Abstract Tunkrová 1 2008

The Power of Small States in the European Union: the Case of Finland and the Northern Dimension Policy

Lucie Tunkrova

Abstract: All EU Member States strive to use EU leverage in order to have their national and/or regional interests implemented in the international arena, but it is particularly important to small Member States, which observe the potential to increase their power internationally. The Northern Dimension Initiative (NDI) is a rather illustrative example of how small states can successfully utilise their coalition potential for pursuing a policy that they consider part of their key national interest. This paper discusses the process of the formation of the policy with special attention paid to the notable role that Finland, supported by the other Nordic countries, played in its institutionalisation and revitalisation in 2006. It concludes with a discussion of sub-regional cooperation as a means of increasing small state influence in an enlarged European Union arguing that Central European countries have a good potential for forming sub-regional cooperation in the future if several requirements are met.

Keywords: Northern dimension, European Union, Nordic countries, Finland, national interest, small states, sub-regional integration, V4