Press release 163/2013
8 August 2013
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs 2014 budget proposal for the administrative branch totals 1,298 million euros.
The Ministry’s proposed operating expenses for 2014 come to 201.8 million euros. In 2014 work will be continued to restructure and streamline the system of Finnish foreign representation through a stronger focus on Nordic cooperation, the EU’s External Action Service and the Team Finland concept.
In world politics and the world economy, there will be a continued structural shift towards developing countries, and economic external relations will continue to gain greater significance. In the changing operating environment there will be increasing need for foreign policy engagement. This will require that the Foreign Service adopt a more focused and closely targeted approach as well as a wider range of foreign policy tools. Resources will be concentrated to countries and regions that have increasing political and economic significance. Work will be continued to restructure and streamline the system of Finnish foreign representation.
In 2014 Finland will be chairing both the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC).
The Ministry’s consular services will be developed and improved to reflect changing demands in line with the Ministry’s consular service strategy. At the same time strong emphasis will be placed on the agency and responsibility of individual citizens, and steps will be taken in order to benefit from the cooperation among sectoral authorities and to capture the opportunities presented by Nordic and EU cooperation. Continued efforts will be made to develop the Ministry’s preparedness and response organisation with a view to ensuring operational reliability in various challenging situations.
Efforts will be made to further develop visa services, particularly in Finland’s diplomatic missions in Russia. The Visa Service Centre in Kouvola will extend its services to Finland’s Consulate General in St. Petersburg and to other Finnish missions in Russia. At the same time further steps will be taken to improve the availability of electronic services.
Finland is actively involved in the work of the EU, the UN and major international organisations engaged in crisis management, contributing to crisis management efforts around the world. In 2014 the main areas of focus will be Lebanon, Afghanistan, Africa and Kosovo. It is estimated that in 2014 a total of around 720 hired staff will be involved in military and civilian crisis management operations.
In keeping with the spending limits for the administrative branch it is proposed that 56.3 million euros be allocated for the maintenance costs of Finnish crisis management troops. Following the orientations laid down in 2011–2013, the biggest operations are the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon and the ISAF mission in Afghanistan.
It is proposed that 17.4 million euros be allocated to the participation of civilian personnel in crisis management, of which 400,000 is set aside for mediation. Finland’s civilian crisis management role is predominantly through EU operations.
Development cooperation expenditure in 2014 is expected to come in at 1,102.7 million euros, which according to current projections is the equivalent of around 0.53% of GNI. The proposed sum for development cooperation proper is 891.8 million euros. As set out in the Government Programme, appropriations for 2014 are frozen at the 2012 level. In keeping with the Government’s March spending limits decision, revenue from the auctioning of emissions rights will be channelled to development cooperation and climate financing. The use of emissions trading revenue for this purpose is aimed at increasing Finland’s development cooperation spending as a proportion of GNI.
Finland’s human rights approach to development policy is ultimately aimed at eradicating extreme poverty and at securing a life of human dignity in line with the UN Millennium Declaration Goals. Funds will continue to be allocated to the priority areas identified in Finland’s Development Policy Programme and, in line with the Government Programme, to multilateral and NGO cooperation. Furthermore cooperation will be stepped up to ensure that developing countries’ own resources are more extensively harnessed to support development.
Development policy is geared to finding solutions to other global challenges as well, such as climate change. In line with the Cancun 2010 agreements, industrialised countries will be aiming by 2020 to raise annual funds of USD 100 billion to finance climate measures in developing countries. Out of the appropriations for development cooperation included in the 2014 budget proposal, an estimated 93 million euros will be allocated to Finnish climate funding.
The budget proposal includes 10.0 million euros to increase the share capital of the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation (Finnfund).
In line with the Government Programme Finland will work to strengthen its role in northern regional cooperation. The main focus in this area will be on Northern Dimension policy and multilateral cooperation in northern region councils, such as the Council of Baltic Sea States, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and the Arctic Council. The Government’s Russia Action Plan will also be supported. The budget proposal earmarks 3.2 million euros for Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic cooperation.
In keeping with the spending limits for the administrative branch it is proposed that 86.5 million euros be allocated to membership fees and contributions. Finnish contributions to the UN account for the bulk of the appropriation.
It is estimated that the administrative branch under the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will receive 17.3 million euros in revenue that is not included in the Ministry’s operating expenditure. These revenue sources include wage compensation paid by the UN for military crisis management and joint development cooperation projects.
Additional information: Financial Director Risto Hakoila, tel. +358 295 351 287 and Head of Financial Planning Katja Bordi, tel. +358 295 351 284; for development cooperation, Head of Unit Timo Olkkonen, General Development Policy and Planning Unit, tel. +358 295 350 945; for Baltic, Barents and Arctic region cooperation, Counsellor of Foreign Affairs Marja-Leena Vuorenpää, Deputy Head of Unit, tel. +358 295 351 475