaluates how mistrust has featured within the asymmetric alliance setting, and places the current friction between the U.S. and Europe within this broader context. Acknowledging the sources of mistrust and managing mutual suspicions are crucial for the sustainability of the alliance in an increasingly competitive international arena.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Marco Siddi
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since its formation in mid-2018, the new Italian government has engaged in a series of arguments with France, most recently over the controversial actions of an Italian minister. However, these tensions have deeper roots that can be traced to different views on Libya and migration.
  • Topic: Migration, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Libya, Italy
  • Author: Arkady Moshes, Ryhor Nizhnikau
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite the momentum for fundamental change that emerged in Ukraine after the Euromaidan revolution of 2014, the incumbent elites were able to safeguard many traditional mechanisms for extending their stay in power and effectively impeded the systemic transformation. After the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2019, Ukraine will face an increased risk of populism and radicalization of the political agenda on the one hand, and apathy and disengagement among the population on the other. In these circumstances, the West should be ready to increase its involvement in Ukraine, but also to step up conditionality in order to influence the behaviour of protectors of the old system, interacting more with the pro-reform constituency in Ukraine.
  • Topic: Elections, Revolution, State Building, Euromaidan Revolution
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Harri Mikkola
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War meant that the Arctic region lost most of its geostrategic relevance. However, due to growing great power competition, the Arctic is back on the geopolitical map. Hard security dynamics in the region are defined by two key elements: the importance of conventional long-range missiles and nuclear weapons for Russia, and the importance of the North Atlantic sea line of communication for European defence. Russia has revitalized its Cold War-era bastion strategy, which aims to ensure the survival of its strategic ballistic missile submarines. In a crisis scenario, this strategy could pose serious challenges to the Nordic countries as well. Five Arctic states are members of NATO and the Alliance’s collective defence is operational in the Arctic. Even if the Arctic is still not a focus area for NATO, the North Atlantic maritime domain is increasingly back on the agenda. Given the divergent strategic interests and lack of common ground between Russia and other Arctic states on grand strategic issues, the Arctic will not be losing its geostrategic importance anytime soon.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Canada, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Arctic
  • Author: Teija Tilikainen
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: EU-level parliamentarism is at a crossroads. The hybrid form of parliamentarism, combining elements of parliamentarism as control of the executive and parliamentarism as a separation of powers, has rendered the public image of the European Parliament obscure, and decreased the democratic legitimacy of the EU’s political system. Even the contradictory elements of the two main models of parliamentarism have been incorporated into the Union’s political governance. Lack of clarity concerning the contours of parliamentarism tends to support an underestimation of the role it plays at the EU level. The path towards the revision of the Union’s democratic governance along the lines of the separation of powers system is currently shorter than the one provided by parliamentarism as control of the executive.
  • Topic: European Union, Democracy, Legitimacy, European Parliament
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Teemu Tammikko
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Whoever wins the Spanish parliamentary elections on 28 April is headed for difficult coalition talks, as the left and the right are still deeply divided, despite the fragmentation of the party system. Small regional parties are likely to gain more weight than their size would suggest.
  • Topic: Elections, Election watch, Local, Party System
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Jussi Lassila
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The accelerated brain drain from Russia concretizes the failures of the Kremlinʼs authoritarian modernization and deepens the country’s longer-term problems. At the same time, the brain drain is reducing the regimeʼs political pressures to make the country more attractive to educated and internationally oriented citizens.
  • Topic: Education, Globalization, Authoritarianism, Modernization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Tuomas Iso-Markku, Marco Siddi
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Three main factors will determine the shape of the next European Parliament (EP): the outcome of the elections, the organisation of national parties into supranational political groups, and developments in the Brexit process. Everything points towards some significant changes – and a considerable degree of uncertainty – in the new EP. The EP’s centre-right and centre-left groups are expected to lose their combined majority for the first time since 1979, whereas far-right parties and liberal democrats will likely increase their representation. The EP’s mainstream groups will therefore need new allies to achieve majorities, which could boost the influence of the smaller groups. The choice of the next Commission President will be the first major test for the new EP. While most political groups have designated candidates, it is unclear whether the Spitzenkandidaten system will be followed. If and when it takes place, Brexit will have an impact on the size of the EP, reducing it from 751 to 705 seats, as well as on the composition of the political groups that include British parliamentarians.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, European Union, Brexit, European Parliament
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Arkady Moshes, Ryhor Nizhnikau
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Belarus is undergoing important societal changes – public attitudes are evolving, the private sector is expanding, and the national culture is experiencing a certain revival – but the country’s old command and repressive model of governance shows no signs of change. This widening disjuncture is a race against time. At some point in the future, the societal transformations will require a significant ideational and structural reform in the system of governance. The longer the reform is postponed, the more costly it will be for the country. The end of Alexander Lukashenko’s personalist rule, whenever that happens, is likely to put a succession problem and, possibly, even a question about the country’s political independence on the agenda. A principal aim of the Western policy towards Belarus should be pushing the country’s regime in the direction of market reforms, political liberalization, independent identity-building and all other means that strengthen the country’s resilience.
  • Topic: Governance, Reform, Liberalism, Transition
  • Political Geography: Europe, Belarus
  • Author: Matti Pesu, Tuomas Iso-Markku
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU’s ability to contribute to the security of its citizens forms a key part of a new emerging narrative for the Union. Finland is one of the advocates of increased EU activity in security and defence, frequently referring to the EU as a security community. Existing data on public opinion suggest that citizens’ views provide building blocks for more potent EU action in security and defence matters and support for the idea of the EU security community. EU citizens broadly share concerns related to terrorism and migration. The fear of armed conflict is low, however. In general, EU citizens are disposed towards collective action by the EU in questions of foreign, security and defence policy. Support for the CFSP and CSDP has remained high and strikingly stable. Moreover, there seems to be a nascent sense of solidarity and unity among Europeans, which may facilitate the EU’s agency in these areas. However, the EU should survey public attitudes on security-related questions in a more detailed fashion in order to gain a better grasp of the prevailing sentiments among EU citizens.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christopher Kojm
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Headlines are rife with stories about political turmoil in transatlantic relations, and bitter disputes over trade and defence spending. Yet for the US Intelligence Community, ties with transatlantic partners have remained insulated against political differences. History shows that intelligence relationships follow their own logic.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Regional Cooperation, Alliance, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Tuomas Iso-Markku, Juha Jokela
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Finnish presidency of the Council of the EU faces a sensitive political climate, marked by divisions between the member states. However, some of the EU’s recent crises have also given the Union a renewed sense of purpose: striking the right balance between ambition and realism will therefore be a key challenge for Finland. During its presidency, Finland will have little legislative work, but can help in setting the EU’s priorities for the next five years, advancing the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework and managing the Brexit process. The rise of the Eurosceptic Finns Party in the late 2000s had a crucial impact on Finland’s EU policy. This was reflected in harder and, at times, obstructive positions on EU issues. However, recently a new consensus on EU affairs seems to have emerged among the other parties. Antti Rinne’s new government is striving for a stronger EU with a presidency programme that resonates with the strategic agenda of the European Council, but also corresponds with the more limited role of post-Lisbon Treaty presidencies.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, European Union, Finance, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Mikael Wigell
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: For all the rhetorical rage surrounding ‘hybrid warfare’, Western democracy is being threatened more acutely by hybrid interference. Using liberal democratic values and infrastructure for cover, authoritarian actors use a panoply of covert, non-military means to subtly drive wedges between democratic societies and undermine their internal cohesion. This paper outlines the strategic logic of hybrid interference and shows how it puts Western democratic governability in jeopardy. It argues that deterrence policies need to be revamped in the face of this new challenge and suggests a new strategic concept – democratic deterrence – as a framework for dissuading hybrid interference. The concept of democratic deterrence shows how liberal democratic values need not be security vulnerabilities, as often presented in the current debate, but how they can be turned into strengths and tools for a credible deterrence response against hybrid aggressors, all the while making our Western democracies more robust and resilient.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Democracy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Jussi Lassila
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Kremlin is trying to learn lessons from old problems regarding its electoral authoritarian system, but new ones are constantly emerging. At the heart of these is the Kremlin’s party system.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Elections, Election watch, Local, Party System
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Agne Cepinsktye
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Britain’s Arctic security policy has been shifting from abandoning the region after the Cold War to developing a non-military security approach, to reintroducing the military defence dimension, most notably by the announcement of the UK Defence Arctic Strategy (DAS). These changes are both reactive to regional factors, namely the increasing geostrategic importance of the Arctic and Russia’s military expansion in the North, and reflective of the UK’s redefined post-Brexit identity as Global Britain. The focus on expanding the naval presence in the Arctic is consistent with the Global Britain vision, which underlies the UK’s broader foreign and security policy direction and emphasises the reassertion of naval strength and global maritime influence. While Britain’s ambition to restore the naval power in the Arctic and the North Atlantic is currently constrained by a lack of resources in the defence budget, it indicates an aspiration to strengthen historically rooted naval defence relations with the Arctic states.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Navy, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Arctic
  • Author: Christopher Kojm
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: President Donald Trump’s words and actions are disrupting US-European relations. Yet the structural basis for strong transatlantic ties endures. Key institutions and forces involved in the making of US foreign policy exhibit more continuity than change with respect to transatlantic relations. Congress strongly supports NATO. It agrees with the President on the need for greater burden-sharing, yet opposes the President’s harsh and gratuitous attacks on the Alliance. Executive Branch Departments, especially the Department of Defence, have longstanding institutional ties with European counterparts. High-level meetings, defence cooperation agreements, military exercises, and relationship-building continue without interruption. The US business community strongly opposes tariffs, and has been able to blunt the Administration’s further imposition of tariffs on European partners. Public opinion still strongly supports transatlantic defence and trade relations, even as partisan differences grow.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, Tariffs, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Marco Siddi, Barbara Gaweda
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Poland’s incumbent party Law and Justice seems poised to win the election thanks to its welfare policies and the weakness of the opposition. However, its attacks on the independence of the judiciary and the media could further erode the rule of law and exacerbate disputes with the EU.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Elections, European Union, Populism, Conservatism, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Tom Plant
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the last twenty years, the UK has researched nuclear arms control and disarmament verification in increasing breadth and depth. Although this principally technical activity has not yet been directly linked to any of the UK’s nuclear weapons stockpile reductions or postural changes, it does form much of the UK’s recent disarmament diplomacy. This is because more effective techniques for verification of nuclear arms control and disarmament are widely regarded as essential for the multilateral regimes that might be necessary if global nuclear stockpiles are to reduce. Thus, the UK balances its retention of nuclear weapons with plans – or at least the appearance of plans – for future disarmament. This balance stems in part from the degree of internal conflict in the UK about its nuclear weapon status, and the perceived need to take the lead in nuclear disarmament matters, set against decreasing room for manoeuvre in terms of substantive reductions to its declared nuclear arsenal; in the future it is likely to be increasingly central to the UK’s disarmament diplomacy. The degree to which UK verification research is genuinely intended to make a tangible disarmament contribution therefore merits scrutiny. This is particularly true for those states that are also working in the field or are interested in doing so. This paper lays out how Finland and other Nordic states could contribute by encouraging the UK to take more meaningful action, inter alia by linking UK verification research and its modernisation programme to potential arms control futures.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Deborah A. McCarthy
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia, China, Iran and ISIS use information operations to undermine the national security objectives of the United States and its allies. However, the US’s international response has been weak. Internal constraints have limited more effective counter-measures. In particular, the lack of a coordinated White House-level strategy, dispersed authorities and little cooperation with private social media companies can be identified as causal factors. Additional steps by the Trump Administration to counter foreign disinformation will aim to protect the 2020 presidential elections rather than to push back on efforts to undermine US leadership abroad.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Science and Technology, ISIS, Social Media, Disinformation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Asia, North America
  • Author: Toni Alaranta
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The increasing violence and new balance of relative power between key players may in fact signal a prelude to a major deal, ending the conflict that quickly escalated to the regional level.
  • Topic: Power Politics, Violence, Regionalism, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Jussi Lassila
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Along with Vladimir Putinʼs third presidential term, intensified repression has manifested itself in line with the countryʼs increasing economic challenges. The starting point for this political trend was the so-called Bolotnaya Affair in May 2012. Since then, the regime has tightened the screws: non-governmental organizations receiving foreign funding must register as ‘foreign agents’; there are numerous restrictions on the use of the internet, as well as conditions for organizing demonstrations. The regimeʼs policies aim to send signals to the rest of society about the serious consequences that unwanted political and civic activities might cause. However, measures become inflated when the repressive deterrent targets too many. By 2019, along with the changed social mood, unparalleled solidarity against repressive policies, particularly around the regional elections in Moscow, has forced the authorities to retreat from some of their initial repressive goals. The Kremlin duly has to re-evaluate the usage of its repressive deterrent against the political opposition and civil society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Elections, Repression, Fear, Opposition
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Deborah A. McCarthy
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The US Department of Defense is playing a predominant role in US foreign policy due to expanded mandates, large budgets and the disparagement of diplomacy by the Trump Administration. Defense relations may be the steadier foundation for transatlantic cooperation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Budget, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Marco Siddi, Marcin Kaczmarski
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia and China share a number of interests in the Middle East: limiting US power and maintaining good relations with all players in the region while remaining aloof from the key conflicts, especially between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Iran and Israel. Russia’s position has been based on political support for particular states, arms sales and the provision of civilian nuclear energy technology. Moscow has boosted its role by intervening militarily in the Syrian civil war. China has been strengthening its political position in the region for the last decade and its presence is more substantial from a financial-economic perspective. The current Chinese and Russian regional posture further marginalises the influence of the EU in MENA. In the Middle East, the EU is already a weaker economic actor than China and a weaker military player than Russia. However, the EU can cooperate with Russia and China on upholding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear programme.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Power, Military Intervention, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Toni Alaranta
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: After 17 years of the Islamic-conservative AKP’s electoral hegemony, the secular-nationalist Republican People’s Party (CHP) achieved significant success in the recent municipal elections on March 2019, and is now increasingly challenging President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The secular-nationalist political discourse has traditionally advanced the idea of making Turkey a modern nation-state closely attached to the West, yet the West is also seen as a potential threat. The CHP identifies itself as a social-democratic party, and is now trying to build a wide pro-democratic platform based on a social market economy and fundamental rights. The party’s strong secularist and Turkish nationalist core has made it difficult for the CHP to gain support among the Kurds and religious conservatives, and this remains challenging. Strong nationalism and suspicion about the West are deeply ingrained in Turkey’s political culture. On the other hand, in order to be inherently coherent, the secular-nationalist vision requires an ideological attachment to the Western world. Stemming from these premises, under the CHP’s government, Turkey’s foreign policy would likely prioritize good relations with the West, and re-invigorate the country’s EU prospect.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Hegemony, Elections, Local
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Arkady Moshes
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The French-German-Russian-Ukrainian top-level encounter could not and did not deliver a prospect of resolving the conflict in Donbas, but the limits of the possible are now clearer. No certainty, but the “draw” may push the parties closer to a sustainable ceasefire.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Humanitarian Intervention, Peace
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, France, Germany
  • Author: Veera Laine
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The initiative to create an autocephalous national Orthodox Church in Ukraine, proposed by the political leadership of he country, now seems more likely than ever before. The Russian Orthodox Church duly risks losing its economic support and status in the Orthodox world, which has political implications for Russia as well.
  • Topic: Religion, Catholic Church, Secularism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Robert Bell
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In no aspect of NATO’s deterrence and defense posture is the challenge of Alliance management more demanding than in its nuclear dimension. This is especially the case at a time when Russia’s aggressive actions and threatening behavior have fundamentally changed the security environment in Europe, and President Donald Trump’s approach to NATO has presented challenges of its own. In this context, it is crucial that Allies understand the positions that they have agreed on in terms of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation (ADN), as well as nuclear weapons policy, doctrine and posture. Considering the security benefits they receive in return for the United States’ extension of its nuclear deterrent to its NATO Allies, these states must also distinguish between the nuclear-related roles and responsibilities they are expected to take on and those with regard to which they have the option to ‘opt out’. For its part, the Trump Administration must appreciate that if all Allies are expected to close ranks behind the enhancements to NATO’s nuclear posture that are needed in order to respond to Russia’s threatening behavior, many will require an equally robust arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation posture as a quid pro quo.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North America, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Kristi Raik
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The liberal, norms-based international order is being challenged by two contradicting trends: the rise of power politics and geopolitical conflicts, on the one hand, and the diffusion of power and increased importance of networks, on the other. This paper explores how increased connectivity is shaping the agenda and practice of EU foreign policy and re-defining the traditional tensions between realist and liberal approaches to global politics. It argues that the EU should develop foreign policy strategies that utilise networks as an asset against power politics, looking at two examples of how a network-based approach can help the EU to defend its values and interests: networks for resilience against hybrid threats, and networks for supporting Ukraine. These cases shed light on how the concept of networks can contribute to the EU’s strategy in today’s fluid global politics and unstable regional security environment.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Liberal Order
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Jussi Lassila, Ryhor Nizhnikau
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The appeal of left-leaning ideas is on the rise in Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. Nonetheless, the main left-wing parties, particularly the communists, remain stuck in the past and at odds with the interests of the electorate. The communists have gradually transformed from opposition forces and political competitors into conformists of the ruling elites. This new function dictates their key interest in maintaining the stability of the system, which also leads to growing dissent among the parties’ members. Embeddedness in the existing political system is preventing the Left from self-reforming and impeding their transformation into modern national social-democratic projects. Yet Moldova has shown that in the new political context old ‘Leninists’ can reinvent themselves and become the most popular political project in the country.
  • Topic: Communism, Political stability, Political Parties, Participation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Moldova
  • Author: Marcin Kaczmarski
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite concrete achievements in energy and military-technical cooperation, long-term trends, such as Russia’s growing dependence on China, India’s tilt towards the US, and tense Sino-Indian relations are not conducive to closer strategic cooperation between Moscow and New Delhi.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Energy Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia
  • Author: Stephen J. Flanagan
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In a period of renewed great power competition, the United States and other NATO allies are once again giving attention to the maritime dimension of deterrence and defense in the North Atlantic and Northern Europe. Growing Russian assertiveness and the deployment of a range of new maritime surface and subsurface systems have increased the threat to maritime lines of communication across the Atlantic, which are a central area of NATO’s responsibility and essential for North American reinforcement of forces deployed in Europe in the event of a major crisis. The US and NATO responses include an increased naval operational tempo, expanded maritime exercises, the pre-positioning of additional equipment, and the re-establishment of the US 2nd Fleet and the NATO Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, both with missions to defend the North Atlantic. These developments need to be further integrated into NATO and national plans for defense of Northern Europe and the Arctic, and tested through exercises and training. There may be opportunities to improve this integration in the context of Nordic/Baltic cooperation and the bilateral and trilateral defense cooperation that Finland and Sweden are pursuing with the United States.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America, Northern Europe
  • Author: Toni Alaranta
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Kurds are an ethnic group of approximately 35 million people, half of whom live inside the Republic of Turkey, where the conflict between the state and the Kurdish separatist PKK organization has now lasted for over three decades. After a promising peace process in 2009–2015, the AKP government under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has now reduced Turkey’s Kurdish question to anti-terror operations, and marginalized the legal Kurdish HDP party, echoing the failed policy of the 1990s. Turkey is now a presidential system where power is tightly concentrated in the hands of President Erdoğan, a development directly opposed to Kurdish demands for greater local autonomy in the Kurdish-majority districts. Through the PKK network and transnational Kurdish sympathies, the fate of Syria’s and Turkey’s Kurds is now inextricably intertwined. The current way of building the new regime in Turkey is likely to produce more PKK attacks, but also widespread resentment among ordinary Kurds, including those opposing the PKK.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Ethnicity, Separatism, transnationalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia, Kurdistan
  • Author: Arkady Moshes
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: While speculation about whether Russia may repeat the Crimean scenario in Belarus should not be totally dismissed, exaggerated alarmism would not be appropriate either. Rather, Moscow’s policy is aimed at making sure that Belarus and its leadership remain critically dependent on Russia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Empire, Annexation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Belarus, Crimea
  • Author: Bruno Tertrais
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: While the idea of a “European nuclear deterrent” has a long history, it has recently made a comeback in the light of Russian aggression on the continent, growing tensions in the transatlantic relationship since the election of Donald Trump, as well as the British decision to leave the European Union. Voices are being heard in Germany in particular, arguing for stronger European nuclear autonomy. This paper analyses how the French and British deterrents could play a broader and stronger role in ensuring the security of the continent. Discarding the idea of a single “European deterrent”, it suggests possible credible pathways to enhance European nuclear cooperation based on French and possibly British forces, preferably outside the EU context. Furthermore, it suggests that future US decisions and policies towards Europe will be a critical factor in defining the range of realistic scenarios and outcomes.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, European Union, Deterrence, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, France, North America
  • Author: Bart Gaens
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU’s new strategy for connecting Europe and Asia, implicitly a response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, is an important first step in promoting European priorities in terms of connectivity. However, uncertainties, including those surrounding the financial implications, remain.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Pernille Reiker
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: While the overall ambition (grandeur and status-seeking) in French foreign policy has been surprisingly stable, different strategies and approaches have been adopted. The French approach over the past 15 to 20 years has been to focus on status-seeking through legitimacy, and we have seen a gradual shift towards a French foreign policy that is increasingly guided by international law and multilateralism. There are also elements of both continuity and change in French ambitions for European defence. While the long-term ambition is the same, the French approach towards European defence has changed from being concerned with developing the defence structures within the EU (“Europe de la defence”) to becoming more concerned with the need to strengthen the European capacity to act. Different types of French initiatives over the past decades – within or outside the European Union – must all be seen as ways of strengthening the European defence capacity: The French return to NATO’s International Military Staff in 2009, the French-British defence cooperation from 2010, the French-German initiative to set up the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), and the recent French initiative to launch a European Intervention Initiative (EI2).
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Marcin Kaczmarski, Mark Katz, Teija Tiilikainen
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The great-power system has been in constant change since the end of the Cold War. The US became the hegemonic power, and under its shelter, the European Union was able to transform into a European-wide political body. Soon, a group of leading regional powers started to question the universalist aspirations of the Western-led international order. Two members of this club in particular were not satisfied with the role of a regional hegemon and had more global ambitions. China has already become the largest trading nation globally, and Chinese foreign policy has assumed an assertive tone. China has both the potential to challenge US hegemony, as well as the political will to use it. Russia’s project to achieve a global great-power status, on the other hand, is inspired by its historical identity and its alleged humiliation by the West after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia longs for recognition of its great-power status in particular from the US. This report focuses on relations between China and Russia on the one hand and the US and Russia on the other. It analyses the current developments and future trends in these relationships, as well as their implications for the EU.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Henri Vanahanen
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Finland’s efforts to weave a web of bi- and multilateral defence cooperation have developed faster than anticipated. Yet cooperation with Sweden is unique, partially because limits have not been set a priori on what cooperation could entail. Finland should formally adopt this ‘no a priori limits’ approach throughout its other defence cooperation relationships.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Agne Cepinsktye
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Finland and Norway are planning to build the Arctic Railway, stretching from Rovaniemi to Kirkenes through the homeland of the indigenous Sámi people. The state governments have acknowledged their duty to consult with the Sámi, whose culture and livelihoods the railway would affect, but the Sámi have dismissed the consultation efforts thus far as inadequate and have denounced the project. The dispute has exposed the ambiguity of the state’s duty to consult with indigenous peoples: international law firmly establishes the duty but does not prescribe specific rules for carrying it out. In Norway, the domestic regulatory framework concerning the consultation duty is more evolved and the practice of implementation is more consistent than in Finland, but both states still lack an effective legal incorporation of the duty. Despite the ambiguity, the scope of the consultation duty is determined by its purpose: creating favourable conditions to reduce power disparity between the state and indigenous peoples in order to reach an agreement that reconciles national interests with indigenous rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Regional Cooperation, Indigenous, Transportation, Railways
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Norway, Arctic
  • Author: Teemu Tammikko, Jyrki Ruohomaki
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU’s Civilian CSDP Compact aims to revitalize an important tool that has been suffering from lack of interest among member states, amid the greater interest in boosting the EU’s defence capabilities instead. Adding scalability and modularity to the Union’s civilian missions should make them more flexible. Expanding the competences of internal security agencies to act externally may increase internal competition over the same resources and lead to overlapping tasks in external action. Despite the momentum for reforming the EU’s key security instruments, there seems to be less interest in reforming the decision-making structures regarding them, which can lead to insufficient coordination and coherence between actors on the ground.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Leo Michel, Matti Pesu
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: One of the most notable consequences of the end of the Cold War was the diminished role of nuclear weapons in international relations. The world’s primary nuclear weapon powers, the United States and the Russian Federation, made considerable reductions in their nuclear forces. The climax of the process was the New START Treaty signed in 2010. Now, the optimism that characterized the first decades of the post-Cold War era is rapidly evaporating. Geopolitical competition again dominates global and regional security dynamics. Nuclear powers are modernizing their forces and introducing novel systems that may affect strategic stability. At the same time, existing arms control regimes are crumbling. This report takes stock of recent developments in deterrence in general, and nuclear deterrence in particular. Its main ambition is to understand how deterrence has changed in light of certain post-Cold War trends. To this end, the report introduces the basic principles of deterrence. It also explores the nuclear-related policies and capabilities of the four nuclear weapon states most directly involved in European security affairs – Russia, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. Importantly, the report also analyses the implications of the recent trends in strategic deterrence for Northern Europe. This report is part of a research project conducted by the FIIA entitled ‘New Challenges for Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century’. The project is part of the implementation of the Government Plan for Analysis, Assessment and Research 2018.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, France, North America
  • Author: Tuomas Iso-Markku
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: It has long been acknowledged that the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) act in a complex political setting. They represent national parties and are elected nationally, and their campaigns are often built around domestic issues. However, in the European Parliament (EP), the MEPs mostly work within transnational party groups, which form the main channel through which they can influence European decision-making. Although most national parties have affiliated themselves to party groups with similar ideological leanings, the views of the MEPs' national parties and their European party groups do not always overlap. In such situations, the MEPs are forced to choose between their different 'principals'. This raises several questions: Who do the MEPs ultimately represent? To what degree do domestic political factors and national concerns condition their behaviour in the EP? And to what extent do the political cleavages in the EP reflect the conflict lines in national politics?
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Teemu Palosaari
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Finland joined the European Union in the first wave of post-Cold War enlargement in 1995. All the applicants – including the neutral countries, Austria, Finland and Sweden – had to accept and be able to implement the Union's common foreign and security policy. !is criterion was implicitly aimed at the aforementioned neutral applicants. Before the accession, the Commission deemed that Finland's policy of neutrality – "or what is left of it" as the report put it – could pose problems for the Union: "in respect of the common foreign and security policy, the question arises to what extent Finland, which, as an armed neutral, has always laid great emphasis on the capability of defending the national territory, can fully share some of its objectives, such as the safeguarding of the independence and security of the Union (Article J.4)".
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marlene Gottwald
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The European Union's response to the Libyan crisis, ranging from the use of humanitarian aid to the option of a military intervention, can be regarded as a first test case for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) after the Lisbon Treaty. Although aimed at improving the coherence and effectiveness of the EU's foreign and security policy, it has come as no surprise that the expectations shed by the Lisbon Treaty and its newly created institutions such as the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) were premature. As a consequence, a gap opened up between the EU's rhetoric and the actual actions taken during the Libyan crisis.
  • Topic: Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Europe, Libya, Arabia, North Africa, Lisbon
  • Author: Anna Korppoo, Thomas Spencer, Kai-Olaf Lang, Martin Kremer
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Central and Eastern European Member States are expected to play a key role in the debate around future EU climate policy, including the potential move beyond a 20% greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target by 2020. Hungary and Poland hold the rotating EU Presidency in 2011, and energy security has been placed as a priority issue on both Presidency agendas. At the same time, energy security is a key issue in climate policy, particularly for the Central and Eastern European (CEE) Member States. Hungary's ambassador for Energy Security, Mihaly Bayer, made the link explicit, saying “if we can settle energy security then we can deal with climate change more calmly”. It is important to gain an understanding of the actual underpinnings of the energy security debate in CEE, and of the impact of a more stringent 2020 reduction target for this region.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Hungary
  • Author: Vadim Kononenko
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Cooperation between the EU and Russia in the field of energy efficiency has come under the spotlight in the past two years. In Europe and Russia alike, enthusiasm and expectations are rising that energy efficiency will become an area for successful cooperation including the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernization and other frameworks for cooperation. Yet, the practicalities of that cooperation can still be characterized as being in the "pilot phase". This has become apparent in most of the interviews conducted during this study. Despite the enthusiasm, there is a noticeable and recurring feeling of uncertainty over how the cooperation might turn out in practice and whether the declared goals and intentions will be matched by material results. At the same time, the view that was also commonly expressed was that the actors involved in the cooperation activities were ready and willing to steer cooperation forwards onto a more project-oriented footing, not focusing on merely talking and exchanging views and experiences.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Mia Pihlajamäki, Nina Tynkkynen
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The PROBALT report identifies the challenges of Baltic Sea eutrophication governance and scrutinises past, ongoing and planned efforts to meet these challenges at the European Union and national levels, as well as within the Baltic Sea regional cooperation regime HELCOM. Considering that the Baltic Sea has been the focus of environmental management efforts for 40 years, it is surprising that in reality the ecological state of the Baltic Sea is not improving. This implies that protective efforts such as international and national policies and regulations, as well as their implementation, have not been effective enough.
  • Topic: Environment, International Law, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe