A comparative study of Finland, Estonia, and Sweden: How does the realisation of the security situation in the Northern Baltic affect the integrated security and cooperation between Finland, Estonia and Sweden?
The security constellation of the Northern Baltic is undergoing the most significant change since the Cold War. Russia’s war against Ukraine and the NATO membership applications of Finland and Sweden will fundamentally change the region’s strategic orientation and security culture. With the Finnish NATO bid succeeding in April 2023, and the Swedish application in the process of being ratified, the Nordic and the Baltic countries will belong to the same defence alliance for the first time in history.
In August 2023, our think tank completed a report on overall security cooperation between Estonia, Finland and Sweden, From Talk to Action: Integrated Security in the Northern Baltic (Kuronen & Tölli 2023).
The fact that there will be no barriers to sharing information and situational awareness is a significant advantage in building regional cohesion and hence in increasing deterrence in Northern Europe at the same time.
Now, it is crystal clear that the collective West in general and the Nordic countries in particular have an urgent need to rethink and reform their safety and security infrastructures. Our work contributes to this need. The new security landscape reflects the integrated security thinking and national security concepts of Finland, Sweden, and Estonia.
The report focuses in particular on the following seven dimensions of security:
- national leadership
- international relations
- “hard” military security
- internal security
- economy, infrastructure and security of supply
- essential public services
- psychological resilience of a nation.
The report is based on an exploratory qualitative study conducted in three empirical contexts: Finland, Sweden, and Estonia. Our main question is: How does the realisation of the security situation in the Northern Baltic affect the integrated security and cooperation between Finland, Estonia and Sweden?
The report is written primarily for political decision-makers, public officials, the third sector, foreign and security policy research organisations, as well as ordinary citizens. In compiling it, we wish to spark interest among young people, as well as draw attention more generally to questions relating to important societal security dimensions.
Over the years, there has been a lot of thought and talk but less concerted action regarding integrated security in the Northern Baltic nations.
At last, it is time for action.
Elisabeth Rehn – Bank of Ideas, 2023
ISBN 978-952-69019-2-3 (print)
ISBN 978-952-69019-3-0 (PDF)