News from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)



New Pact for Europe

FIIA held the first meeting of the Finnish National Reflection Group of the New Pact for Europe project on 16 June. The project promotes EU-wide public debate about Europe’s future and has been initiated and supported by an international consortium of European foundations. FIIA plans the project’s activities in Finland.

A transnational dialogue with Belgian reflection group and a seminar focusing on the state of the union will take place in Helsinki in the autumn.

Programme directors appointed for 2017-2019

Mika Aaltola, Juha Jokela and Arkady Moshes will continue in their current positions in the next 3-year period from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2019.

Dr Mika Aaltola leads the Global Security Research Programme, which focuses on global trajectories of security that have significance for the European and Finnish security environments. Dr Aaltola received his doctoral degree from the University of Tampere and has worked at the University of Minnesota as a Visiting Professor. In his research, Dr Aaltola has focused for instance on US domestic and foreign policy and great power relations.

Dr Juha Jokela leads the European Union Research Programme, which focuses on the EU’s external relations and institutional development. Dr Jokela received his doctorate from the University of Bristol and has previously worked e.g. as Director of the University of Helsinki Network for European Studies. Dr Jokela’s research has focused on the EU’s foreign and security policy among other things. He is also a TEPSA Board Member.

Dr Arkady Moshes leads the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia Research Programme which focuses especially on Russian domestic and foreign policy. Dr Moshes received his doctorate from the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences and he has published extensively on issues such as Russia-EU relations and Ukrainian and Belarusian domestic and foreign policy.

The principal responsibility of the programme directors is to lead their research programme and to take part in the planning of the Institute’s research activities. In addition, programme directors have their individual research agendas.

NATO evaluation

In accordance with the Government Programme, the effects of Finland’s possible NATO membership were assessed in connection with the preparation of a Report on Finnish Foreign and Security Policy.

Director Teija Tiilikainen and member of the FIIA Board René Nyberg took part in preparing the evaluation which was submitted to Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini on 29 April 2016. Other experts appointed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs were Ambassador (ret.) Mats Bergqvist and François Heisbourg, Chairman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

Activities in 2016

By the end of May, FIIA researchers published 15 peer-reviewed academic articles (including journals such as International Affairs, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and the International Spectator), two books, one edited journal issue and a total of 57 publications for the professional audiences or the general public.

FIIA researchers gave ten oral and/or written statements to the parliamentary committees and 128 presentations at events which were not organised by FIIA.

Staff News

Leo Michel, an expert on US defence and security policy, will join FIIA’s Center on US Politics and Power in the framework of Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation funding in mid-August for three months.

Ryhor Nizhnikau​ will join the NRUS programme in the beginning of August. His research interests include EU policies in the post-Soviet area, European Neighbourhood Policy, Russia’s foreign policy.