Finland in the European Union– What next?

EU membership was the most significant foreign and security policy decision in Finland’s history, facilitating NATO accession and seating Finland at the table with major Western powers. Current and future governments ought to recognise the significance of European integration and present a more tangible political vision for the future of the EU.

The world system is changing, and the EU needs to adapt externally but also internally. In the debate on possible reforms, Finland should not shy away from integration but needs to also look after its interests. Due to the war in Ukraine, the questions related to the American commitment to Europe’s security as was the case previously, and global developments in security and defence will play a stronger role. 

Finland has joined NATO, which gives it new perspectives, possibilities, and responsibilities. While NATO will be a major platform for security and defence cooperation, the EU will have increasing importance. Finland, as a country on Russia’s border, has a crucial role in leading that debate and is also a driver of EU defence cooperation within the NATO framework.

Security in all its dimensions will play a more important role in the future, and not least due to the cloud that US domestic politics are casting over transatlantic defence cooperation, there is a strong interest to develop the EU as a security provider. As the articles in this publication point out, Finland’s border with Russia is not only a border of two states but a border of two global systems and views which are challenging one another. As a result, increasingly, what comes next for the European Union is no longer for Finland to find out but for Finland to define.