Finland & NATO: Strategic Cooperation

As Arctic ice recedes the world increasingly eyes the area for natural resources and maritime shipping lanes. NATO’s members and partners in the region are strategically poised to influence the region as it moves from tundra to territory, as militaries come to view the Arctic in a strategic context and various militaries increase their presence in the region. One of NATO’s most effective partners in the region is Finland.

On January 23, 2014, the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Security Initiative hosted Finnish Minster of Defense Carl Haglund for a discussion on regional defense cooperation in the strategically significant Nordic-Baltic region and what the transatlantic link means for one of NATO’s closest and most involved partners. The discussion also outlined how the success of Finland’s involvement in the regional security cooperative NORDEFCO with its neighbors serves as a model for other regional cooperation initiatives among NATO allies during an era of defense budget cuts and austerity.

Carl Haglund currently serves simultaneously as the minister of defense, the party leader of the minority Swedish People’s Party of Finland, and a member of the Swedish Assembly of Finland. He is a delegation member of the Hanken School of Economics Foundation and a member of the Supervisory Board of the Arcada University of Applied Life. Prior to his appointment as minister of defense, Carl Haglund served as a member of the European Parliament.