NATO membership and Finland’s resilience

Finland became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on 4 April 2023. NATO membership will strengthen Finland’s security as well as the security and stability of the Baltic Sea region and Northern Europe. As a member of NATO, Finland is committed to the North Atlantic Treaty and participates in all aspects of NATO activities and joint decision-making along with the other members.

In addition to military defence and national security, NATO promotes civil preparedness and the resilience of societies in its member countries. The Ministry of the Interior’s branch of government is linked to strengthening NATO’s collective defence, specifically when it comes to maintaining internal security and civil preparedness and ensuring the resilience of society.

Resilience means ensuring the operational reliability of critical sectors of society even during incidents, responding to hybrid and cyber threats and engaging in intelligence cooperation. In NATO cooperation, the Ministry of the Interior is also responsible for civil defence matters.

In a crisis, military capabilities need support from civilian activities

NATO defines resilience as society’s ability to resist and recover from incidents, such as a natural disaster, failure of critical infrastructure, or a hybrid or armed attack. NATO’s Strategic Concept, which was updated in summer 2022, emphasises the importance of society's resilience from the perspective of NATO's core tasks so that the Alliance can protect its members and their shared values as effectively as possible.

To ensure military capabilities in times of crisis, the critical infrastructure functions of society must also be in order. These include logistics services, communications connections, civil defence, energy supply and clean water.

Long-term cooperation for civil preparedness and resilience

Finland has taken an active part in civil preparedness and resilience cooperation since Finland became a partner for peace in 1994.

The national security and civil preparedness issues within the mandate of the Ministry of the Interior are part of NATO’s new resilience policy defined in the NATO 2030 agenda. NATO’s Resilience Committee, which started its work in May 2022, is in charge of guiding this work in NATO.

Finland will be able to take part in the exchange of military and civilian intelligence

In addition to military intelligence, NATO’s decision-making is also supported by civilian intelligence, which is built on information from the intelligence system used jointly by the member countries and NATO. NATO also invests in identifying new threats. NATO has a Joint Intelligence and Security Division that combines civilian and military intelligence. As a result of its NATO membership, this intelligence is also available to Finland. Finland can also post its own experts there.