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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
  • Author: Timo Behr, Toby Archer, Tuulia Nieminen
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Contemplating the reasons for “EU failure” might appear odd at the current moment of time. If anything, the European Union finally seems to be putting its house in order. !e ratification of the Lisbon Treaty has ended the EU's decade long institutional impasse. For the first time in its history, the EU has appointed a President of the European Council and a powerful new High Representative for its Foreign and Security Policy. EU member states are in the process of creating a European External Action Service (EEAS) to represent their common interests abroad. And the list of countries knocking on the EU's doors seems to grow longer by the day. In light of these recent developments, as well as given the EU's historical success as a “peace project”, there seem to be few apparent reasons to ponder EU failure. Doing so, to some, might even appear counterproductive.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Hiski Haukkala
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: It has become something of a cliché to argue that the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 resulted in dramatic changes in the unfolding of political space in the 1990s. Yet this was especially true in the case of the then European Community (EC) and its relations with the Soviet Union/Russian Federation. During the Cold War, the relations between the EC and the USSR were practically non-existent. The ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev and the period of perestroika and glasnost resulted, however, in a gradual rapprochement between the two parties. The creation of these new ties was formalized in the signing of a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EC and the USSR, which was, however, in effect signed with an already crumbling Soviet Union as it took place as late as 21 December 1989.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Tuomas Forsberg
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Finland is often seen as a country whose view of Germany has traditionally been more positive than that of the average of the European countries. According to an opinion poll that was conducted in 1996, 42 % of the Finns have a positive view, 47 % a neutral and only 6 % a negative view of Germany and Germans. This positive attitude is not only a result of the large amount of cultural and trade contacts or societal similarities, shared Lutheran religion and German roots of Finnish political thinking but derives also from the historical experience that Germany has been willing to help Finland in bad times. Although this view is not necessarily correct when judged against the historical record and although it is not unanimously shared by all Finns, it provides the necessary starting point when assessing Finland's view of Germany in today's Europe.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Germany