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Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.
Parliament held a referral debate on the government proposal on Finland's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the plenary session on Tuesday, December 13. The presentation speech was given by Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green Party Parliamentary Group). He stated at the beginning of his speech that Russia's attack on Ukraine has endangered the stability of the whole of Europe and undermined the European security order.
Haavisto said that, in the changed situation last spring, Finland had to re-examine its security policy, which was based on a credible national defence, an international system, military non-alignment, comprehensive defence cooperation and the idea that if the security policy situation changes, Finland's NATO membership would be re-evaluated.
“If we hadn't reacted to the change in our security environment in the spring, this would also have affected our position," Minister Haavisto stated.
According to the government's assessment, it is possible for Parliament to consider the government proposal before all NATO member states have accepted Finland's accession. The Czech Republic, Montenegro and North Macedonia have also operated in a similar way in the past. According to Haavisto, the government had considered it important that Parliament has the necessary time to consider Finland's accession to NATO.
Haavisto said that, as a member of NATO, Finland commits to the North Atlantic Treaty and fully participates in NATO's activities. Finland commits to joint defence in accordance with Article 5 and prepares militarily to fulfil the obligation of the article. This includes the possible use of armed force. Finland's defence will be coordinated as part of NATO's common defence.
“As a member, Finland participates in NATO's security policy discussion and commits to the alliance politically," Haavisto said.
However, Haavisto emphasized that not everything will change in Finnish foreign policy. The EU remains the most important framework for Finland's foreign policy, and Finland will continue to promote human rights-based foreign policy and emphasize the importance of an international rules-based system.
In several speeches, the importance of strong national defence was emphasized and Finland's role as a member of NATO was discussed. The discussion also brought up views regarding nuclear weapons and possible NATO bases on Finnish soil.
At the end of the debate, the matter was sent to the Foreign Affairs Committee, to which the Constitutional Law Committee, the Defence Committee, the Intelligence Oversight Committee, and the Finance Committee give their statements. After the committee reading, the matter will return to the plenary session.
Read more about the parliamentary consideration of the government proposal on Finland's accession to NATO.
Read more about the two government reports on the changes in the security environment.