Please join the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Security Initiative, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, for a public panel discussion with the defense policy directors of the five Nordic Defense Cooperation (NORDEFCO) member countries on “Northern-European Security and Regional Defense Cooperation”, on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Council’s headquarters (1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower Elevators, Washington, DC 20005).

The security environment in Northern Europe is quickly evolving, with maritime challenges in the North Atlantic, rising threats from the east in the Baltic Sea region, and increasing military activity in the Arctic placing a new emphasis on defense in Northern Europe. These are critical challenges to the five Nordic countries—Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden—which have taken numerous actions to address them, including hosting and participating in a robust schedule of military exercises, including NATO’s Trident Juncture 18.

To enhance coordination on defense, Nordic countries have gone beyond the traditional structures of NATO and the European Union forming NORDEFCO in 2009 to more closely work together and identify common opportunities to increase their security. Now in its tenth year, NORDEFCO has proven to be an invaluable platform for the Nordic countries to coordinate their efforts to address challenges in the North Atlantic, Baltic Sea, and High North.

The Atlantic Council is joined by the defense policy chiefs from the five NORDEFCO member countries for a discussion on the current state of Northern European security and regional defense cooperation, identifying where NORDEFCO has succeeded and where it can continue to work, along with partners like the United States, to ensure effective defense in Northern Europe.

The conversation features Svein Efjestad, policy director from the Ministry of Defense of Norway; Johan Lagerlöf, deputy director general and head of Strategy and Security Policy at the Ministry of Defense of Sweden; Kasper Høeg-Jensen, head of department for Security Policy and Operations at the Ministry of Defense of Denmark; Janne director general of the Defense Policy Department of the Ministry of Defense of Finland; Arnór Sigurjónsson, director of the Security and Defense Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iceland; and Major General Michael Claesson, SA, chair of the NORDEFCO Military Coordination Committee and head of the Plans and Policy Department of the Defense Staff of the Swedish Armed Forces. Scowcroft Center nonresident senior fellow Kathleen J. McInnis moderated the discussion.

A Conversation with:

Svein Efjestad

Policy Director

Ministry of Defense of Norway

Johan Lagerlöf

Deputy Director General and Head of Strategy and Security Policy

Ministry of Defense of Sweden

Kasper Høeg-Jensen

Head of Department, Security Policy and Operations

Ministry of Defense of Denmark

Janne Kuusela

Director General, Defense Policy Department

Ministry of Defense of Finland

Arnór Sigurjónsson

 Director, Security and Defense Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iceland

Moderated By:

Kathleen McInnis

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center

for Strategy and Security

Atlantic Council