Director Mika Aaltola outlines new research focus areas for the next four years. FIIA and IEP will host the opening discussion of the German-Nordic-Baltic Forum. Anna-Kaisa Hiltunen has received the State Award for Public Information.

FIIA’s Strategic Research Priorities: Geoeconomics and Finnish Foreign Policy

FIIA’s research programme is broad and comprehensive. However, we need to focus on topics of increased relevance for Finland, as the world changes towards power competition and weakening multilateral fora. During the next four years, FIIA will be focusing on (re)emerging geoeconomic practices and on Finnish foreign policy. On top of the broader research agenda, these themes are already being explored by many of FIIA’s researchers from all three of the Institute’s research programmes.   

Geoeconomics and Finnish foreign policy are cross-cutting themes in FIIA’s research. They intersect with the topics of the three research programmes and can be easily integrated into various projects without losing focus. The two strategic priority areas also feed each other. Small states are targets of geoeconomic operations. Smaller states are relatively more dependent on the global fabric of interconnectedness and therefore exposed to power-political competition that turns interdependency into vulnerability. It is not surprising that Finland as a small state has a long historical experience when it comes to geoeocomics. The project on Finnish foreign policy charts this historical experience as well as the lessons learnt for managing Finland’s external role and for stabilizing the region.     

-Mika Aaltola, Director of FIIA

UN 75 years

The United Nations celebrates its 75th anniversary amidst unprecedented challenges: The UN is facing perhaps harder times than ever before. The world is plagued by global challenges such as climate change, longstanding conflicts and a pandemic, while great-power rivalry is adding its own challenges. Throughout its existence, the UN system has been criticized, yet celebrated. The most recent symbol underlining the significance of the UN’s work with  peace and human rights is the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the UN’s World Food Programme.

Katja Creutz, Leading Researcher, FIIA

On the eve of the United Nations Day celebrated on 24 October, the latest FIIA Comment evaluates the achievements and failures of the UN, as well as its role in the future. The publication has been written by Leading Researcher Katja Creutz from the Global Security research programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.  You can read and download the publication on the FIIA website.

Katja Creutz’s new book analyses State Responsibility in International Law

Katja Creutz has published a book entitled State Responsibility in the International Legal Order: A Critical Appraisal (Cambridge University Press). State responsibility in international law is considered one of the cornerstones of the field. Its unique position has nonetheless been challenged by several developments both within and outside the international legal order. In her book Creutz analyses state responsibility in a changed international landscape. More information on the book from the publisher’s website.

Twenty-five years of EU membership: Reinforcing Finnish security 

Finland’s EU membership in 1995 led to a profound change in the country’s foreign policy – a full economic and political alignment with the EU. On 22 October, FIIA released a Finnish Foreign Policy Paper, the final product of a project marking the 25th anniversary of Finland’s EU membership. The paper was published at an event organized in cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The webinar looked at the key changes and trends in Finnish foreign policy during the EU membership, how these compare with Austrian and Swedish foreign policy developments, and the key trends shaping the next 25 years of these countries’ EU membership. The publication by Matti Pesu, Tuomas Iso-Markku and Juha Jokela can be read here.

Opening Discussion of the German-Nordic-Baltic Forum 2020

On October 27th, FIIA and the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) will organize the webinar “2020 as a Stress Test for the European Union: Challenges in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic” as the opening discussion of the 12th German-Nordic-Baltic Forum (GNBF).

The digital Forum will be kicked off by two public keynotes from the Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen and the German Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth, followed by three commentaries from young researchers and students. The opening discussion will be moderated by Dr. Funda Tekin, Director at IEP.

US elections 2020

The United States presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. We have compiled the recent FIIA analysis on US politics for your convenience. The package is available on the FIIA website.  

Weekly podcasts on US elections continue. US Elections Untangled dives deep into the big questions surrounding the 2020 elections. Drawing on the expertise of FIIA researchers, the podcast looks at the elections mainly from the perspective of international relations. You can also listen to the series on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts, and follow the conversation on social media #USElectionsUntangled

Read also: Trump 2.0 or a first Biden administration? How different worldviews will shape US foreign policy, FIIA Comment by Charly Salonius-Pasternak and Ville Sinkkonen.

FIIA Forum

Watch video of FIIA Forum 2020: Towards a Geoeconomic World Order: The Emerging Tech and Trade Wars

The FIIA Forum seminar held on 30 September 2020 discussed new geoeconomic developments. Watch the recording of the event on FIIA’s YouTube -channel.

Read also the FIIA Working Paper on the subject written by Henrique Choer Moraes and Mikael Wigell:  The emergence of strategic capitalism: Geoeconomics, corporate statecraft and the repurposing of the global economy


Anna-Kaisa Hiltunen receives State Award for Public Information

Anna-Kaisa Hiltunen

Anna-Kaisa Hiltunen, acting Managing Editor and Head of Research Communications at FIIA, has received the State Award for Public Information for her book Euroopan porteilla (’At the gates of Europe’, Gaudeamus 2019). Hiltunen’s book is the first work of non-fiction about the history and background of the EU’s asylum policy written in the Finnish language. The book elaborates on the role of the EU’s member states and various EU organs in European asylum policy. 

More about the book in Finnish on the publisher’s website.

Two open positions in FIIA’s EU research programme

FIIA is recruiting two Research Fellows in its European Union research programme. The appointments will take effect in November 2020 at the earliest and will run until the end of 2022. The applicant should hold a Doctoral or a Master’s degree and should have demonstrated her/his competence through previous academic and public activities.

We will consider applications in three thematic areas that will complement our current fields of expertise:
(i) EU’s relations with the Middle East and (North) Africa;
(ii) EU’s policies to counter terrorism and radicalisation; and
(iii) EU institutions and decision-making
Read more about the position here and apply by Monday 9 November 2020 at 16:15 local Finnish time!

Staff news

Research Fellow Johanna Ketola has joined FIIA’s project on the political and security implications of COVID-19.

Recent publications

FIIA Comment
Towards the 2021 Duma election: The Russian opposition needs strong leaders by Jussi Lassila  

FIIA Working Paper
EU peace mediation in the 2020s: From intervention to investment by Tyyne Karjalainen

FIIA Briefing Paper

Iran’s foreign policy: Buying time until the US presidential elections by Mariette Hägglund

The deepening Finnish-Swedish security and defence relationship: From operative cooperation to ‘strategic interoperability’?  by Matti Pesu and Tuomas Iso-Markku

The EU’s role and policies in the Sahel: The need for reassessment  by Tuomas Iso-Markku and Teemu Tammikko

All FIIA publications are available on the FIIA website 

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

Ulkopolitiikka 3/2020  

The autumn issue of Ulkopolitiikka, the Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs (in Finnish), deals with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on national economies and politics. The increased state spending and mounting sovereign debt pose a challenge to established economic theories. In a profile interview, former prime minister of Finland Paavo Lipponen reflects on how Finland’s EU relationship has changed over time. Other main stories explore China’s hybrid strategy, Joe Biden’s views on foreign policy, and lack of vision in Finland’s EU policy. The journal is available in print and online at


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