Integrační politika Finska od druhé světové války do konce 80. let 20. století.

Authors

  • Michal Částek Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic

Abstract

Finland´s Integration Policy Since WWII to the End of 1980s.

The paper focuses on the post-war integration policy of Finland and analyzes the Finnish motivations and incentives for its participation in Western European integration. The study shows that economic factors were the key attraction for the Western European integration process, while political factors limited the scope of the Finnish integration policy during the Cold War. According to the Treaty of the Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance signed by Finland and the Soviet Union in 1948, Finland became a part of the Soviet security system and Finland was to keep outside of any alliance which was hostile to the Soviet Union. The geo-strategic position of Finland thereby restricted Finnish participation in Western European integration during the Cold War, given that the EC was seen by Moscow as an economic arm of the western military alliance. Finland was permitted by the Kremlin to arrange contacts with Western economic organizations only in the mid-1950’s and the creation of the European Free Trade Association in 1960 was an economic challenge for Finnish exports as Great Britain and Sweden were members. Due to its unique relations with the Soviet Union, Finland formally acquired associate-member status at the EFTA but with the economic advantages of full membership. Western Europe has always been vital for the Finnish economy, especially for its export sector of wood and paper. It was very important not to let Sweden have a competitive advantage in Western Europe by more far-reaching participation in integration. Finnish integration policy was very cautious due to its post-war relations with the Soviet Union and has been designated as a “wait-and-see” policy. Finland always followed Sweden into similar agreements within EFTA or with the EC but delayed and restricted its participation for political reasons during the 1960’s and the 1970’s. Since the mid-1980’s, Finnish integration policy changed and became more active, as Finland became a full member of the EFTA and the Soviet Union’s policy started to change.

Keywords: Finland, European integration, integration policy

Published

2012-02-17

Issue

Section

Articles