Introduction of a Member Institute: Finnish Institute of International Affairs

The Finnish Institute of International Affairs is a Helsinki-based independent research institute that produces high level research to support political decision-making and public debate both nationally and internationally.

 At the beginning of this year, a new programme structure was launched at FIIA for the period 2011-2013. The three research programmes are: the EU research programme (director Juha Jokela), the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia research programme (director Arkady Moshes) and the Global Security research programme (director Mika Aaltola). The programmes have three-year working programmes.

 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. EU’s development policy will also be monitored more systematically in the future.

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. Like the recent Duma elections, the forthcoming presidential elections will be followed particularly closely.

 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 programme’s high level of expertise on Asia is reflected in a number of recent publications.

In addition, the Institute has several on-going projects which transcend the boundaries of the research programmes. For instance, the Institute has launched a peace mediation project in order to enhance debate, research and awareness of peace mediation in Finland. The project establishes cooperation networks and organises events which analyse the key questions relating to Finnish peace mediation capacity and tradition, the topical issues of peace mediation, peace mediation as part of Finnish foreign policy, and the role of small states in peace mediation. The project, which is conducted in close cooperation with the Crisis Management Initiative, brings together national and international researchers, experts and decision-makers in the field of peace mediation.

The Institute was established by the Parliament of Finland in its centennial plenum in June 2006 and the Parliament also provides the Institute’s basic funding. The Institute is autonomous in its research activities and is governed by a nine-member board, assisted by an advisory council and a scientific advisory council. All FIIA publications can be down¬loaded from the institute’s website free of charge ( FIIA researcher Hanna Ojanen is a member of TEPSA board.