Historic view

Iron, powder and grain

  • 1924 Establishment of the National Wartime Economy Committee. Senator Kaarlo Castrén was appointed chairman.
  • 1924 Establishment of the National Defence Council. Prime Minister Lauri Ingman was appointed chairman.
  • 1926 Establishment of a new National Wartime Economy Committee. Mr Bernhard Wuolle was appointed chairman. The Committee made extensive studies of the provisions for emergency in various sectors of the economy in case of war.
  • 1928 Foundation of the State Granary for procuring grain for the military forces and for other central government civil service departments and agencies.
  • 1929 The Council of State established the National Defence Council for Wartime Economy. Doctor Henrik Ramsay was appointed chairman. The Council was divided into five sub-committees, of which those for national food supply and for industry were active.
  • 1931 Cavalry General C G E Mannerheim was appointed chairman of the National Defence Council. The Council started handling also material defence preparations.
  • 1932 Mr Wuolle’s committee finalized its study. It contained a plan for organizing food rationing in a war situation and for procurement principles.
  • 1936 A Wartime Economy Department was established in the Ministry of Defence. In practice that Department took over the tasks of the National Defence Council of Wartime Economy.
  • 1939 The Ministry of Emergency Supply was established in the autumn. The country’s material provision for emergency was nevertheless bad. During the whole war the Ministry of Emergency Supply, the Ministry of Transport and Public Works and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were the central organizations managing the civil sector.
  • 1941 The Act on Regulating the Economy under Emergency Conditions entered into force in May. Until its entry into force the economy had been managed by virtue of the State of War Act. The new Act gave the civil administration authorities much more extensive powers to mobilize all economic resources. However, metal industry and transport remained subordinated to military command.
  • 1945 The Council of State established the National Defence Review Committee. Its task was to plan a reorganization of the military forces and to consider the need for maintaining the National Defence Council and for preparations of economic defence.
  • 1950 A proposal was made to create a new National Defence Council. The plan was to merge the tasks of the National Defence Council and of the National Defence Council for Wartime Economy. However, the Government never discussed the matter. Total defence and total war were introduced as new concepts. Economic defence constituted one pillar of total defence.

The period of total national defence

  • 1955 The National Board of Economic Defence (NBED) was established in December. General Tapola was appointed chairman. NBED worked as a kind of committee under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
  • 1956 The Board met for the first time on 9th February 1956. It had eighteen members. NBED was divided into five sub-committees; the financial, manpower, trade and industrial sub-committees. The Board’s office started work in June 1956.
  • 1958 The Emergency Stockpiling Fund was established under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The Council of State made decisions concerning emeregency stockpiling procurement.
  • 1958 The Emergency Stockpiling Act entered into force. NBED also promoted the establishment of private emergency stocks that were to be subsidized by means of tax relief. However, the project did not progress.
  • 1960 An organization of National Emergency Commanders was envisaged for managing the economy in an emergency situation. The National Defence Council appointed the first Commanders in 1960 and the last ones in 1963.
  • 1960 The Act on the National Board of Economic Defence Board entered into force. Development of the pool organization was started and the first exercises were held.
  • 1960 The first emergency stocks were established and financed by a rouble loan.
  • 1961 Decision to build Finland’s first own oil stockpile.
  • 1962 The National Defence Council adopted the pool organization.
  • 1968 The Ministry of Trade and Industry concluded the first agreements with the pools. Thus, their position in the NBED-organization was made official.
  • 1970 The Act on Safeguarding the Population’s Subsistence and the National Economy under Emergency Conditions, the so called Rationing Powers Act, was adopted. After 1963 the State budget had not contained any appropriations for emergency stockpiling. Parliament pointed to serious deficiencies in emergency stockpiling and required the Government to take appropriate measures. The Government accepted an appropriation of 2 million FIM for the procurement of oil.
  • 1972 Act on an Emergency Stockpiling Levy on Liquid Fuels.
  • 1973 The National Defence Council adopted guidelines for the distribution of tasks and responsibilities in a regulated economy. Those guidelines set out the division of tasks and responsibilities between crisis organizations. The principle was that normal time operators shall continue their activities also under emergency conditions. Thus the idea of National Emergency Commanders was gradually abandoned.
  • 1973 The first energy crisis. Energy production depended on oil to about 55 %. Readiness to introduce regulation of fuel supplies was found to be weak.
  • 1978. The new concepts “supply level” and “basic supply level” were introduced in parallel with the old concept “security of supply”. Finland’s supply level calculated on this basis was found to be rather bad, except in the case of oil products.
  • 1979 Second oil crisis (the war between Iran and Iraq).
  • 1979 Provision for emergency Directors within each Ministry, mostly the Permanent Secretaries, were to be responsible for provision for emergency within the administrative sector concerned. The concept “basic supply level” was redefined and made more precise.
  • 1980 The State Granary Act. The State Granary was entrusted with emergency stockpiling of grain. The amount of emergency stocks was established at 900 000 tons.
  • 1981 The NBED office was transformed to the National Emergency Supply Agency from 1st February 1981.
  • 1982 The Emergency Stockpiling Act entered into force on 17th December 1982. New concepts were “emergency supply system”, “emergency materials” and “basic supply system”.
  • 1983 Act on Compulsory Emergency Stocks of Imported Fuels.
  • 1984 Act on a Emergency Stockpiling Fee. In addition to liquid fuels, the Act covered certain other essential materials and capital goods.
  • 1984 Act on Compulsory Emergency Stockpiling of Drugs.
  • 1985 The National Defence Council decided to develop general principles for material security of supply. On 6th June 1985 the Ministry of Trade and Industry established a Working Group for Preparing General Security of Supply Objectives under the chairmanship of professor C E Carlson.
  • 1986 The Act on a Emergency Stockpiling Fund was adopted. The Fund operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and it is external to the State budget. The Fund has its own Board of Directors that makes decisions about emergency stockpiling procurement.
  • 1986 The Working Group for Preparing General Security of Supply Objectives presented its final report on 27th June 1986. The report stated that the fundamental objective of material security of supply is to safeguard the citizens’ basic livelihood under all circumstances and at all times. The Working Group proposed to establish 70 0f that level as an intermediate objective.
  • 1988 The Council of State adopted general principles for the material objectives of security of supply on the basis of the Working Group’s report.
  • 1988 Provision for emergency planning starts in individual work places. Minister Pertti Salolainen requested those enterprises and work places that were most important for basic security of supply to appoint provision for emergency directors. Co-operation between enterprises and the pools was intensified.
  • 1991 Oil imports were liberalized.
  • 1991 Finland acceded to the energy programme of the International Energy Agency. The Contracting States commit themselves to maintaining common self-sufficiency in oil in case of emergency situations. Each Contracting State shall maintain emergency stocks that cover not less than 90 days net imports.
  • 1991 The Provision for Emergency Act and the State of Defence Act entered into force on 22nd July 1991. Both Acts are highly relevant in respect of security of supply work.
  • 1991 The Ministry of Trade and Industry established the Working Group for Financing Security of Supply to prepare financing proposals for reaching the final objectives of the Council of State’s general principles for security of supply. In its final report the Working Group proposed a system whereby NBED was to have its own “security of supply budget” for the purpose of improving material security of supply and for reinforcing provision for emergency measures. The Working Group suggested the merger of the planning agency and the emergency stockpiling fund to form the core of a new organization, the National Emergency Supply Agency.
  • 1992 The National Defence Council made a new definition of crisis, in particular in view of provision for emergency planning. New perceived threats were normal time disturbances that may for example result from major operating disturbances of comprehensive data systems.
  • 1992 On 23rd December 1992 the President of the Republic approved the Act on Safeguarding Security of Supply and issued the Decree on the National Emergency Supply Agency.

The period of systems

  • 1993 The National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA) started operations on 1st January 1993. This event had no impact on the National Board of Economic Defence. NESA was to act as secretariat for NBED. A reform of the objectives of security of supply was initiated.
  • 1993 Natural gas was included among the products subject to compulsory stockpiling.
  • 1995 Finland adhered to the European Union.
  • 1995 The Council of State made a decision concerning general objectives for security of supply.
  • 1995 The Council of State made a decision concerning the objectives of security of supply. The importance of international co-operation and agreements as supplements to national measures was emphasized in the decision. Non-military threats were underscored in charting out the current situation.
  • 1995 The State Granary was discontinued and NESA was entrusted with emergency stockpiling of grain.
  • 1995 The Committee on Securing Electronic Communications under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport and Communications was discontinued and its tasks were transferred to NBED and to NESA. On 26th September 1995 a data system section was created within NBED.
  • 1995 Extension of the Emergency Stockpiling Levy to include all kinds of energy.
  • 1998 The Council of State made a decision on the principles applicable in establishing new objectives for security of supply.
  • 2002 On 8th May 2002 the Council of State adopted new objectives for security of supply.