Finland in NATO – What’s Next?

Finland’s official entry into NATO on 4 April 2023 marked the culmination of a meticulously orchestrated 11-month accession process, catalysed by the destabilising events surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While Finland’s accession to NATO may appear straightforward, it was expedited in light of the urgent security imperatives prompted by the invasion. Nevertheless, the transition to NATO membership calls for careful consideration of the multifaceted security dynamics between Finland and the alliance. In this context, this paper endeavours to cast a forward-looking perspective, examining the future trajectory of NATO-Finnish cooperation post-accession. Concretely, it will look at what the next steps are that NATO and Finland could and/or should take after the latter’s accession to the former. Central to this exploration is an assessment of the potential avenues for Finland to further integrate into NATO’s operational framework. Specifically, a detailed analysis will be undertaken to evaluate the feasibility and implications of expanding NATO’s presence within Finnish territory through initiatives such as the enhanced forward presence (eFP). Then, the paper will explore the prospects for enhanced collaboration within the Northern Group, leveraging Finland’s NATO membership to deepen regional defence cooperation. Furthermore, consideration will be given to the merits of Finland joining the Bucharest Nine (B9) group, elucidating the potential benefits and strategic imperatives associated with such a move.

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What Benefits and Disadvantages does Sweden and Finland get from NATO?

This Info Flash will first examine the international relations between Sweden, Hungary, and Türkiye, which are tense since Sweden started its accession process to join NATO in the aftermath of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. With this context, the second part of the paper will conduct an analysis of the benefits and disadvantages for Sweden, Finland, and NATO itself in accepting these new member states.

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Turkey’s approval of Finland NATO membership

After several months of delay, on the 30th of March 2023, Turkey’s Parliament voted unanimously to officially allow Finland’s membership into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This event represents a major shift in the international balance of power, with Finland abandoning decades of non-alignment, to become the 31st member of the Western defense alliance (Erlanger, 2023). Thought it should be noted that the membership will only be formalized during the next NATO summit, taking place in July in Lithuania (Gardner, 2023).

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Small but Ready: How Finland Has Prepared to Defend Itself

The Nordic nation of Finland is expected to join NATO in the coming months. Despite its size, it will be an asset, not a liability. Finland faces many national security concerns, primarily originating from Russia. However, Finland has gradually developed an impressive military well-equipped to defend the country. Significant procurements in the air force, army, and navy will reinforce Helsinki's vital role in the Baltic and even Arctic theatres. Furthermore, the Finnish comprehensive security model connects state and non-state entities in the interest of national security, leading to greater resilience and preparedness in Finnish society. This model results in a unique hybrid resilience, which is critical considering Russia's propensity for hybrid warfare.

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Refusing a Second “Finlandization”? The Drivers and the Impact of Finland and Sweden’s NATO Membership on the Arctic Region

This Info Flash outlines the European security crisis, which has its roots beyond the unsolved issues with post-Soviet Russia and NATO enlargement towards the East of Europe. The current invasion of Ukraine shows that two opposing international concepts are on the battleground. The goal of this research is to investigate the reasons that led two of the most prominent European neutral nations – Sweden and Finland – to take sides in the current conflict between the two contrasting visions of the international order, joining the Atlantic Alliance. It is elaborated on a historical analysis of Finland and Sweden, which shows the lessons learnt from experiences in order to determine the present-day challenges that both face due to their geopolitical position in the Arctic region. In doing so, this paper aims to understand the past, present and future international arrangements involving the Arctic as the next battlefield where the two contrasting international order visions will collide. 

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