Finland and Sweden in NATO - Nordic perspectives

Livestream · 17.08.2022 14:00 - 15:30

Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO amounts to a dramatic change in Euro-Atlantic security. The respective memberships of two militarily capable states will move NATO’s centre of gravity towards Northern Europe, creating an integrated Nordic-Baltic strategic place. Finland and Sweden joining the transatlantic alliance will not only enhance NATO’s foothold in Northern Europe, but also has the potential to facilitate deeper regional cooperation between the Nordic countries. This seminar addresses Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO from Nordic perspectives. Will the memberships inaugurate a new era in Nordic defence cooperation?  Should the Nordic countries form a distinctive wing within the alliance?


Opening remarks:
Mika Aaltola, Director, FIIA

Kristian Fischer, Director, DIIS
Iro Särkkä, University of Helsinki 
Eva Hagström Frisell, Deputy Research Director, FOI 

Matti Pesu, Leading researcher, FIIA


Opening remarks

Mika Aaltola

Director of FIIA

Mika Aaltola is the Director of FIIA. Dr Aaltola is also a professor of International Relations at Tallinn University, Estonia, and holds the rank of docent at Tampere University. He has been a visiting fellow at Cambridge University, Sciences Po (CERI), and Johns Hopkins as well as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. His areas of expertise include the global role of the U.S., the dynamics of power politics, and Finnish foreign policy. His latest published monograph is titled "Democratic Vulnerability and Autocratic Meddling – The 'Thucydidean Brink' in Regressive Geopolitical Competition" (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2021).


Kristian Fischer

Director of DIIS

Kristian Fischer is the Director of the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). Before his post as director, he has acquired substantial experience from international positions, including the Danish Delegation to NATO in Brussels. Before DIIS, he held the position as Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Danish Ministry of Defence, where he headed the Security Policy Division. Mr. Fischer holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Aarhus and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Australian National University.

Iro Särkkä

University of Helsinki

Dr Iro Särkkä is a political scientist and foreign and security policy expert on Finland and NATO. Her areas of expertise include foreign policy analysis, Nordic, European and global security, multilateral co-operation and questions of political behaviour. Särkkä holds both a PhD and a Master’s degree in political science from University of Helsinki, and is also a graduate from University College London (UCL), UK and Science Po Lille in France. In her doctoral thesis “Rhetoric of NATO in Finland’s Security Policy Debate” (2019) she focused on studying changes in Finland’s security policy and NATO during the post-Cold war period. More recently, her research interests have included studying and conceptualizing national identity change in small states as well as securitization theories. Särkkä is currently employed as a Senior Advisor at the University of Helsinki and has previously worked as a Researcher and Special Adviser in the Finnish Defence Forces. At present, she also actively engages in public debate on Finland, NATO and global security.

Eva Hagström Frisell

Deputy Research Director of FOI 

Eva Hagström Frisell is a Deputy Research Director at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI). She is heading FOI’s program on Northern European and Transatlantic Security and was co-editor of FOI’s reports on Western Military Capability in Northern Europe 2020. Her expert areas include security and defence policies of European states, military cooperation in Europe and international operations. Eva has previously served as an Analyst at the Ministry of Defence and as a Strategic Advisor to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB).


Matti Pesu

Leading researcher of FIIA

Matti Pesu is a Leading Researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. His research interests include Finnish foreign, security and defence policy, Northern European security, and Euro-Atlantic security. Currently, Pesu is leading FIIA's in-house research project on Finland's evolving role in Euro-Atlantic security.