NATO in Focus #4: Finland and Norway as NATO allies – What can Finland learn from Norway?

SEMINAR · 06.11.2023 14:00 - 15:30

The Finnish-Norwegian relationship has deepened considerably over the recent years. However, Finland’s NATO membership has opened a whole new horizon for the two allies to intensify their collaboration. Finland is currently laying the foundation for its policy and profile within the Alliance. Norway’s long experience from NATO will undoubtedly be a source of inspiration for Finnish policymakers.

This FIIA seminar zooms in on Norway’s role in NATO and the broader international arena. It also examines potential avenues for deepening the Finnish-Norwegian relationship. Are there opportunities for learning and experience-sharing between Finland and Norway regarding NATO and the security environment more broadly? Do Finland and Norway see eye to eye on the building blocks of Northern European security and regional cooperation?

The seminar is part of the research project “Norway and Finland in a changed security context” led by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in collaboration with FIIA. It is financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence through 2023.


Opening remarks

Wegger Strømmen

Ambassador, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Helsinki

H.E. Wegger Chr. Strømmen took up the post as Norwegian Ambassador to Finland in September 2023. Before Helsinki, Mr Strømmen was Ambassador to the United Kingdom (2019-2023) and held the position of Secretary General in the Norwegian Foreign Ministry (2014-2019). He was also previously Political Director (2013-2014) and Ambassador to the United States of America (2007-2013). From 2005 to 2007 he was Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Genève. Ambassador Strømmen has also practised law, mainly in the energy and maritime field.


Kristin Haugevik

Senior Research Fellow, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)

Kristin Haugevik is Senior Research Fellow in the Research Group on Global Order and Diplomacy at NUPI. Her research revolves around international diplomacy, inter-state cooperation and friendship with a geographical focus on the Euro-Atlantic region and the foreign policies of Britain and the Nordic states. Haugevik holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Oslo (2014).

Øyvind Svendsen

Senior Research Fellow, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)

Øyvind Svendsen is Senior Research Fellow in the Research Group on Global Order and Diplomacy at NUPI. The core themes in his research are foreign policy, diplomacy, and security and defence policy. His PhD is from the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen (2020).


Rasmus Hindrén

Ministerial Advisor, Ministry of Defence of Finland

Rasmus Hindrén is Ministerial Advisor and Team Leader for EU and NATO Policy at the Ministry of Defence of Finland. Previously he was the Head of International Relations at the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats. He has worked in the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs dealing with security and defense policy. He has held defense advisor posts in Brussels and Washington. He is also a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council and has written numerous articles on strategy, defence policy, hybrid threats, the EU and NATO.


Katja Creutz

Programme Director, FIIA

Katja Creutz is Programme Director of the Global Security and Governance research programme at FIIA. She is also an Affiliated Research Fellow with the Erik Castrén Institute at the University of Helsinki. Her main field of expertise is international law and especially issues of responsibility, human rights and global governance. Dr Creutz holds a Doctor of Laws degree (2015) and a Master of Laws programme degree from the University of Helsinki (2004) and a Master of Political Science from Åbo Akademi University (2000).