A risk assessment outlines Finland’s national risks and their impact on vital functions

Ministry of the Interior 31.1.2019 9.00
Press release 6/2019
A risk assessment outlines Finland’s national risks and their impact on vital functions

Finland’s national risk assessment has been completed. The aim is to anticipate sudden incidents targeted at Finland that call for activities deviating from the norm from the authorities or even requesting help from other countries. The EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism obliges all Member States to carry out a national risk assessment. Finland’s risk assessment was submitted to the European Commission in December 2018.

The national risk assessment aimed to find risks that have a wide national impact and identify their impact on the vital functions of the society. Risks of this kind include information operations, a terrorist attack or disruptions caused by climate change.

”Climate warming, for instance, increases the risks of already known extreme weather phenomena, such as floods, storms and forest fires. At the same time, it creates new, more slowly evolving risks. In recent years, forest damage and long blackouts have been the most visible impact of weather phenomena,” says Taito Vainio, Director, Strategic Steering, who was in charge of preparing the risk assessment.

Threats range from the interference of communication networks to the use of military force

The national risk assessment covers 20 threat scenarios or disruptions that are possible in Finland. Disruptions have been divided into threats imposed on the stability of the society, technology and logistics as well as health security and large-scale accidents. It was also assessed whether the likelihood of disruptions has increased or stayed the same.

Risks affecting the stability of the society include a serious disruption of the public economy, use of military force or large-scale immigration. Examples of technological and logistics disruptions are large-scale disruptions in electricity supply or serious disruptions in communication networks. Health security risks include a pandemic influenza or a highly infectious severe animal disease. Large-scale accidents denote a serious nuclear accident in Finland or its adjacent areas, for example.

The national risk assessment and regional assessments make up a whole

Regional risk assessments that take better account of the threats or disruptions characteristic of the regions were prepared simultaneously with the national risk assessment. The intention is that the national risk assessment as a whole consists of the national risk assessment and regional risk assessments.

The national risk assessment is an essential part of national preparedness and the society’s security strategy. The risk assessment was prepared together with all ministries and other key operators under the Ministry of the Interior.

The work was supervised by the Security Committee.

The preparation of risk assessments is developed under the Ministry of the Interior. The aim of the ministry is that both national and regional risk assessments are developed into a continuous process.

Further information:

Taito Vainio, Director, Strategic Steering, tel. +358 295 488 423,
Jussi Korhonen, Director, Civil Emergency Preparedness, tel. +358 295 488 289,