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Defence report to be postponed
Chief of Defence to be made a fixed-term position
Technical scheduling problems have been given as the reason for a delay in issuing a new government report on defence and security policy.
Minister of Defence Jyri Häkämies (Nat. Coalition Party) says that the President, and the government’s foreign and security policy committee are finding it difficult to find times to meet to discuss the matter.
Parliament, meanwhile, will be busy in December with the budget debate. Parliament is expected to get the defence and security policy report sometime in February.
Häkämies says that the report will reflect recent events around the world. He noted that defence is becoming more international, and that there will be an increased amount of networking. Of the 27 member states of the European Union, 21 are members of NATO. One focus of attention in the report will how it defines Finland’s relationship with NATO.
Häkämies said that cooperation would be developed and intensified. “The formulation will emerge in a few weeks. I believe that agreement will be reached”, he said.
According to Defence Minister Häkämies, the hope is that the “present performance ability” will be secured in the budget as well. “It will require some additional resources”.
The aim is that from 2011 an extra two per cent will be added to the budget level on top of inflation to compensate for the rise in the price of defence materiel.
The position of Chief of Defence is to be made a fixed-term position in the manner of other high state positions.
The proposal is expected to succeed, because Häkämies has discussed the matter with President Tarja Halonen .
The Present Chief of Defence, Admiral Juhani Kaskeala is turning 63 in July, and will retire in August.
His replacement will take on a job with a fixed term, which will likely be five years. There is no intention to place limits on the number of terms that a single person can be in the position.