The final phase of the military integration process for Finland’s NATO membership was completed by a joint decision of the NATO Supreme Allied Command Transformation and the Finnish Defence Forces on 12 June 2023 in Helsinki. President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö hosted the signing ceremony of the joint declaration at the Presidential Palace.
“The process has been very fast. Almost 30 years of close cooperation and military interoperability with NATO have made that pace possible”, President Niinistö said when he opened the ceremony.
Full integration will take time and the process continues. “With Finland, the Alliance has gotten an Ally who takes its obligations and commitments seriously.”
At the event, the President stated that Finland started the accession process together with Sweden and that our membership is not complete without Sweden. For Finland, the Swedish membership is of paramount importance not only politically, but also militarily.
The integration of the Finnish Defence Forces forces with NATO has progressed as planned and has been implemented as part of the accession process since July 2022. Although Finland now is a member of NATO, integration will continue for years after the closure of the formal process.
There has been comprehensive integration across the different branches of the Finnish Defence Forces in areas such as personnel augmentation, joint operational and defence planning, training and increasing NATO expertise.
Before the signing ceremony, President Niinistö held discussions with General Philippe Lavigne, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and General Timo Kivinen, Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces. Both generals gave a short speech at the signing ceremony.