Minister Jari Lindström's Speech at the Comprehensive Security Special Course

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 9.4.2019 13.27
Speech

Minister of Employment Jari Lindström's Welcome Speech at the Comprehensive Security Special Course on 9 April, 2019.

Dear participants, ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to warmly welcome you to the Comprehensive Security Special Course that is organised jointly by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, the Finnish National Emergency Supply Agency and the National Defence Courses.

The objective of the course is to present Finland’s comprehensive security concept to an international business audience and to selected international stakeholders. Comprehensive security refers to a Finnish preparedness model in which the authorities, business life, non-governmental organisations and citizens cooperate to secure the vital functions of society. During this course, we hope to encourage dialogue among industry and stakeholders on comprehensive security through a variety of topics, such as critical infrastructure protection, economic security and resilience.

There are two main motivations for organising this course. Firstly, the Finnish model for civil preparedness is based on well-functioning markets and a competitive economy. The majority of critical production, services and infrastructures are provided by private sector operators. Consequently, cooperation between the public and private sectors is a key success factor for securing these critical functions.

Secondly, a growing amount of the critical infrastructures and services depend on cross-border connections and resources outside Finland. International cooperation plays a major role in safeguarding national resilience. Cross-border interdependencies are increasingly important in terms of safeguarding the functioning of our societies.

Keeping these two wide-ranging aspects in mind, the Comprehensive Security Special Course is an opportunity for public-private partnership and international cooperation to grow and develop. To this end, the organisers hope to provide a forum for mutual learning and exchange of experience.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We live in a world of interdependencies. This requires network-driven thinking and actions that transcend boundaries. Finland’s economic condition and competitiveness contribute to our security of supply. Hence, security of supply and comprehensive security are strongly linked to changes in political and economic life. The functioning of society and security of supply in serious incidents and emergencies are ensured by relying on the structures established in normal circumstances, and on well-functioning markets. It is essential the continuity of markets, exports and investments are guaranteed, and that these sectors support comprehensive security, regardless of the circumstances.

Over the past years, the security policy situation around the Baltic Sea has become less stable and less predictable. In the global economic arena, protectionism is raising its head, and the traditional pursuit of free trade and mobility of capital have been questioned on a wider front. Cyber security and hybrid threats reflect on international politics. Security issues are increasingly often a major concern for international investors. In addition, issues such as climate change, extreme weather and energy issues are current themes in international forums. Preparing for the challenges of our changing world is of essential importance, both for business life and for the public sector. For these reasons, too, the themes of this course are of current interest.

Finland’s security of supply system is built on a public-private partnership. Private companies play a crucial role in maintaining the security of supply. In a global world, a growing number of Finnish companies have an international ownership base. It is therefore of utmost importance that the comprehensive security concept and the approach adopted for ensuring our security of supply is fully understood in these companies. A firm commitment to make their contribution to the maintenance of security of supply is required of companies. 

Finland is a stable, safe, well-functioning and predictable society which provides good investment opportunities and good operating conditions for businesses. We are taking determined steps to ensure this will continue to be the case in the future. The input of businesses, the authorities and the civil society is required for these efforts to be successful.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The objectives for national security of supply are set every five years. In December last year, the Government approved the decision, prepared under the direction of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, on the objectives of security of supply. The strategic objective of the national security of supply is to safeguard the ability of critical infrastructure, production and services to meet the necessary needs of the population, economic life and national defence in all circumstances. 

According to the decision, the starting points for national security of supply are international markets, a diverse industrial and other production base, a stable public economy and a competitive national economy. Safeguarding the security of supply is closely tied to well-functioning international political, economic and technological connections, and their continuity. The significance of international interdependencies and global value chains is growing, which means effective security of supply requires both wider and deeper bilateral and multilateral international cooperation.

To be able to overcome any crises, we need sound structures in society and a well-functioning economy. Therefore, I sincerely hope everyone fully understands the importance of security of supply and preparedness in today’s changing world. More than anything else, it’s all about cooperation.

Dear participants,

This is the first time that such a unique course is organised in Finland. We hope that this experiment will provide positive and beneficial outcomes. In particular, we hope that this course will increase everyone’s overall understanding of the challenges that we are facing in terms of building resilience in our respective organisations.

To conclude, I would like to wish all participants an interesting course and active discussions. Thank you for your attention!