Finland’s security and NATO

President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: NATO
  • NATO is a key actor advancing European security and stability
  • NATO plays an essential role in Finland’s transatlantic cooperation
  • NATO’s focus has returned to the Alliance’s own area and collective defence
  • NATO’s presence and action stabilise the security situation in Europe and the Baltic Sea region

NATO is a defence alliance between its member states and a key actor advancing transatlantic and European security and stability. NATO’s collective defence enhances security and stability in the Baltic Sea region and in a wider European context.

The commitment of the United States to NATO and its military presence in Europe are essential to Finland’s security. A stable and united Europe is a key strategic interest for the United States, and NATO provides the main channel for its cooperation in European security issues. For Finland, cooperation with NATO plays an essential role in its transatlantic cooperation.

NATO has undergone a reform process in order to adapt to the changing security environment. The post-Cold War era was dominated by NATO’s partnership cooperation, enlargement and crisis management operations outside its region. Following the events in Ukraine, stepping up collective defence and deterrence is again essential in NATO’s agenda.

NATO's reform process has involved improving force preparedness and rapid reaction capabilities, enhancing contingency planning and increasing military exercises. The chief goal is to prevent aggression or threat of aggression against a member country.

It is important for Finland’s security that there is no ambiguity about NATO's capability to ensure its member countries’ defence, especially in the Baltic States. NATO’s presence and action stabilise the security situation in Europe and the Baltic Sea region.

NATO’s transformation also has practical implications for Finland’s and NATO’s partnership cooperation. Conducting political dialogue and exchanging views on developments in the security environment is a mutual interest. The NATO reform has opened up new opportunities for cooperation in support of Finland’s national defence capability building.