International military crisis management

Updated: 16 Mar 2021
Next update: 18 Mar 2022

In accordance with the Act on Military Crisis Management, Finland may participate in international military crisis management authorised by the United Nations (UN) Security Council, or exceptionally in other international military crisis management, with the purpose of maintaining or restoring international peace and security or supporting humanitarian assistance operations or protecting the civilian population, taking into account the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (Finnish Treaty Series 1/1956) and other rules of international law. The implementing party for crisis management referred to in this Act may be the UN, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU) or some other international organisation or group of countries.

Pursuant to the Act, the Finnish crisis management organisation may comprise crisis management forces, individual units and private persons. The number of crisis management personnel, excluding rotation personnel and personnel in training, must not exceed 2,000.

The annual number of participants in operations is given as the average number of staff participating in various operations during the year. To a certain degree, operational strength varies during the year. Operations may also begin or end in the middle of the year, which may result in considerable variations in operational strength. The number of people participating in an operation is weighted in accordance with the operation’s duration and the average number of participants.


Participation in military crisis management operations

In December 2020, Finland took part in 9 military crisis management operations and one military observation operation. The biggest of these is the UNIFIL operation in which Finland has a strength of around 200 persons.

The number of those having participated in military crisis management operations has fallen from the beginning of the 2000s. Smaller and more efficient troops with lower numbers of persons take part in the operations. Participation is regulated by costs that have risen significantly along with distant operations (Afghanistan, Somalia, Mali). Costs are also raised by the security risks and support requirements of the operations, which are controlled by setting higher demands than before on the personal equipment of troops and soldiers.