NATO in Focus #2: One alliance, diverse concerns: NATO cohesion under scrutiny

kutsutilaisuus · SEMINAR · 29.03.2023 15:00 - 16:30


Finland and Sweden’s eventual entry into NATO will render it an alliance of 32 member states. Each ally has a unique strategic culture and particular outlook on the Euro-Atlantic security landscape. Bridging these diverse positions can be challenging, and reaching unanimity among the allies often requires extensive consultation. Maintaining cohesion within NATO – a crucial underpinning of a credible collective defence alliance – is, however, as important as ever given the intensity of the threats facing NATO from various strategic directions, most notably from the Russian Federation.

The second seminar of FIIA’s NATO in Focus series zooms in on the question of NATO cohesion. The event will tackle several vital questions. How should the alliance best maintain its cohesion? How do allies in different parts of the alliance perceive the contemporary security environment? How does this diversity affect NATO’s objective to consolidate its deterrence and defence posture?

This seminar is a part of a FIIA research project on Finland’s evolving role in Euro-Atlantic security, which analyses Finland’s NATO membership process and its nascent NATO policy. 


Thierry Tardy, Director of the Research Division, NATO Defense College
Karsten Friis, Senior Research Fellow, NUPI
Edward R. Arnold, Research Fellow for European Security, RUSI
Justyna Gotkowska, Deputy Director, Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW)

Matti Pesu, Leading Researcher, FIIA


Thierry Tardy

Director of the Research Division, NATO Defense College

Thierry Tardy is Director of the Research Division at the NATO Defense College (Rome). Previously he held senior research and management positions at the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) in Paris, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), and the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris.

His fields of expertise include NATO’s policy and adaptation, the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), NATO-EU relations, the politics of crisis management, UN peace operations, and French security and defense policy.

Karsten Friis

Senior Research Fellow, NUPI

Karsten Friis is a Senior Research Fellow in NUPIs Research group on security and defence. He holds a PhD from the University of Groningen, a Cand. Polit from University of Oslo and a MSc from London School of Economics. He was Political Adviser at the OSCE Mission to Serbia 2004-2007, and before that he held positions at the OSCE in Montenegro in 2001 and in Kosovo in 1999. Friis was also part of EU Special Envoy Miroslav Lajcak’s team for the referendum on independence in Montenegro in 2006. In addition, he has worked in the Norwegian Armed Forces and served at NATO/KFOR in Kosovo.

Friis’ main area of expertise is security and defense policies, international military operations, civilian-military relations, Nordic security, cyber security, as well as the Western Balkans.

Edward R. Arnold

Research Fellow for European Security, RUSI

Ed Arnold is a Research Fellow for European Security within the International Security Studies department at RUSI. His experience covers defence, intelligence, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency, within the public and private sector. His primary research focus is on British defence, security, and foreign policy, specifically relating to the European security architecture and transatlantic cooperation. Ed has a particular interest in UK National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Reviews.

Justyna Gotkowska

Deputy Director, Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW)

Justyna Gotkowska is Deputy Director at the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW). Formerly she was a Coordinator of the Regional Security Programme and analyst in the Department for Germany and Northern Europe. Gotkowska is a graduate of the Institute of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw, and of European Studies at the RWTH Aachen University. She is a visiting scholar at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies and at the University of the Bundeswehr Munich. Gotkowska is also a regular participant in multinational research projects, including at Think Visegrad, Estonia's ICDS and Germany's DGAP.

Her fields of expertise include security and defence policy of Germany, Nordic and Baltic states, NATO and EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy from regional perspective, and military cooperation in Central and Northern Europe.


Matti Pesu

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Matti Pesu is a Leading Researcher in the Finnish foreign policy, Northern European security, and NATO research programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA). From May 2022 to April 2023, he leads a research project analyzing Finland’s nascent NATO policy and the country’s evolving role in Euro-Atlantic security. Since the beginning of 2023, Pesu has been leading FIIA’s Nordic network. He has published extensively on Finnish foreign, security, and defence policy, defence cooperation, Baltic Sea security, and Euro-Atlantic security.