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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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