Ulkopoliittinen instituutti täyttää 60 vuotta. Ban Ki-moon ja Federica Mogherini ovat tulevien webinaarien puhujia. Svjatlana Tsihanouskaja puhui 2.3. instituutin tilaisuudessa. 

S. Tsikhanouskaya & K. Makkonen
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was interviewed by Katri Makkonen at a FIIA event. Photo: Eeva Anundi.
FIIA turns 60

The year 2020 coloured international relations with the dark shades of the pandemic. Covid-19 reshaped the general security environment by catalysing existing regressive tendencies, such as worsening of great power relations and weakening of the multilateral fabric. The year emphasized oxymoronic practices, as in the case of national pandemic security. If any global challenge calls for a global approach, it is contagious disease agents. Contradictions, uncertainties, failures, and weaknesses defined the policy responses. The pandemic situation has a non-linear impact on many other central events and processes: e.g. the U.S. presidential elections and economic downturn.  

FIIA turns 60 years old in 2021. If last year’s research and other activities are any proof, FIIA is still vigorous. It reacted very quickly to the pandemic emergency and set up a research project on Covid-19’s political implications. Ever agile, the Institute responded to an immediate demand on the issue and related topics while maintaining a strong publication and event schedule on more permanent research topics. We proved that we are still relatively young at 60 when it comes to carrying out our basic mission: high quality scholarly research, advising policy-making, and supporting public discussions.

-Mika Aaltola, Director of FIIA


Livestream with Ban Ki-moon 17 March

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the future of multilateralism in a livestreamed event organized by FIIA and the Finnish Foreign Ministry on 17 March 9:00–10:00 (EET). Is multilateralism in a crisis or in a stage of transformation? Other speakers are Director Mika Aaltola, Katja Creutz, Hiski Haukkala and Kai Sauer. The webinar will be streamed on YouTube. More information on our website.

Webinar 23 March: Differentiated integration in EU foreign policy  

On March 23th, FIIA will organize the webinar “European foreign policy in turbulent times: Does differentiation make the EU a stronger actor?” in cooperation with the EU Idea research project in which FIIA leads a work-package on EU foreign, security and defence policy. Researchers Eduard Soler i Lecha (CIDOB), Marco Siddi (FIIA), Luigi Scazzieri (CER), Senem Aydin-Düzgit (Sabancı University) and Sven Biscop (Egmont) discuss when and how differentiation has advanced the EU’s role in world politics, and what are the dangers of more differentiation in European foreign policy. Project coordinator Nicoletta Pirozzi (IAI) opens the event, and Rector of the College of Europe, Federica Mogherini gives a keynote speech.

Belarus opposition leader Tsikhanouskaya spoke at FIIA

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was speaking at a FIIA event Tuesday 2 March, 2021. A recording of the event is available on FIIA’s YouTube channel.

FIIA’s Scientific Advisory Council 2021-2023 appointed

The Executive Board of FIIA has appointed a Scientific Advisory Council for a three-year period between 2021 and 2023. The tasks of the Scientific Advisory Council include offering advice on FIIA’s research policy guidelines, the assessment of the quality and relevance of its research work, and the support of its international activities. Get to know the Members of the SAC

Parliament appoints Lauri Voionmaa as FIIA Board member

The Parliament has on 12 February 2021 appointed Lauri Voionmaa as a member to the Board of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. Voionmaa is Special Adviser to the Prime Minister and replaces Senior Specialist for EU Affairs Salla Sammalkivi as the representative of the Prime Minister’s Office in the current FIIA Board.

FIIA wishes to thank Salla Sammalkivi for her valuable work as a member of the FIIA Board and wishes her all the best in her new duties at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The current Board members for the period 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2024

Staff News

Timo R. Stewart joined the EU programme at the turn of the year as Senior Research Fellow.​

Olli Ruohomäki returned to FIIA from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in January​ as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow.  

Katariina Mustasilta
started at FIIA as a Postdoctoral Fellow on 1 March. She is an expert on the EU’s policies related to peace and conflict issues and attempts to combat violent extremism and terrorism.

Saila Turtiainen joined the VN-TEAS project ’Europe Facing Great-Power Competition: Mapping Finland’s Risks and Opportunities in the Geoeconomic Rivalry’. Saila joined the Global Security research programme in the beginning of March for a period of one year. She came to us from the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK).

Sinikukka Saari started at FIIA as Senior Research Fellow in January 2021. She will be working in projects on Russian security policy in the Nordics and Russian cyber influencing in the context of Covid-19 under the Finnish Foreign Policy Project.

Pete Piirainen from the Ministry of Defence joined our Finnish Foreign and Security Policy project. He has a long experience in the area of defence policy.

Recent publications

All FIIA publications are available on the FIIA website. Here are listed some of the latest publications. 

Beyond trade war in Washington: The United States and our less global future by Lauri Tähtinen

Russia meets climate change: The domestic politicization of environmental issues and external pressure to decarbonize by Jussi Lassila and Marco Siddi

Transatlantic relations and European strategic autonomy in the Biden era: Neglect, primacy or reform? by Garret Martin and Ville Sinkkonen

The latest issues of the Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs (in Finnish)

Ulkopolitiikka 1/2021

The Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs celebrates its 60th anniversary this year in style. The magazine was shortlisted in two categories at the Edit Magazine Awards 2020: Best Magazine and Best Portrait. Being shortlisted for Best Magazine is a recognition of the journal’s long-standing commitment to high-quality journalism. The photo nominated for Best Portrait of politician Jussi Halla-aho was taken by Eeva Anundi, a frequent contributor to the journal.

The latest issue of the journal takes stock of young people’s political engagement in Western democracies. Young generations have grown up among dwindling party affiliation, recurring economic crises and creeping ecological disasters. They are both highly motivated by social causes and extremely disappointed in institutional politics, taking up new forms of direct political action and getting information from YouTube and other social media. In the profile interview, artist and researcher Susanna Hast calls for new ways of thinking about international relations. Her own path has taken her from scholarly work to song and dance, undermining ossified notions of academic IR studies. In this issue we also observe how feminism has transformed Swedish foreign policy and what lessons can be drawn from the process of peacebuilding in Finland’s Åland archipelago some 100 years ago. You can access the journal at www.ulkopolitiikka.fi (in Finnish).


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