FSD3606 Finnish Opinions on Security Policy and National Defence 2021

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European integration, armed forces, conflict, conflict resolution, conscription, defence, defence and state security policy, foreign policy, foreign relations, international alliances, international conflict resolution, military expenditure, military operations, national security

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The annual Finnish Opinions on Security Policy National Defence survey charted Finnish public opinion on foreign policy, defence policy, security, military alliances, military service, and international armed conflicts at the time of the survey. Some questions examined views on factors affecting safety and security.

Opinions were charted on the success of foreign policy in the previous few years, funds allocated to the Defence Forces, whether Finland should resort to armed defence in case of any sort of attack, whether the respondents would be prepared to participate in national defence according to their abilities, and how the global security situation would develop in the next five years. Views were probed on the current, conscription-based defence system and whether women should also participate in conscription. The respondents were asked whether Finland should form military alliances and whether Finland should apply for NATO membership.

Next, the respondents were asked how different issues affected the safety and security of Finland. These included, among others, Finland's EU membership, potential NATO membership, participation in the EU defence and in international crisis management, and military non-alignment. Satisfaction with defence policy in the previous few years was investigated. Views were charted on Finnish military cooperation in the EU, with NATO, other Nordic countries, and the United States. The respondents were asked to evaluate the impact of several countries and organisations, such as Russia, China, US, UN, NATO and EU, on Finland's security. Views on how the military situation in nearby regions would develop during the next decade were also examined.

Concerns caused by certain phenomena and issues were charted, such as withdrawals from arms controls agreements, climate change, various infectious diseases and epidemics, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, organised crime, international terrorism, fake news, cyberthreats, political extremism, racism, employment, and current developments in the EU, Belarus, Russia, US, Middle East and Ukraine. The respondents were asked to evaluate Finland's preparedness for the prevention of various security threats, such as armed attack, energy supply issues, infectious diseases and epidemics, environmental hazards, political pressure from other states, economic crisis, terrorism, and attacks against information systems and networks.

The respondents were asked whether their trust in the future of the European Union had weakened, strengthened or stayed the same. Views on co-operation between EU and NATO to increase security in Europe, and Finland's success in controlling the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic were also investigated. The respondents were asked whether they trusted the ability of the Finnish Defence Forces to defend Finland against military threats, and whether they were worried about the security threats and exploitation opportunities provided by digitalisation and technological advances.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's gender, age, economic activity and occupational status, economic activity and occupational status of the household head, household composition, ages of children living at home (categorised), gross annual income of the household, level of education, type of accommodation, region of residence, number of inhabitants in the municipality of residence, political party choice in the previous parliamentary elections, and political party choice if the parliamentary elections were held at the time of the survey.

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