Foreign Ministry’s draft budget for 2024 focuses on support for Ukraine and Finland’s NATO membership
The Finnish Government proposes EUR 1.3 billion in appropriations for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Foreign Ministry will continue to support Ukraine in 2024, as outlined in the Government programme.
The main goals of Finland’s foreign and security policy are to safeguard Finland’s independence and territorial integrity, to avoid becoming involved in a regional conflict and to improve the security and wellbeing of the people of Finland. Finland’s foreign and security policy is based on the rule of law, human rights, equality and democracy. The European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) form the core of Finland’s cooperative foreign policy.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine weakens security in Finland and across Europe. The European Union is Finland’s most important political and economic frame of reference and community of values. Finland wants to see a united European Union that has global strength and strategic competitive strength. Finland responds to Russia’s aggression as part of the European Union.
By joining NATO, Finland has become a militarily allied country. Finland’s NATO membership strengthens security in Finland and stability in Northern Europe. This positions Finland more firmly in the European and transatlantic security community.
Operating expenses of the Foreign Service
The Government proposes EUR 258 million for the operating expenses of the Foreign Service.
Effective bilateral and multilateral diplomacy is an indispensable tool of the Foreign Service for getting its views heard. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for fostering the international connections that are vital for Finland and for providing statutory consular services to Finnish citizens abroad who need assistance or are amid a crisis. The Ministry’s entry services promote work-based immigration and prevent illegal immigration.
The activities of the Foreign Service rely on a comprehensive network of diplomatic and consular missions abroad. Maintaining the network’s ability to act is vital in the current foreign and security policy situation. Finland’s network of diplomatic and consular missions consists of 93 offices. Finland will have posted staff in 88 of the offices in 2024.
In accordance with its programme, the Government will implement a reform of the Foreign Service to support the new era of foreign and security policy, taking into account the additional obligations arising from Finland’s membership in NATO. In 2024, the Government will prepare a report on Finnish foreign and security policy and a report on Finland’s international economic relations and development cooperation. The Government will reform the operations and management of the Team Finland network in cooperation with business and industry to support Finland’s strategic interests.
Finland will chair the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) in 2023–2024 and prepare for its chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2025. In addition, Finland is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2022–2024.
Finland will actively participate in military and civilian crisis management missions and operations of the OSCE, the EU, NATO and the UN. Rapid changes in the European security environment mean that Finland must be prepared to change its approach to crisis management. Finland will support the dialogue processes in mediation, promote efforts to resolve ongoing conflicts, and strengthen mediation activities and mediation capacity both nationally and internationally.
Finland’s international crisis management tasks will focus on Lebanon, Iraq, Kosovo and Ukraine. Supporting Ukraine and reinforcing its security sector through civilian crisis management efforts is a priority for Finland. Finland will also make a significant contribution to providing training support to the Ukrainian armed forces. The Government proposes EUR 53.1 million for the material and administrative costs of Finland’s crisis management contingents. Finland will continue to increase the participation of civilian personnel in crisis management. The Government proposes EUR 19.2 million for civilian crisis management. The number of personnel recruited to military crisis management posts is estimated to total up to 400 person-years in 2024, while approximately 130 experts will be recruited for civilian crisis management in 2024.
An appropriation of EUR 3.9 million is proposed for mediation. Finland will increase its participation in the UN’s mediation and dialogue processes and in other similar processes. There will be a shift in activities away from the funding of special projects towards more active promotion of peace.
The priorities of the Government’s development policy will include improving the position, right to self-determination and sexual and reproductive health of women and girls, which are key to curbing population growth. Education and climate measures will also be a priority. Finland will also pursue its objectives in EU development policy, international development finance institutions and UN organisations. Finland will effectively promote the participation of Finnish companies in investment projects funded within the framework of the EU’s Global Gateway initiative.
The Government will promote the operating conditions of Finnish companies in developing countries as well as their opportunities to apply for funding from the UN, the EU and development finance institutions. The Government will increasingly utilise Finnish companies in development cooperation and development policy investments. Different forms of development finance will complement each other. In order to build a successful development policy, both grant-based assistance and funding in the form of loans and investments will be needed.
The Government will make the readmission of nationals and support for the international rules-based order conditions for Finland’s development cooperation. Finland will not give development aid to governments or entities that support Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The Government will effectively monitor the use of development cooperation funds. If any misuse is detected, funding will be reduced or terminated and, if possible, be recovered.
Ukraine will be the largest beneficiary of Finland’s development cooperation assistance during the government term. The Government proposes an appropriation of EUR 58 million for the new item for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, which is up EUR 20 million on the current spending limit for Finland’s country programme in Ukraine.
As part of the Government’s measures to stabilise economy, the appropriations under the exclusive official development assistance (ODA) budget item administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be reduced by EUR 118 million in 2024 and the level of development cooperation in the form of loans and investments will be adjusted by EUR 60 million in 2024.
The Government proposes that an appropriation of EUR 622 million and mandate commitments of EUR 464 million be allocated to ODA administered by the Foreign Ministry. The expenditure arising from the commitments will be incurred after 2024. The Government proposes to continue to support developing countries by allocating EUR 70 million to development cooperation funding in the form of loans and investments. A total of EUR 10 million is proposed for increasing the capital of Finnfund.
Finland’s official development assistance (ODA) is estimated to total EUR 1.2 billion. The central government is estimated to direct approximately 0.42 per cent of gross national income (GNI) to development cooperation in 2024.
The Government proposes approximately EUR 150 million for membership fees and contributions to international organisations. Finnish contributions to the UN account for the bulk of this appropriation. The Government proposes EUR 8.9 million as Finland’s contribution to NATO. This sum includes Finland’s prescribed share for NATO’s civil budget and a voluntary contribution to support Ukraine.
The Government proposes EUR 1.6 million for cooperation in the Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic regions. An appropriation of EUR 2.8 million is proposed for the preparations for Finland’s chairmanship of the OSCE in 2025.
- Risto Hakoila, Financial Director, tel. +358 295 351 287
- Katja Bordi, Head of Financial Planning, tel. +358 295 351 284
- Ramses Malaty, Director (development cooperation), tel. +358 295 351 001
- Joonas Heiskanen, Director (Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic cooperation), tel. +358 295 350 535
- The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format email@example.com