Several methods are used for ensuring security of supply. The foundations are established through general trade and industrial policy, an instrument utilised to guarantee the competitiveness of the economy and the availability of the functions, economic resources, and competencies necessary for maintaining security of supply. For its part, NESA makes every effort to ensure that the issue of security of supply is taken into account in economic and political decision-making.
In the traditional sense, security of supply means that the availability of materials is constantly ensured. Emergency stockpiling of goods and materials vital to the functioning of society is used to secure the well being of the population and the functioning of the economy against major crises or serious disruptions affecting availability or supply. Stockholding is implemented through the maintenance of reserve stocks, obligatory stocks and state-owned stocks.
Security of supply can be maintained only partially by means of stockpiling. Laws and regulations applicable to a number of strategic industries require operators to ensure the continuity of their critical processes amid disruptions. In addition, businesses can improve society’s capacity to function in disruptions and emergencies by undertaking voluntary preparedness measures. NESA supports such measures by providing enterprises critical to society with tools for developing their business continuity management.
Some enterprises are also required to draft preparedness plans in anticipation of major crises. Preparedness planning must take into consideration any crisis-management reservation made by the Finnish Defence Forces in relation to production capacity, premises, or personnel. Furthermore, government authorities must have the competence, set forth by law, to control society’s critical functions on a temporary basis in case the markets are incapable of delivering sufficient security of supply.
International treaties support national security of supply. Preparing for major crises, however, always requires national measures.