chapter  4
22 Pages

Finland and the ESDP: ‘Obliquely forwards’?

Finland joined the EU for reasons of security, but in a rather special sense.

It did not join in order to enhance its security;2 it joined because it felt safe

enough to do so. The late 1980s had changed Finland’s political environ-

ment in many ways. The Soviet Union softened its view on the European

Communities and talks about closer relations between the European Com-

munities and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)3 started, even-

tually leading to negotiations on the European Economic Area (EEA). In

such circumstances, neutrality was no longer needed as the device with which Finland had positioned itself outside the East-West struggles. It was

safe for Finland to stretch out to the European Communities that no longer

were at the edge of political confrontation in Europe. Thus, membership

was no longer politically controversial, or a security matter for Finland:

Finland was able to join because membership no longer affected its security.