Monday, May 05, 2003
Finnish opposition to a "closed defence core" - 5th May 2003, 11.49

The Finnish government has been one of the more vocal defenders of the rights of small countries within the EU and, interestingly, has linked this to opposing the creation of a "two speed" EU in security policy. Finland has a history of neutrality and has been willing to accept certain security guarantees within the EU, including "the establishment of an office of defence materiel, a statement of solidarity in the future EU constitution, and the expansion of crisis management".

They view the "closed defence core" as an importation of NATO's probles into the European Union and prefer to retain a common foreign and security policy that is open to all and structured on the grounds of flexibility. It appears that the "closed defence core" is having an impact upon the current division within the European Convention between the smaller and larger countries, stimulating new institutional alliance centred on the Franco-German motor.


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