Foreign policy planning and research

Policy planning and research activities in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs produce perspectives and new ideas on subject matters of importance for Finland's foreign and security policy, based on analysis, research and foresight.

Audience watching discussion event
Photo: UM Eurooppatiedotus

The Ministry's Unit for Policy Planning and Research, which operates under the direct administration of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of State, is responsible for these activities.

Policy planning and research seeks to ensure that the Ministry's understanding of the global operating environment is as comprehensive as possible and that the foreign and security policy decision-making is based on the most recent research results and foresight methodologies.

In the delineation of the Ministry's priorities and as a foundation of other long-term strategic planning, the Unit for Policy Planning and Research makes use of the analytical expertise of its staff, relies on its close cooperation contacts within the Ministry and in the Government, its wide network of Finnish and international contacts as well as research and projects carried out in cooperation with external partners.

The Unit for Policy Planning and Research organised The 6th National Conference on Security Studies" in September 2016. The report (in Finnish) below summarises the content of the event.

As a part of its ongoing foresight work, the Ministry's Unit for Policy Planning and Research publishes Futures Outlook reviews that are meant to present the Foreign Service's vision of the changes that Finland will encounter in the coming years. They also outline a foreign policy that Finland could pursue in order to ensure its security and welfare in a changing operating environment.  The most recent Futures Outlook was prepared in 2022.

The Unit for Policy Planning and Research also conducts research focusing on the history of the Foreign Service. The most recent example of its functions in the area is the history of the Embassy of Finland in Tallinn, Kohtu 4, published in the spring of 2015.

The Unit for Policy Planning and Research is staffed by both Foreign Service career officials and senior researchers.