Russia’s actions in Crimea may have profound implications for European security landscape. However, before any major conclusions can be made, we should carefully analyze not just events on the ground, but the ways in which they are framed in the Russian (and Western) discourse. This may help us to better understand what is going on, Senior Research Fellow Katri Pynnöniemi argues in the latest FIIA Column.
Differentiated integration is not a new phenomenon in European integration. It has taken various forms over a wide range of policy areas in the past. Importantly, differentiated integration is not merely an internal question for the EU as the Union’s organization and internal dynamics also shape its external actorness. Consequently, various forms of differentiation are present in the EU’s external relations and policies. The objective of this report is to take a closer look at differentiated integration in the EU’s external relations and to discuss its implications for the EU’s aspirations to forge more unitary and effective external policies.
The financial and economic crisis has reinforced the two-layer economic integration structure in the EU, Samu Kurri argues in the latest FIIA Briefing Paper. Even if the Eurogroup remains ‘formally informal’, it has managed to transform itself into a de facto institution within the EU, and its role and weight is likely to increase rather than decrease. The paper is part of a joint research project carried out by FIIA and the Research Institute for the Finnish Economy (ETLA) with the support of the Jane & Aatos Erkko Foundation.
According to a popular notion, huge natural resource reserves located in the Arctic region will lead to a conflictual "gold rush" when Arctic states compete to claim these reserves for themselves. However, an interstate conflict in the Arctic would most likely relate to complex global dynamics that may spill over to the region and which cannot be addressed with existing Arctic governance mechanisms. Juha Käpylä and Harri Mikkola argue that this extra-Arctic perspective should be increasingly taken into consideration by scholars and policy-makers.
Juha Käpylä & Harri Mikkola
Harri Mikkola & Juha Käpylä
FIIA Report 37
The latest FIIA Report by Sean P. Roberts presents a symbiosis of views from European and US researchers and practitioners on Russia's international role. The report argues that Russia is not viewed as a strategic partner for either the EU or the US, but as an ‘ad hoc’ partner, willing to cooperate on a narrow range of issues that fall well within its own interests. Russia’s weakness on the international stage often limits its ability to be a strategic competitor and sometimes Russia is seen to play the role of ‘spoiler’ — an actor unable to push its own self-interest to conclusion, but ready to hinder other actors from achieving their goals.
Despite attempts to present itself as a neutral force, Russia de facto supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime by both political and military means. Moscow’s main goal was to defend the regime against the pressure to relinquish power to the opposition, and also to deter any attempt at a Western/Arab military intervention in Syria. Moscow seems to be ready to accept any scenario which will effectively prevent a regime change in Syria, through prolonging the conflict and the “Lebanization” of Syria, or via an interim agreement which would freeze the status quo. This offers little room for cooperation between the West and Russia, Visiting Researcher Marek Menkiszak argues in the latest FIIA Briefing Paper.
European Parliament Report
A recent European Parliament study argues that the global maritime security environment is in the midst of an important transformation which requires an upgrading of the maritime dimension of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). FIIA researchers Timo Behr, Jyrki Kallio, Mika Aaltola, Charly Salonius-Pasternak and Coordinator Maija Salonen contributed to the study.
Mika Aaltola, Joonas Sipilä, Valtteri Vuorisalo
FIIA Report 36
In the latest FIIA Report, published jointly with the European Policy Centre, Rosa Balfour and Kristi Raik argue that the European External Action Service needs to be at the centre of an emerging EU system of diplomacy.
EPC Issue Paper
Rosa Balfour & Kristi Raik (eds.)
Kristi Raik & Teemu Rantanen
The Russian policies on critical infrastructure protection, which were outlined in the early 2000s, are evolving against a background of the degeneration of infrastructures critical for the country’s economic and social development, and the de-legitimization of political institutions. The recent major catastrophes in Russia, the forest fires in 2010 in particular, have become examples of political events that offer a point of reference for the current regime’s failure to uphold its promises of ‘order and stability’.
Mon 28.4.2014 at 14:00-16:00
Tue 29.4.2014 at 09:30-11:00
Once a month
Breakfast Briefings deal with topical EU affairs which have implications for Finns and Finland. These Finnish language seminars take place at the Annex Building of the Parliament.
In the media, 23.4.2014
Programme Director at the Institute Mika Aaltola commented on Uusi Suomi on April 18th on the host nation support agreement between Finland and the Nato that will take effect in May. According to Aaltola, the agreement will marginally increase Finland's deterrent and integration with the Nato. (in Finnish)
In the media, 23.4.2014
Senior Research Fellow at the Institute Bart Gaens told Helsingin Sanomat on April 22nd that although the Japanese support whaling, you don't see them eating whale meat that often. According to Gaens, there is absolutely no economical sense in the whaling that the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) does. (in Finnish)
In the media, 23.4.2014
Programme Director at the Institute Mika Aaltola commented on the Ukrainian crisis in Ilta-Sanomat on April 18th. According to Aaltola, Russia has achieved what it wanted in Ukraine. (in Finnish)
The European Union research programme focuses on the EU's global and regional role, including the internal dynamics of the Union. The main research themes are the EU's external action, economic policies and institutional development.
The EU's Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia research programme studies the EU's eastern environment with a special focus on Russia's domestic and foreign policy. In particular, the programme concentrates on political developments in the region, energy and climate policies. It also studies international relations in the EU's eastern neighbourhood and the relationship between the region and the EU.
The Global Security research programme approaches global security challenges within the framework of broad security. The programme seeks to understand the global trajectories of security that have significance for the European and Finnish security environments. The issues approached include the prospects for global governance systems, changes in the major power structure, significant factors in functional and regional security and insecurity, the role of the transatlantic relationship in world politics, and the different dimensions of the European security policy.
The aim of the Center for US Politics and Power is to provide research and expertise on the US global role and its foreign and domestic policy. The Center works in conjunction with the Global Security Programme at the FIIA and was established in 2013. FIIA's US research is supported by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.