Finland- EU- Russia security

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The Security Policy Significance of EU Membership for Finland I.  The European Union and Finnish Security   Finland's membership in the European Union is a pragmatic line of action in security policy. EU membership gives Finland new opportunities for influencing change and stability in its security environment. The importance of membership for Finnish security depends on Finland's own contribution. Finland's military security remains its own responsibility.   As a member of the EU, Finland has full powers and opportunities for influencing the decisions taken in a community of democratic states aiming to build lasting security.   Since the end of the East West division, the policy of neutrality that Finland followed in the Cold War is no longer a viable

line of action. During the Cold War, Finland tried to avoid making political, and especially military, commitments that might have drawn it into conflicts between the great powers. In the new situation, Finland's strategy is an active participation in international political and security cooperation for prevention and resolution of security problems.   Finland has not made any security policy reservations concerning its obligations under its founding treaties or the Maastricht Treaty. Finland has joined the Union as a militarily nonaligned country which wishes to play an active and constructive role in creating and implementing a common foreign and security policy.   The EU is not a military alliance, nor is it an independent actor in the field of defence. Those EU

Member States that also belong to NATO manage their defence through the collective defence offered by NATO, while the militarily nonaligned member states rely on an independent defence. Despite the provisions of its founding charter, the WEU is not a fullscale military alliance; the common defence of its members is managed in coordination with NATO and in practice relies on NATO's military structures and resources.   Military nonalignment is no obstacle to Finland's pursuit of its membership objectives, or to the fulfilment of its undertakings. No such conflict can be found either in the clauses of the Maastricht Treaty or in Finland's experiences or prospects as a member.   Finland's contribution to conflict prevention and crisis management strengthens the Union's

capacity to promote cooperative security in Europe. Finland's credible independent defence capability is an important contribution to the Union's common security. Finland will play a constructive role in consideration of the defence issue within the Union, decisions concerning which will be made unanimously among the member states. Finland is convinced that its own interests and those of the other member states can be reconciled on this issue.   It is by remaining outside military alliances that Finland under the present circumstances can best support stability in northern Europe and thus more widely on the continent as a whole. Considering the special historical relationship between Sweden and Finland and the similar interests in their vicinity, Sweden's security policy has

always been an extremely important factor in Finnish security.   The European Union's goal is to safeguard the common values and interests and independence of the Union, and to strengthen the security of the Union and all its member states in all ways. A capable and unified European Union in which the interests of all member states are taken equally into account will strengthen Finnish security. Union membership will help Finland repel any military threats and prevent attempts to exert political pressure.   As an independent state, Finland will defend its political sovereignty and territorial integrity. Under the UN Charter, Finland can request the assistance and support of other countries if it becomes the object of aggression.   II. The Security Policy