The Europeanization of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

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Series Details No 8, 2008
Publication Date December 2008
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In this thesis I analyze the adaptation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (UM) to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) since Finnish membership in the EU in 1995. I conceive adaptation to the CFSP as one specific dimension of a broader process of change and adaptation to
European integration in foreign ministries, i.e.Europeanization. I start from two crucial assumptions: first, I assume that foreign ministries are able to
adapt to a changing ‘environment’; second, I assume that the CFSP might represent a sufficient trigger of Europeanization. This thesis is designed as a
theory-oriented case study. Data derive from secondary and primary sources, as well as interview material.

The general independent variable for this study is CFSP membership, the dependent variables is change and adaptation in foreign ministries. I adopt two different complementary perspectives on the CFSP: first, I conceptualize
the CFSP as a structure of opportunities. In this view, the CFSP is able to redistribute resources in the domestic political system. I hypothesize that a
CFSP-triggered redistribution of resources might benefit foreign ministries in general and in particular those branches of a foreign ministry’s organization
mostly involved with the policy. Second, I conceptualize the CFSP as a normative regime, as a system of norms, rules, identities and ideas. Following this perspective, the hypothesis is that the CFSP might transform the
organization and the institutional culture of the ministry. The former view of the CFSP is rooted in a rationalist account of Europeanization; the second, in
a constructivist approach.

The main finding is that the CFSP has indeed impacted on the UM. The CFSP as a structure of opportunities has benefited the Ministry. The policy has contributed to a partial reassertion of the UM’s role in the Finnish
executive. There is also partial evidence that the CFSP has led to differential gains in the Ministry. Moreover, the CFSP has led to changes in the formal and informal organization of the UM. The Ministry has learned the value of supranational political cooperation. Yet, both bureaucratic adaptation and socialization, or norms internalization, appear as rather limited phenomena in
the Finnish case.

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