FSD2593 Opinions on Security Policy, Autumn 2010Detailed description (collection | citation | publications)
Santala, Heli (Ministry of Defence. Advisory Board for Defence Information (ABDI))
Keywords: armed forces, conflict, conscription, defence, defence and state security policy, European Union, foreign policy, international alliances, international relations, peace-keeping forces, safety and security, terrorism
This annual survey charted Finnish public opinion on foreign policy, defence policy, security, military alliances, military service, Finland's military presence in Afghanistan, and the EU's new diplomatic service.
The respondents were asked how well Finland had managed its foreign policy and defence policy, should Finland join NATO or not, why should the country join or not join, and should Finland take up arms to defend itself if it were attacked.
One theme pertained to military service and the conscription system, should it abolished, should military service be voluntary also men, how should those doing the service be selected, should military service or civil service be obligatory for women etc.
Some questions focused on Finland's military presence in Afghanistan. Views were probed on what kind of operations Finnish troops should concentrate on in Afghanistan (e.g. should they help build democracy, educate local armed forces, educate the police, use military force to combat extremists), or should the troops be withdrawn.
Opinions on the EU were charted by asking how well the EU has managed its foreign and defence policy and what should be the most important duties and activities of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and the European External Action Service. Further questions covered views on the impact of various factors on the security of Finland (e.g. the EU, UN, NATO, Russia, the U.S., Finland's participation in international crisis management or the European Rapid Reaction Force, increasing foreign ownership) and what factors were important for creating strong defence.
The respondents were asked to what extent they felt concern about a number of issues, such as the situation in Afghanistan, Iraq or the Middle East, global financial crisis, terrorism, environmental issues, use of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, climate change, economic situation in the world and in Finland, weapons of mass destruction etc. Views were probed on how well the country had prepared itself against a number of threats (terrorism, international crime, attack against communication networks, energy availability, uncontrolled immigration etc).
Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, occupational status and economic activity, marital status, occupation of the household head, household composition, age of children living at home, education, gross annual income of the household, newspaper reading and television viewing habits, type of accommodation, municipality size and type, major region (NUTS2) and region (NUTS3) of residence, ownership of car, home, holiday home and consumer durables, Internet use, and political party choice if parliamentary elections were held at that time.