Address by Foreign Minister Pertti Paasio at the Tampere Paasikivi Society, 15 June 1990
Changing Security Challenges/
The Changing Challenges to Security
There are many basic factors at work reshaping Finland's vicinity. The latest phase in the enormous change taking place in our continent has meant for Finland increasing and changing security challenges.
Finnish foreign policy has actively responded to these extensive challenges. We have presented our own views and also exercised initiative as needed. We will continuee to follow this line.
We can still be satisfied with the basic trend of development. Natural interaction will be increasing, ideological dividing lines will remain in the past, and the efforts to create a new security order have led to some kind of an architectural competition for a new security policy for Europe.
We have been particularly pleased to note the progress recorded in the co-operation between the Great Powers, the latest example of which is the understanding reached about strategic weapons. The threat of a major war is, indeed, receding.
The traditional dividing line between the East and West is breaking down. We are now in a situation in which the reciprocal security order of States is in transition.
The fact that economic and, in particular, ecological interdependence has strengthened has called into question the traditional, statecentric systems. The rapid growth of world trade has brought the market areas closer to each other and lowered national barriers. The feeling of global togetherness has grown stronger.
Every state - even a Great Power - is today too small to solve on its own the basic issues relating to security. The time of hegemonies is over. Co-operation is our only gateway to asecure future.
The future holds out possibilities but it will not come truewithout sacrifices. We must be ale to share our wealth, togradually detach ourselves from a security order excessivelybased on arms and to transfer economic resources to saving theenvironment.
The present development has also certain uncontrollablefeatures. It is possible - even to be feared - that summaryuse of power will yet occur also in our own continent.
There is no problem regarding which time is equally mercilessas in the prevention of imminent environmental disasters. Timeis in fact the very thing we are running out of. It seems thatthe problem of ecological security cannot be solved merely
through co-operation betweeen states. Profound changes in thevarious cultures are called for. We need new and moreefficient international institutions.
Amidst the rapid and surprising changes, general uncertainty, even insecurity, seems to be on the increase. This is also reflected in the opinions that citizens hold about our foreign policy. Opinion polls indicate that citizens have become increasingly critical of the way in which our foreign policy is managed.
It is apparent that people follow international developmentsand take a personal stand on them more than before, above allas a result of the violent change in Europe. Despite this,public opinion in Finland is exceptionally uniform when itcomes to fundamental issues of importance to us.
Those in charge of our foreign policy have, to a greaterextent than before, to state reasons for the decisions theymake. Ultimately, decision-makers/politicians bear theirresponsibility at elections; but their express responsibilityalso includes that hey have the courage in justifiablesituations to go against the mainstream indicated by opinionpolls when necessary from the point of view of the nationalinterest.
The management of foreign policy is a comprehensive matter.One simply cannot base decisions on limited views or emotionalreactions.
However, the change in citizens' attitudes has entailed achallenge of a new kind. Our country needs high-standardforeign policy research, a continuing discussion sheddinglight on matters and, above all, an encouraging atmosphere forsuch discussion.
The interaction of views is important especially at a timewhen threats to the environment may require action deviatingfrom the customary patterns.
The dramatic development in Europe has emphasized thesignificance of such security thinking as seeks to build onco-operation. The time has come to develop the Conference onSecurity and Co-operation in Europe. We have to be able torealistically assess the possibilities of that process, aswell as its limitations. The CSCE does not offer a panaceafor all the problems lying ahead; yet, if developed dynamically, it will offer a foundation and scope for a securityorder building on co-operation.
I am convinced that to solve the environmental problems of this continent we have to proceed both through the CSCE and regardless of it. It is evident that environmental policy will in future often mean also that regional co-operation is intensified.
From the environmental point of view, we must bring about sustained development in our close vicinity /adjacent areas. By far the greater part of the air pollutants are transported into our country from outside our boundaries. Now that Finnish-Soviet co-operation has become closer even in environmental matters, it has emerged that on the Soviet side, in the vicinity of our territory, there are several industrial plants and communities whose polluting emissions heavily burden even Finland. It is therefore very much in our interest to further activate the environmental co-operation between our countries. This is actively advocated by the Government.
The air pollutants being transported into our country from the Kola Peninsula have become a large-scale problem. What is now called for is new and unprejudiced co-operation between Finland and the Soviet Union, perhaps even more broadly. We have emphasized that decisions have to be reached urgently, and concrete offers of co-operation have been made by some companies. The Government is prepared to support such practical efforts.
The Government is considering setting up a special financing system for the intensification of environmental co-operation particularly in the regions in our close vicinity. This will require a separate budgetary appropriation, and the process should get started in the forthcoming budget negotiations.
The target is a gradual increase in these appropriations up to 0.3 per cent of the gross national product. This is an important step in principle and in practice.
On the European scale, environmental policy can succeed only if all the CSCE countries can be integrated into the international economy, in addition to which an effective pan-European environmental organization will possibly have to be created. A proposal, worth supporting, has previously been made, for instance, by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. Finland is prepared to start the practical clarification
International environmental policy will require effectivestandards and tenable /dependable /firm systems to guaranteetheir observance. For the control of environmental standards asimilar mechanism should be created as the one used in thehuman-rights sector on the basis of the Vienna ConcludingDocument.
According to such a control system, states would commit themselves to reply to inquiries by other states concerning thestate of the environment or some activity regarded as aproblem from the environmental point of view. States couldalso send observers to other countries to investigate to whatextent the environmental standards are observed.
This would mean that states would voluntarily acceptinterference by other states in their internal affairs when itcomes to environmental protection, as is already the caseconcerning human-rights issuesfor a project of this kind.
In the course of the past year Finland emphasized in various connections that the elimination of economc inequality from our continent will in future be an essential factor in the pursuit of durable security.
The states of eastern and Central Europe are rapidly heading for a market economy.
They now face a time of high hopes but above all a time of hard work. The liberation of the market forces may also sharpen social inequality which, naturally, may easily lead to political unrest. Market economy is no panacea, only one premise for development.
The recently established European Reconstruction and DevelopmentBank offers one impetus in the process of creating an economicspace on the scale of the continent. New markets andco-operative prospects are rapidly opening up also to Finnishcompanies in the central parts of Europe. In the Governmentsview the changes in eastern and Central Europe are so extensivethat Finland will have to consider the steps to be taken withina comprehensive plan. Such a programme is in preparation andwill be handled by the Government soon. It aims at strengthening Finlands possibilities for co-operation above all inenvironmental protection but it also considers concrete measuresto support export and investment efforts. Co-operation intraining, understadably, plays a notable part as it is onlythrough thorough training that a foundation can be laid forremarkable economic reforms to take root.
The process of change affecting eastern and Central Europe is,naturally, so extensive that broad co-operation is called for tosupport it. Finland has participated actively in the work ofthe group of 24, in which the OECD countries have co-rdinated
their national and international measures of support.
The ongoing process between the EFTA countries and the EC aimed at the creation of a European Economic Space - EES - has reached the crucial stage. The negotiations are held in a situation in which the EC, in consequence of the development in East Europe and the reunification of the Germanies, has accelerated the Community's advance towards an economic, monetary, and political union.
The EC is changing, and time will tell to what extent. Those who wish to discuss the possibility of membership should take even this into consideration and not speculate on membership as an alternative to the negotiations aimed at the creation of the EES. In any case, the question of membership is not of current interest for Finland.
When looking at this matter from the EC's point of view, the framing of the question is different but the conclusion is the same. From the EC's point of view, accepting new countries, especially neutral ones, as members might seriously interfere with the ambitious plans described above. Accordingly, the conclusion is that negotiations on new memberships will not be entered into until there are clearer indications as to the future shape of the Community.
I wish to note even in this context that the scope covered by the EES has been clearly restricted to so-called four freedoms and the sectors of co-operation closely connected with them.
The most essential difference between the EES and EC is on the institutional side. The EC is clearly a supranational organization,
in which new rules are adopted by a majority vote and in which the element of supranationalism is gaining strength.
Within the EES, on the other hand, no new rules binding on one of the parties could be adopted without the consent of all the parties.
We endeavour to bring the EES negotiations between EFTA and the EC to a positive conclusion. At the same time we must be able to adapt even this process to the challenge concerning a more extensive integration created by the eastern and Central Europe an the Soviet Union.
New separating constructions must not be erected while/now that we are breaking away from the old ones.
At this very moment the most interesting development from the point of view of our continent's security is taking place around the uniting Germanies.A favourable solution to determining its future geopolitical status could benefit all Europe.
The ongoing so-called 2+4 negotiations have been held in an encouraging atmosphere. On the other hand, the most difficult problems are still ahead.
From the point of view of creating a new European security order it is of paramount/ primary importance that the so-called external questions relating to the uniting Germany are solved without any significant delay/time lag.
The Vienna disarmament negotiations concerning conventional weapons and their successful conclusion are closely connected/ linked/ with the new solutions relating expressly to the unification of the Germanies. It is clear that progress has to be made over these issues for our hopes of Europe, transformed from a divided continent to one of lasting security, to come true.
The discussion on establishing permanent common institutions as the constructions for a new European security order now has besides a social requirement also a more realistic basis.
The CSCE has up till now been above all the creator of common standards. Differences between the big and small participating States have been resolved by creating principles guiding the relations between States. At the background there has been the confrontation and balance of deterrence of the military alliances.
Now the military alliances are assuming a more political character. Europe is seeking a balance of a new kind regarding its security. In creating such a balance, for instance the following factors should be borne in mind:
- the Soviet Union will remain a Great Power. It wishes to maintain and further develop its relations with the rest of Europe. Success in this pursuit will be in the interest of the entity of Europe. The result is crucially dependent on the progress of the Soviet Union's internal reform.
- the western security community will have to reassess the focal areas of its activity and its military doctrines in consequence of the reunification of the Germanies, the progress in disarmament, the development of the EC, and of the internal factors of the United States.
What the position of the unifying Germanies will be in the security construction of this continent is essential from the point of view of both the Soviet Union and the western alliance.
The CSCE does not offer a panacea in this question. The CSCE could, however, gradually be given a more and more important role in integrating the factors of the new security order.
In the situation now emerging, permanent constructions are sought in which possible conflicts between the participating States could be resolved by negotiation - without the threat of force. At the same time, the CSCE should retain the task of a draftsman of common standards and targets, as well as the principle of consensus relating to them.
In the past weeks a large number of proposals for new CSCE bodies have been put forward in various quarters. They all have in common the idea of holding regular negotiating meetings at the political level.
In various connections during this spring, Finland has brought up her approach to the question of developing political co-operation in the CSCE process. We have proposed a gradual advancement in which new functional constructions come into being / are developed empirically:
- The preparation for the summit of the CSCE countries, planned to be held towards the end of the current year, was started by the decision of the foreign ministers in Copenhagen on 5 June, and a special steering committee for the summit will start working in Vienna next month. In addition, there will apparently be at least one meeting of foreign ministers as the United States has convened such a meeting to be held in New York in early autumn.
- The next phase will be the summit - the first one since the historic meeting in Helsinki in 1975 - followed by the implementation of the provisions to be set forth. In our view, the summit could already agree on regular meetings of foreign ministers.
Political preparations for the follow-up meeting opening in Helsinki in 1992 - and for the following summit possibly to be held in that connection - are likely to start immediately after the summit and under its mandates. This preparatory work, as we see it, will require meetings of foreign ministers and multilateral consultations among government representatives, which Finland as host to the forthcoming follow-up meeting is prepared to organize.
- At the Helsinki follow-up meeting, new resolutions will be adopted to establish and develop permanent CSCE bodies.
We see, thus, that the time extending up to the Helsinki follow-up meeting means, on the one hand, agreeing on the first measures to be taken and, on the other hand, a kind of running-in period in installing the CSCE process on a durable basis.
It is important that the CSCE be given a central position in controlling the political change taking place in our continent and in developing a new security order. The first and most urgent prerequisite for this is the establishment, at the political level, of a common permanent body, a CSCE committee or a CSCE council.
The foreign ministers would convene within this structure at regular intervals and also as the need arises. It is natural that the preparations for the meetings of ministers, as well as other, continuous, work should be carried out by the
permanent CSCE representatives. It seems evident that summitswill be organized even in future.
The CSCE countries should maintain a continuous dialogue andassess the realization of the decisions taken, as well asdevelop their co-operation on a broad front. A permanentpolitical CSCE body could also assume certain tasks of crisismanagement and endeavour to prevent states of tension. This isespecially the case with regard to conflicts relating to humanrights and ethnic minorities, the occurrence of which willprobably be unavoidable even in future.
A continuous political dialogue will strengthen even militarysecurity. The increasing openness relating to militaryquestions, and the expanding confidence- and security-buildingmeasures create the conditions for a natural exchange of viewsand give all countries equally better prerequisites forassessing the security situation.
The Helsinki process is important to Finland. Finland was itsprime mover. It has come to form part of our national andEuropean identity. If headquarters of some kind - a permanentsecretariat -is to be set up for the CSCE, its natural seat /location is the capital of Finland.
Power politics is something that is not likely to be everentirely eliminated from international relations; neither isthe competition / rivalry between states or the new coalitionsformed by them. The capital of neutrality obtained by Finlandshould herefore not be despised but adhered to in a naturalmanner, even under changing conditions. Neutrality has nevercreated confrontation but rather contributed to dischargingit. This is its permanent task.