Panel discussed European security and Finland’s Foreign and Security Policy Report at Tampere University

As part of the preparation of a new Foreign and Security Policy Report, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is organising a series of panel discussions on topical foreign and security policy questions in cooperation with Finnish universities in spring 2020. At the University of Tampere on 12 February, the event was entitled ‘Security in Europe’.

Paneelikeskustelun osallistujat lavalla
Photo: Jonne Renvall/University of Tampere

The panellists were Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto, Director of Defence Policy Unit at the Ministry of Defence, Otto Saxén, Professor of International Relations at Tampere University Hiski Haukkala, and Director of International Relations at the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats Kirsti Narinen. The discussion was moderated by Under-Secretary of State Kai Sauer.

The discussion focused, among other things, on such new factors affecting the European security environment as climate change, cyber and hybrid threats and digitalisation. The role of various cooperation structures in security policy was also debated. The panellists noted that complex challenges require a broad range of solutions and both global and internal cooperation within the EU. Foreign Minister Haavisto emphasised the importance of multilateralism and the rules-based international system both in Europe and elsewhere.

Haavisto also reminded that security developments in Europe's neighbouring areas have a direct impact on Europe. Otto Saxén emphasised the need to build a shared vision and intent for the EU for resolving crises affecting Europe. Hiski Haukkala spoke about the superpower competition that is challenging Europe's role in the world order.

The role of hybrid activities in the security debate attracted interest among the audience. Kirsti Narinen discussed values that must be actively protected from becoming targets of hybrid threats: values such as freedom of expression, democracy and human rights.

A recording of the event can be viewed here.

The next panel discussion will be held at Lapland University on 26 February. More information about the event is available on the Foreign Ministry’s Facebook pages.

Read more about the series of panel discussions here.