The four pillars: Strengthening national security and resilience, Helsinki Times

Closer to home, the situation in the Baltic Sea region is not only a reflection of other conflicts. The real elements of tension are there – Russia and NATO’s increased military presence in the Baltic Sea, the lack of dialogue between east and west, Finland’s geographical location between the western states and Russia, and the Baltic Sea as a strategic transportation route. Despite this, there is much we can do to strengthen Finland’s position in such a world and to enhance both our national security and resilience. In this I invoke the four pillars.

The first two pillars are a wise foreign policy and a credible defence. I strongly believe in the importance of a consensual foreign policy underpinned by effective diplomacy as the best means for creating stability and predictability. For a small country, multilateral organisations such as the European Union and United Nations are without doubt a better option than a world dominated by great powers. Though they are both beset with issues concerning their abilities to operate and mediate, I am certain that the best antidote to the dealings of great powers and their spheres of influence is to contribute to better functioning multilateral organisations, thereby encouraging and fostering greater respect for international rules.

Matti Vanhanen, representing the Centre Party, is a Member of Parliament and Chairperson of the International Affairs Committee. He is a presidential candidate in the 2018 election. Läs artikel