Valokuva: Valtioneuvoston kanslian valtiosihteeri Henrik HaapajƤrvi

Henrik HaapajƤrvi

Comprehensive Security Together #9: Learning From Crises

Managing large-scale crises that affect society as a whole requires strong cooperation. During the corona crisis we have consciously relied on well-functioning structures and models of operation in the activities and decision-making of the government. Due to the nature of the crisis, we have had to adapt our operations and agility has been needed to create new ways of working. In order for the complex and flexible management of social disruptions to be successful the principles and structures of activity during normal conditions must be in order. The key words for successful action in a crisis are good preparedness, practice, and cooperation.

The comprehensive security thinking that we have nurtured in Finland has proved a good basis for dealing with the corona crisis. It is a model on which different actors can continue to build and develop their preparedness. Society and the world around us are constantly changing as new kinds of threats arise and old threats take new shapes. It is therefore important that we take care of the concept of comprehensive security that underpins our preparedness and keep it up to date. The work to update the Security Strategy for Society is underway and it is vital to reflect on our actions in the crisis and learn from the corona crisis. Only with an open-minded and critical approach will we be able to develop our current preparedness models for the better.

I consider the holistic aspect of the concept of comprehensive security to be the best part of it. It does not just focus solely on hard security disruptions but identifies new serious threats in a truly changed world. In this thinking, safety and preparedness do not belong only to the authorities. Comprehensive security starts with each of us: the decision-maker, the authority, the non-profit, the company, and, above all, the individual. The security of society belongs to all of us.

Henrik HaapajƤrvi
Permanent Secretary
Prime Minister’s Office

(English translation: Secretariat of the Security Committee.)