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Foreign Affairs Committee: NATO membership decreases military threat to Finland

Published 2/17/2023 12:00 AM

Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the committee meeting room after the report was approved.​

Foreign Affairs Committee: NATO membership decreases military threat to Finland

​​​The Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee has issued its report on the government proposal on Finland’s accession to NATO (UaVM 16/2022 vp–HE 315/2022 vp). The Committee took a position in favour of NATO membership already in the spring in connection with the consideration of two government reports on the changes in the security environment.

The Committee states that joining NATO is Finland's most significant foreign and security policy decision after EU membership, which has far-reaching effects on Finland's position. The most important consequence of membership is that Finland becomes part of NATO's common defence and the security guarantees of the Article 5. Accordingly, Finland has an obligation to support other allies that are under attack.

NATO membership decreases the threat to Finland as Finland is supported by the performance capabilities of the entire alliance. However, if military force were to be used against Finland, Finland would defend itself with the support of the alliance in accordance with the joint defence arrangements prepared and practiced in advance.

Global stability and proactive diplomacy important

In the government proposal, it has been stated that the NATO member states conduct their foreign, security and defence policy from the starting point that they are NATO members. The Foreign Affairs Committee considers it clear that NATO membership thus also narrows Finland's political room for manoeuvre.

Therefore, it is considered important that Finland, as a member of NATO, continues active and proactive diplomacy and a foreign and security policy that promotes global stability and is based on a broad concept of security.

​In its report, the Committee emphasizes the parliament's right to information and participation in NATO decision-making, as well as the cooperation between the president of the republic and the government. The Committee also emphasizes the connection between NATO and EU affairs and considers their national coordination important.

When Finland has become a member of NATO, it is hoped that the government will evaluate, from the perspective of the Constitution, how membership affects the power structures between state bodies and whether it is necessary to strengthen the parliamentary features of the use of government power. Likewise, it should be assessed whether the parliament can sufficiently influence key foreign and security policy solutions.

The primary goal is the accession of Finland and Sweden together and quickly

After Parliament's decision on NATO accession in the spring, Finland held accession talks with NATO, as a result of which the alliance's thirty member countries signed the Accession Protocol on July 5. The Protocol enters into force when all member countries have ratified it. Membership begins on the day Finland deposits the accession document in the custody of the United States government.

Sweden's Accession Protocol was signed on the same day. The Foreign Affairs Committee emphasizes that Finland's primary goal is for Finland and Sweden to join the defence alliance NATO together and as quickly as possible.

The Committee's report can be read on the C​ommittee's reports​ page (in Finnish) ​​

Read more about the parliamentary consideration of the government proposal on Finland's accession to NATO ​

Committees; Foreign Affairs Committee