Participation in international crisis management is a central element of Finland's foreign and security policy. The objective is to contribute to international security and thus also strengthen Finland's own security. Finland's participation is multifaceted in terms of the scope of geographic regions as well as the nature of tasks and the variety of lead organizations in operations. 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. The idea is to also invest in tasks which are meaningful from Finland's viewpoint and which enhance the national defence capability.
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 and in summer 2008 Finland assumed the so-called lead nation role of the Multinational Task Force South. More recently the number of soldiers has declined to 22 soldiers (August 2012).
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 also been involved in the setting up of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF).