June 20, 2023

Finland and Sweden in a Changing NATO

Finland’s and, soon, Sweden’s accession to NATO will change the policies and structures of the defence alliance, but how? What can Finland and Sweden offer, and what are the Baltic countries looking forward to from the “new” NATO? A seminar on Finland and Sweden in the evolving Alliance in Hanaholmen (Espoo, Finland) will take place on 21 June.

Panel 1: A Changing NATO

At the Vilnius Summit in July, NATO heads of state and government will take key decisions related to NATO’s further adaptation to the security environment degraded by Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine. This panel will explore Nordic-Baltic perspectives on key items related to the Summit’s agenda.

What more needs to be done to enhance deterrence on NATO’s northern and north-eastern flanks? Are some new targets needed for the Allies’ defence spending? What are the prospects for — and alternatives to — further NATO enlargement? What is the role of the EU and how does it relate to NATO in Nordic-Baltic security?

Sarah Tarry, Director of Defence Policy and Capabilities Directorate, Defence Policy and Planning Division, International Staff, NATO

Iro Särkkä, Postdoctoral fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs FIIA

Vitalijus Vaikšnoras, Maj Gen(ret), General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania

Moderator: Kristi Raik, Deputy Director, ICDS

Panel 2: The New Allies

Finland’s and Sweden’s applications to join NATO have been widely welcomed. There is broad agreement that the accession of two militarily capable states will have a positive impact on Nordic-Baltic security, but the details of where and how they will contribute have yet to be decided.

How will Finnish and Swedish accession to NATO impact Baltic Sea security and northern European security? What will a stronger Nordic profile mean for NATO? How will Finland and Sweden contribute militarily to the existing tasks? How should NATO be represented in Finland and Sweden? What are the main challenges for Finland and Sweden in moving from policies of neutrality and non-alignment to collective defence?

Outi Nieminen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Defence of Finland

Tommy Åkesson, Secretary General, Swedish Defence Commission

Tony Lawrence, Head of Defence policy & strategy, ICDS

Moderator: Sven Sakkov, Estonian Ambassador to Finland

About the event

Time: Wednesday, 21 June 2023 

13:00 – 16:00

Venue: Hanaholmen, Hanasaarenranta 5, Espoo

Language: English. Comments and questions in English and Finnish.

Additional information:

[email protected]



The seminar was arranged by Hanaholmen and International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS), in cooperation with the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Updated: 21.06.2023

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