What is NATO really?

The European field of security is living through a period of strong transition. The development of European integration is progressing most rapidly in the area of security and defence policy. NATO is also undergoing reforms to better meet the challenges of a changing security environment. Both organisations implemented the biggest programme of expansion in their history in the spring of 2004. The bond between EU and NATO was further strengthened as, of the 25 countries in the expanded Union, 19 either are or will be members of NATO.

How should Finland position itself in Europe’s changing security landscape? In the next few years, the challenge for Finnish security policy is to decide on the country’s participation in ever-deepening European defence integration and define the Finnish relationship with NATO. This report aims to answer the questions on NATO and military alliance, that most concern Finns. The impact of NATO membership is examined from three angles:

As a member of NATO, what would Finland actually commit itself to?

Would NATO membership bring security or insecurity?

– Would NATO membership restrict Finland’s international freedom of expression?

The report provides basic information about NATO, both for ordinary Finns interested in Finland’s security-related choices and for enthusiasts of security policy. Themes covered include participation in NATO operations, the future of the conscription system, the chances for an individual member state to exert influence, the cost impact of military alliance, relations between NATO and Russia, the development of NATO’s role and the relationship between the EU’s defence aspirations and NATO.

This report is in Finnish.

Attachment: 336_Nato.pdf