Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg meet in Rome to Discuss Ukraine, Defence Spending and Mediterranean Security

On 8 May 2024, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome, Italy. Their discussion mainly focused on what will be at the heart of the upcoming NATO Summit, taking place in July in Washington, with the war in Ukraine leading the conversation (ANSA, 2024a). The Secretary General reiterated that sending boots on the ground to Ukraine is currently not an option for NATO, nor something that the Ukrainians have asked (ANSA 2024b). Instead, what Ukrainians are in desperate need of is additional military aid, especially in light of the recent territorial advance by the Russian army in the northeastern region of Kharkiv (Dettmer, 2024).

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Sweden in NATO: Legal Status and Future Challenges

On 7 March 2024, after decades of close partnership, Sweden finally joined NATO. Its accession followed a strict process involving the approval of all Parties of the Alliance. Before this pivotal moment, Sweden’s application to NATO was engaged in an unstable diplomatic negotiation between former Allies. This paper aims to analyse the legal framework and the future setup of NATO after this substantial transformation.

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Turkish Drone Exports: Implications for NATO Relations

The proliferation of Turkish drone technology on the global arms market has raised concerns within the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) regarding its potential impact on regional security and alliance cohesion. At the crux of these concerns lies Türkiye’s 'no- questions-asked policy' in drone exports, allowing for the unrestricted sale of advanced military technology without stringent checks (Borsari, 2022; International Crisis Group, 2023). Considering Türkiye’s aspirations to solidify its position as a credible drone exporter, this info flash delves into Turkish drone developments, assesses their role in contemporary conflicts, and examines the implications for Ankara’s relations with NATO countries.

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EU’s presence in the Arctic

The EU presence in the Arctic region is acquiring decisive importance in terms of security and defence, especially since the escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian war. However, not only geopolitical rivalries are an important change, but also the opportunism of the effect of global warming and the increase in commercial interest in natural resources. The joint communication of 2021, October 13, A stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic, proposed that the EU pursue a secure, stable, sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous Arctic region. There is a need to adopt a strengthened maritime security policy, especially in the areas of economic development, free trade, transport, and energy security.

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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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