Lieutenant-General Matti Ahola, a former permanent secretary at the Finnish defence ministry, was quoted as saying by regional daily Turun Sanomat on Thursday that an EU mutual defence clause would violate the Finnish constitution.
Gen Ahola told the paper that mutual defence could not be dressed up as crisis management.
The Finnish constitution stipulates that military service is limited to the defence of Finnish territory.
Among a string of criticisms, Gen Ahola faulted the government for ignoring the constitutional implications of citing the possibility of mutual defence in the EU in its security and defence policy report.
“The constitutional working group led by Christoffer Taxell should set the amendment work in motion without delay as it will take five to ten years to complete,” Gen Ahola was quoted as saying.
“What is at play here is how serious a document Parliament is in the process of approving. The notion of expanding the concept of national defence to span the entire EU is a bad joke.”
“Defending other EU countries does not fit within the scope of the crisis management bill.”
The latest security and defence policy report makes reference to the so-called solidarity clause, part of the EU’s defunct constitutional treaty.