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Government's Defence Policy Report on reforming local defence

Ministry of Defence
Publication date 9.9.2021 13.36 | Published in English on 20.9.2021 at 21.30
Press release

At its meeting on 9 September 2021, the Government approved the Defence Policy Report to be submitted to Parliament.

The Report and its implementation ensure that Finland's defence capability meets the requirements of the operating environment. The policy and its implementation will extend until the end of decade.

Finland's defence environment remains tense and difficult to predict. In addition to the land, sea and air dimensions, cyber and information environments and space are highlighted. The importance of the neighbouring Arctic regions is growing.

Together with other actors, the defence administration prepares for extensive influencing, as part of the evolving overall security model. Cooperation between authorities must be further developed in the areas of cyber defence, strategic communications and information defence. Threats to the cyber environment and related national development measures will be assessed in more detail in the current study.

The Defence Policy Report will reform the force structure in the Defence Forces. In the future, wartime troops will be divided into operative and local troops in accordance with the principle of use. The number of local troops will be increased from 2025 by transforming the majority of the regional troops into local troops. At the same time, the range of duties of local troops will expand and the standards will rise. The importance of cooperation between authorities and the role of reservists will be emphasised.

The savings obligations imposed on the Defence Forces in previous years and the resources currently in use pose challenges to maintaining operations and preparedness at the current level while limiting preparedness in the Defence Forces for a long-term crisis and warfare.

The maintenance of readiness, training of conscripts and the development of new capabilities require a gradual increase in the number of personnel in the Defence Forces by 500 person-years by the end of the 2020s.

Close international defence cooperation strengthens Finland's defence capability. Finland must have the ability to work together with key partners, based on a separate decision, in all security situations affecting Finland, including during a crisis.

While the President and the Ministerial Committee guided the preparation of the Government's Defence Policy Report it was prepared as intersectoral cooperation and a parliamentary monitoring group was consulted. It is going to be the second Defence Policy Report; the previous one was completed on 16 February 2017.

The report was published in full on the Ministry of Defence website:

in Finnish

in Swedish

in English

Inquiries: Director General Esa Pulkkinen, Ministry of Defence, tel. +358 295 140 300 and Karoliina Honkanen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. + 358 295 140 354.

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