The Government Releases a Road Map to Internal Security – Aims To Make the Safest Country in the World

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Paula Risikko, the minister of the interior, presenting the road map to internal security for the heads of different authorities, from police to military, in Helsinki, Finland on Thursday, October 5, 2017. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The government has a hefty goal. It wants to ensure that Finland will be the safest country in the world for living, working and entrepreneurship. This is not the easiest task in a complex world with terrorism, alienated youth and growing differences in wealth among the population.

To help to maintain the goal, an updated strategy for internal security, a road map, was released by the Ministry of the Interior on Thursday afternoon. In the future, changes in security are very likely, and the report acknowledges that prior preparation is hard. “The basis of safety in society is based on the action and choices made by the individuals,” the report says.

Here are four of the biggest challenges when it comes to internal security:

1. The most central challenge is the expanding, diverse alienation. It increases the risk of disturbances in society and is a defining factor in the need of reactive service provided by the safety authorities. Radicalization and the strengthening of extreme organizations are the extreme consequences of diverse alienation.

2. The crisis management of Finnish society is based on remaining functional during disturbances.  Outside lobbying is becoming more popular and is trying to affect the decision-making in society.

3. Different international subcultures and communities increase their presence in Finland because of the communication through internet.

4. Immigration must remain in control. Two-way migration shapes cultures but also affects the internal security. People who move to Finland from conflict areas can increase the presence of international crime and terrorist organizations.

According to the ministry, the threat of terrorism is not a result of migration but the ministry acknowledges that there are radicalized individuals among migrants. In result, the authorities “must function better.”

Migration also affects the safety of everyday life. Prejudice against immigrants, crimes and violent extremism are growing threats during the times of increased immigration. Especially those who are in the country illegally and those who are waiting to be deported are at risk of becoming violently radicalized, the report says.

To combat the aforementioned threats and problems the government aims to, for example, improve communication between the authorities; to use questionaries in schools to prevent alienation and increase the safety; to offer guidelines to the decision makers in municipalities to help them improve the relations between different population groups and thus prevent social marginalization.

The strategy does not intend to cover all elements of security. Instead, it focuses on recent phenomena that have caused risks to everyday security in the past few years or that can be expected to pose security risks to the society in the near future.

Approximately 100 experts, representing over 30 organizations, participated in the preparation of the strategy. The implementation of the strategy’s action plan also requires input at all levels of society, being the responsibility of numerous different actors.

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