Ministry for Foreign Affairs 2020 draft budget

Ministry for Foreign Affairs 2020 draft budget

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs proposes altogether EUR 1,260 million for its administrative branch in 2020.

The promotion of human rights, the rule of law, democracy, peace, freedom, tolerance and equality in all international activities forms the central element of the value base on which Finland’s foreign and security policy rests. Finland’s foreign and security policy aims at strengthening Finland’s international position, safeguarding its independence and territorial integrity, improving the security and wellbeing of Finland and its people, and ensuring that Finnish society functions efficiently. Finland’s foreign and security policy is based on good bilateral relations, an active role within the EU, and effective multilateral cooperation that builds on respect for international law and the strengthening of it.

Awareness of problems affecting the entire globe is increasing. Extensive, broad-based cooperation and swift measures are needed to address issues with the most far-reaching impacts, such as climate change, demographic trends, curbing the loss of biological diversity, and preserving of a viable environment. The Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda, which lays down the sustainable development goals (SDGs), provide the foundation for international cooperation and Finland’s actions in the coming years.

In terms of Finland's external relations, the European Union is the most important frame of reference and channel of influence, as well as a security community. In a multipolar world, the global influence of both Europe and the United States is changing. Africa’s significance as a neighbour and strategic partner of the EU is growing. China has become more prosperous and is looking to increase its international weight in many ways. Other countries too, such as Russia, are seeking a more powerful position. This is reflected in the security situation in the Baltic Sea. The geopolitical, environmental and economic significance of the Arctic region is growing. The Nordic countries continue to be Finland’s closest partners of cooperation and, in recent years, security cooperation with them has advanced further because of increasing tensions in the Baltic Sea region.

Operating expenses

A total of EUR 234 million is proposed for the operating expenses of the Foreign Service. Discussions are under way concerning the reopening of Finland’s Embassy in Manila in the Philippines in 2020.

Effective bilateral and multilateral diplomacy at all levels is an indispensable tool of the Foreign Service for getting its views heard. The activities of the Foreign Service rely on a comprehensive network of diplomatic and consular missions abroad.

The rapidly changing environment requires that the Foreign Service is capable of effective foresight, monitoring, analysis, dissemination of information and flexible use of resources. In its activities, the Foreign Service will focus more attention on knowledge-based management and efficient use of digitalisation.

The Foreign Service works for an EU that is united, strong and effective, one that concentrates on growth and security, focusing on deepening the single market, promoting multilateral rules-based trade, strengthening the EU’s external action and security and defence cooperation, and managing migration.

The Foreign Service works to strengthen the multilateral rules-based system, international law, democracy, human rights and the position and functioning of the United Nations.  One of the main aims is to promote the rights of women and girls.

We will continue working to achieve deeper and more versatile relations with African countries more widely across the African continent. The Foreign Service promotes stability and security in the Arctic region and bolsters the EU’s arctic policy. Cooperation in foreign and security policy will be deepened especially with Sweden.

Cooperation between Team Finland actors will be strengthened and improved with a view to achieving better customer satisfaction and more effective operations. The aim is to augment the resources for the Team Finland network.

We will strengthen the handling of matters relating to entry in the country under the remit of the Foreign Service both in the network of missions abroad and in the Ministry, especially those involving labour immigration. Systematic country branding will be used to increase Finland’s influence internationally and to bolster interest in Finland and Finnish knowhow.

Crisis management

In line with the Government Programme, a stronger priority in Finland’s foreign policy will be placed on the prevention of conflicts, on mediation and on peacebuilding.  Based on the priorities of the Government Programme and of the Government Report on Finnish Foreign and Security Policy, Finland will continue to actively participate in international crisis management.

In international crisis management activities, Finland focuses on Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan, but Finland also participates in operations in Ukraine, Kosovo and Africa.  In 2020, the number of personnel in military crisis management tasks is expected to be approximately 500 person-years. Under the Government Programme, the aim is to raise the strength of Finland’s civilian crisis management force to at least 150 specialists in 2020.

A total of EUR 53.1 million is proposed for the Foreign Ministry to be used for the maintenance costs of Finnish contingents assigned to crisis management operations. The biggest operations include the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon, the Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, and the NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. Finland will contribute to the German-led EU Battle Group for a standby period in 2020.

It is proposed that EUR 19.6 million be allocated for the participation of civilian personnel in crisis management. Finland participates in civilian crisis management mainly through EU operations.

EUR 1.0 million is proposed for mediation, which is an integral part of overall crisis management. Finland aims to actively foster mediation in a consistent way. Finland supports the dialogue processes in mediation, promotes efforts to resolve on-going conflicts and strengthens mediation activities and mediation capacity both nationally and internationally.

Development cooperation

In the proposal presented by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, an estimated EUR 1,037 million will be allocated for the Government’s development cooperation expenditure in 2020; this corresponds to approximately 0.42 per cent of gross national income (GNI). A total of EUR 691.1 million is proposed for the ODA administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In addition to the exclusive ODA budget item administered by the Foreign Ministry, support will be continued in the form of development policy investments. EUR 129.7 million is proposed for development policy investments. It is proposed that EUR 10.0 million be allocated to increase the share capital of the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation (Finnfund) and EUR 3.0 million for support for democracy and the rule of law. In line with its commitment to the UN, the Government aims to allocate 0.7% of GNI to development cooperation and 0.2% of GNI to the least developed countries.

Finland bears its responsibility and is engaged in resolving major global problems through development cooperation activities, by providing humanitarian aid and by contributing to international climate finance. The needs are huge and urgent measures are necessary. A world that is prosperous, more stable and more equitable is in Finland’s best interest. In accordance with the Government Programme, the growth in funds for development cooperation will be allocated especially to mitigate climate change, reduce suffering caused by conflicts, strengthen democracy and the rule of law, and tackle the learning crisis. Support for multilateral cooperation and for development cooperation involving civil society organisations will grow.

Finland will engage in development cooperation in its priority areas on a long-term basis. This covers strengthening the position and rights of women and girls, including sexual and reproductive health and rights; advancing the economies of developing countries to bring more jobs, businesses and wellbeing; focusing on democracy in societies and enhancing their capacity to function, including ability to raise taxes and to provide high-quality education and training; mitigating climate change and adapting to it; improving food security and the availability of water and renewable energy; and promoting sustainable use of natural resources. The geographical focus of Finland’s development cooperation activities will be on Africa.

Finland’s development policy draws on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which provides a framework for all countries to achieve sustainable development.  Finland supports developing countries in the attainment of sustainable development goals and encourages changes needed in the global operating environment.

Other appropriations

EUR 3.0 million is proposed for cooperation in the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea and the Arctic regions. One important way in which Finland promotes stability, security, sustainable development and financial cooperation opportunities is by engaging in regional cooperation. Finland’s position as an active player in environmental and climate matters will be strengthened. Regional councils (the Arctic Council, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and the Council of the Baltic Sea States) and Northern Dimension partnerships are key mechanisms for cooperation.

An allocation of EUR 87.7 million is proposed for membership fees and contributions. Finnish contributions to the UN account for the bulk of this appropriation.

It is estimated that the administrative branch of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will accrue EUR 55.6 million in revenues not included in the Ministry’s operating expenses. The revenue sources include rental income from cultural and academic institutes, visa processing fees, proceeds from the sale of property, and refunds of membership fees and contributions to international organisations and of development assistance.

Inquiries: Risto Hakoila, Financial Director, tel. +358 295 351 287; Katja Bordi, Head of Financial Planning, tel. +358 295 351 284; Lotta Karlsson, Director (questions concerning development cooperation), tel. +358 295 351 932; and Niklas Lindqvist, Director General (questions concerning Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic cooperation), tel. +358 295 351 517.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format