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Home NATIONALFinland to set up hybrid expertise centre
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Wed, 28 Sep, 2016 12:01:00 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Sep 28
 
The Defence Minister, Jussi Niinistö. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö on Tuesday said Finland will set up a hybrid expertise centre supported by the European Union, in which he expects other EU member states will also participate.
 
He said countries in the Baltic Sea region have been especially interested in the project.
 
The goal is to get the centre up and running over the next year. The financing of the project is still open. According to Niinistö, financial support is also expected from other EU member states.
 
Niinistö was announcing Finland’s national decision on Tuesday at the EU defence ministers’ meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia. “Finland has just informed [me] of approval of the plan. Now our national decision has been made. Of course, I hope that we get cooperation from the Mediterranean countries as well. It would offer better, more comprehensive coverage of Europe,” Niinistö told the news agency STT over phone from Bratislava.
 
Finland has been working on the project since the beginning of the year. The national decision to establish the centre was made earlier in September at the government’s EU ministerial committee.
 
According to Niinistö, the project is Finland’s response to concerns raised by the EU-Russia relations.
 
The European Commission has presented a similar proposal. 
 
According to the Commission, EU countries could better respond to hybrid threats through the establishment of a multinational research centre.
 
According to Finnish sources, the centre to be set up here will be small in size. It would house 4-6 experts and a few other persons from other countries.
 
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