Participation in international crisis management is a central element of Finland's foreign and security policy. Finland is active with both military and civilian crisis management as well as crisis management operated through different organizations (UN, EU, Nato). In Kosovo Finland is present as a part of the Nato-lead KFOR (Kosovo Force).
Finland tries to concentrate on participation in operations in such crisis areas in which Finland's input can produce added value and where it is possible to give appropriate support for the parties involved in the crisis management activities.
Finland participates in international civilian crisis management in conflict areas with a view to promoting transition to democracy, good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law, and the consolidation of effective civil society structures. The main form of action is deployment of civilian experts to operations undertaken by the European Union and international organizations.
KFOR is responsible for the military elements of the UN Security Council Resolution 1244, issued in 1999. The multi-ethnic NATO-led KFOR-troop is primarily in charge of stabilising the situation, creating a secure environment, and facilitating refugees' return to their homes.
Finland has participated in KFOR (NATO Kosovo Force) since 1999. In the beginning the total strength of Finland’s contribution of personnel was about 820 soldiers. More recently the number of soldiers has declined to 20 soldiers.
The promotion of civilian-military cooperation has been an important part of Finland's action in Kosovo. It fosters local development by supporting, for example, employment, water supply, health care and renovation of school buildings. After Kosovo's independence, KFOR-troops have supported the establishment of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF).
EULEX Kosovo, which was launched at the end of 2008, is the largest civilian mission ever under the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). EULEX Kosovo assists Kosovo authorities in establishing an independent and multi-ethnic police, law, border control and customs system, which is in agreement with international standards.
Implementing the mandate through monitoring, mentoring and advising is meant to help Kosovo authorities to become responsible for the functioning of their own institutions. The mission is technical in nature, but it holds even some executive power.
The mandate of EULEX has been extended to the year 2018. The priorities are the work against organized crime and corruption and the development of constitutional state. The main challenges are to transfer the executive tasks of the operation to the Kosovo authorities and to set up in the Northern Kosovo.
The Finns working in EULEX are mainly police officers, border control experts and experts of the judiciary, like judges and prosecutors. Finland has had a remarkable role in the mission. In 2018 there were 9 Finns working in EULEX.