European Union Foreign and Security Policy: Towards a Neighbourhood Strategy

By Roland Dannreuther | Go to book overview

7

The Northern Dimension

A presence and four liabilities?

Hiski Haukkala


Introduction

The Northern Dimension (ND) of the European Union’s policies 1has its roots in the early 1990s when three Nordic countries - Finland, Norway and Sweden - were negotiating their accession into the European Union (EU). It is fair to say that with the accession of Finland and Sweden at the beginning of 1995, 2the EU acquired an entirely new ‘northern dimension’, as what had previously been a predominantly Western and Southern European entity was introduced to a host of new geographical realities. This was reflected, first of all, in the much harsher climate, Arctic agriculture, low population density and long distances to be found in the two Nordic member states. A striking example of this is the fact that with the accession of Finland and Sweden the land area of EU grew by 33.3 per cent whereas the population grew by only a meagre 4 per cent (see Table 7.1 for more comparisons). The new dimension was not only a list of obstacles and hardships: new northern member states were also seen as highly developed market economies, as well as representing positive Nordic values such as equality, transparency and the welfare state.

The ‘northern dimension’ brought new flavours in terms of more strategic issues as well. Finland and Sweden were well-known Cold War neutrals - a stance that raised eyebrows in some of the older member states.

Table 7.1 Some peculiarities of the ‘northern dimension’ compared to EU-12.

Finland

Sweden

EU-12

Land area

338,000 square km

450,000 square km

2,368,000 square km

Population

5.2 million

8.9 million

353.1 million

Population density

15/square km

20/square km

150/square km

GDP per capita

19,360 euros

20,800 euros

17,960 euros

Agricultural growth period

110-180 days

110-220 days

230-340 days

Sources: Eurostat and the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Statistical year 1995.

-98-

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European Union Foreign and Security Policy: Towards a Neighbourhood Strategy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements x
  • Abbreviations xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Eu and Its Changing Neighbourhood 12
  • 3 - Strategy with Fast-Moving Targets 27
  • 4 - The Eu and Turkey 48
  • 5 - South-Eastern Europe 62
  • 6 - Policies Towards Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus 79
  • 7 - The Northern Dimension 98
  • 8 - The Caucasus and Central Asia 118
  • 9 - North Africa 135
  • 10 - The Middle East 151
  • 11 - Eu Energy Security and the Periphery 170
  • 12 - The Transatlantic Dimension 186
  • 13 - Conclusion 202
  • Index 219
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