Finland Joins NATO



Finland accession ceremony – photo courtesy of NATO

Alexis Hornsby and Bella Keogh

By Alexis Hornsby and Bella Keogh


On April 4th, 2023, Finland became the 31st country to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Finland was the latest country added to the organization following North Macedonia in March of 2020. 


NATO was formed as a security alliance between 12 North American and European countries in 1949, after the second world war. NATO’s official mission “is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.” According to the NATO website, “NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defense and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.”


To become a member of NATO, a country must be invited to join. However, the member countries have to unanimously agree about inviting the country before the accession protocols begin. The accession protocols to join NATO are thorough and long. The applicant country must meet certain military and political requirements that fit in with NATO’s mission. NATO has rejected the applications of some countries due to certain political issues or a failure of the member countries to unanimously agree on admission. Finland applied to join the organization in May 2022, waiting almost a year before being accepted into the alliance according to NATOs official website. Sweden, which applied at the same time as Finland, is still waiting. 


At the formal accession ceremony in Brussels, the Finnish president said, “Finland has today become a member of the defense alliance NATO. The era of military non-alignment in our history has come to an end. A new era begins.” According to Tara John with CNN, “Finland’s acceptance into the US-led security alliance presents a blow to Russian President Vladamir Putin, who has long sought to undermine NATO.” 


Finland’s acceptance into NATO is mutually beneficial. Membership provides Finland many benefits, including full access to the alliance’s resources in the event of an attack and protection by NATO member countries. According to CNN, NATO benefits because Finland provides the alliance some of the best equipped artillery forces in Western Europe and expanded technology access.