NATO cooperation and Finland’s resilience

Finland has applied for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security as well as the security and stability of the Baltic Sea region and Northern Europe. Nowadays, in addition to military defence, the member countries' civil preparedness and resilience are also promoted under the NATO umbrella.  

The Ministry of the Interior’s branch of government is linked to strengthening NATO’s collective defence, specifically when it comes to ensuring the resilience of society.  This means ensuring the operational reliability of critical sectors of society, responding to hybrid and cyber threats and engaging in intelligence cooperation. 

In a crisis, military capabilities need support from civilian activities

NATO defines resilience as society’s ability to resist and recover from shocks, such as a natural disaster, failure of critical infrastructure, or a hybrid or armed attack. Civil-military cooperation plays an important role in NATO.

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

Long-term cooperation in civil preparedness and resilience

Finland has taken an active part in civil preparedness and resilience cooperation since Finland became a partner for peace. The civil preparedness issues for which the Ministry of the Interior is responsible 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, guides this work in NATO. This Committee will generate a significant workload for the Ministry of the Interior’s branch of government, among others.

Finland will be able to take part in the exchange of military and civilian intelligence
National security and intelligence are an important policy area in NATO. It is built on information from the intelligence system used jointly by the member countries and NATO. NATO also invests in identifying new threats.

NATO’s Headquarters has an Joint Intelligence and Security Division that combines civilian and military intelligence. This intelligence will be available to Finland. Finland can also post its own experts there.