Government reports on Finnish foreign and security policy: Relevant but not without problems

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.

Henri Vanhanen

Research Fellow

Finnish foreign policy Security and Defence Policy en FIIA Briefing Paper

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