Finland’s evolving role in Euro-Atlantic security

The research project analyses Finland’s NATO membership process and its nascent NATO policy. Additionally, the project explores the effects of Russia’s 2022 reinvasion of Ukraine on Northern European security. It’s third aim is to follow the development of U.S. Europe policy and the American commitment to European security.

The Russian attack on Ukraine marks a historic watershed for Finnish foreign and security. Its decision to apply for NATO membership changes the basis of its national security policy. The project probes the following questions: What is Finland’s coming status in the alliance, what are the standpoints and objectives of its NATO policy, and how Finland’s membership in NATO affects the other dimension of its security policy.

The security setting of Finland’s immediate security environment, namely Northern Europe, is also in flux. Finland’s and Sweden’s respective NATO memberships will strengthen NATO’s foothold in the region. The project scrutinizes how the security situation in the Baltic Sea region and in the European Arctic develops. Furthermore, it examines the direction of NATO’s and Russia’s policies in the Northern European strategic landscape.

The United States consolidated its leadership in European security already prior to the Russian assault on Ukraine. As Finland joins NATO, the U.S. will become increasingly vital for Finnish security. How does the war in Ukraine shape Washington’s Europe policy? How will the U.S. balance between its two central strategic theatres – Europe and the Indo-Pacific region?

The project will run from May 2022 to April 2023.

Research team: Matti Pesu (Leading Researcher), Tuomas Iso-Markku, Harri Mikkola, Ville Sinkkonen, Kukka-Maria Kovsky.


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Latest publications

Paukkunen, Samu & Pesu, Matti (2022). Finland will bolster NATO’s Northeastern flank. The National Interest.