The two-hour event, which attracted more than 230 people from various Finnish ministries, media and academic bodies, was held on the eve of the Finnish-Swedish Strategic Concept seminar on the Comprehensive Approach to Crisis Management.
Dr. Jamie Shea, Head of Policy Planning in the Private Office of the NATO Secretary General, gave a presentation on the current discussions regarding NATO's new Strategic Concept, its new priorities, security challenges and threats.
Dr. Shea called on NATO's partner countries, including Sweden and Finland, to actively cooperate on a variety of issues. “The more NATO gets involved in Afghanistan and other future operations, [the more] increased cooperation with NGOs and other international players and partners is needed,” he said.
Dr. Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz, Ambassador and member of the Group of Experts on the new Strategic Concept, participated in the panel discussion, outlining what the Group had been busy working on since they were tasked by the NATO Secretary General almost six months ago.
“One thing is clear. NATO is still very relevant, but it is not going to be a global organisation. However, NATO will continue to act globally, when our security is threatened,” said Ambassador von Ploetz.
Other panel members included Dr. Teija Tiilikainen, Director of the Finnish Institute for International Affairs; Minister Pertti Salolainen, Chairman of the Finnish Foreign Affairs Committee, MP and Vice-Chair of the Atlantic Council of Finland; and Prof. Anne-Marie Le Gloannec, Research Director at the Science Po in Paris.
The panel participants stressed the importance of the Alliance’s continued cooperation with Russia and the need for closer cooperation with other international organisations and NGOs.
Finland became a NATO Partner Country in 1994 and contributes actively to NATO’s operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo.