The budget proposal for 2020 strengthens Finland's international visibility and global influence

The budget proposal for 2020 strengthens Finland's international visibility and global influence

In the Government’s budget proposal, EUR 1.256 billion is proposed for the Foreign Ministry’s main title of expenditure. This is EUR 120 million more than was allocated in the Budget for 2019. The growth is mainly due to appropriation increases in line with the Government Programme.

The text Budget 2020 on a blue background.

The improvement of the operational preconditions of the network of Finland's missions abroad, participation in international conflict prevention and mediation, and measures that would ensure an appropriate level of development finance are stressed in the budget proposal. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs works to strengthen the multilateral rules-based system, international law, democracy, human rights and the position and functioning of the United Nations. One of the main aims is to promote the rights of women and girls.

Operating expenses

A total of EUR 235.4 million is proposed for the operating expenses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The Foreign Service serves the entire state administration, citizens, companies, organisations, the media, and other cooperation partners. Finland’s diplomatic and consular missions abroad help shape the conditions in which Finland’s security, wellbeing and visibility can be maintained. To strengthen the network of Finnish missions abroad, four new missions will be opened in 2021–2022.

The handling of matters relating to entry in the country will be strengthened insofar as they fall under the remit of the Foreign Service. According to the budget proposal, EUR 4.5 million will be allocated to this purpose, of which EUR 2.5 million will be permanent funding earmarked to ensure adequate resources for the missions. The main emphasis will be on removing barriers to work-based migration of skilled labour and to the development of the processing of visas.

The cooperation between Team Finland players will be strengthened with a view to enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the activities and improving customer satisfaction.

Crisis management

In line with the Government Programme, a stronger priority in Finland’s foreign policy will be placed on the prevention of conflicts and on mediation and peacebuilding.

Finland aims to foster mediation and peacebuilding. Finland supports the dialogue processes in mediation, promotes efforts to resolve ongoing conflicts, and strengthens mediation activities and mediation capacity both nationally and internationally. EUR 2.5 million is proposed for mediation purposes, of which EUR 1.5 million will be in the form of one-off additional funding.

The strength of (Finland’s) civilian crisis management force will also be increased. It is proposed that the administrative branches of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior be granted permanent funding totalling EUR 1.5 million in 2020, to be raised to EUR 4.5 million in 2023. This will ensure the employment of 150 specialists as stated in the Government Programme.

Finland will continue its active participation in international military crisis management. In international crisis management activities, Finland focuses on Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also participates in operations in Ukraine, Kosovo and Africa. A total of EUR 53.1 million is proposed for the maintenance costs of Finnish contingents assigned to crisis management operations.

Development cooperation

Finland bears its responsibility and participates in efforts to resolve major global problems through development cooperation, by providing humanitarian aid and by contributing to international climate finance. A world that is prosperous, more stable and more equitable is also in the best interest of people living in Finland. In accordance with the Government Programme, the increases in funding for development cooperation will be allocated especially to mitigate climate change, to reduce suffering caused by conflicts, to strengthen democracy and the rule of law, and to tackle the learning crisis. More support will be channelled for multilateral cooperation and for development cooperation involving civil society organisations.

It is estimated that the Government’s development cooperation expenditure will be EUR 1.030 million in 2020, corresponding to approximately 0.41 per cent of gross national income (GNI). A total of EUR 684.1 million is proposed for the ODA administered by the Foreign Ministry. In 2020, the ODA administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be raised by approximately EUR 100 million compared with the level in 2019. EUR 71.7 million of the increase will be covered from the additional regular annual expenditure in accordance with the Government Programme; this additional funding will be raised to EUR 79.8 million in 2023. A one-off funding of EUR 10 million will be allocated for the years 2020 and 2021.

Support for developing countries will be continued through development policy investments. EUR 129.7 million is proposed for development policy investments. At least 75% of the allocations made during the parliamentary term will be directed to climate finance and 60% to funding purposes in Africa.

It is proposed that EUR 10.0 million be allocated to increase the share capital of the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation (Finnfund) and EUR 3.0 million for support for democracy and the rule of law.

Other appropriations

Of the EUR 3.0 million proposed for cooperation in the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea and the Arctic regions, EUR 1.0 million will be allocated in the form of one-off funding.  Finland promotes stability, security and sustainable development and fosters financial cooperation opportunities, for example by engaging in regional cooperation. Finland’s position as an active player in environmental and climate matters will be strengthened.

An allocation of EUR 87.6 million is proposed for membership fees and contributions. The bulk of this sum will be directed to Finland’s contributions to the UN.

It is estimated that the administrative branch of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will accrue EUR 55.6 million in revenues not included in the Ministry’s operating expenses. The revenue sources include rental income from cultural and academic institutes, visa processing fees, proceeds from the sale of property, and refunds of membership fees and contributions to international organisations and of development assistance.

Inquiries: Risto Hakoila, Financial Director, tel. +358 295 351 287, Katja Bordi, Head of Financial Planning, tel. +358 295 351 284, Lotta Karlsson, Director (questions concerning development cooperation), tel. +358 295 351 932 and Niklas Lindqvist, Director General (questions concerning Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic cooperation), tel. +358 295 351 517.

The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format [email protected].

 

Correction 7 October 2019:  Support for development policy investments will be continued through development policy investments --> Support for developing countries will be continued through development policy investments.