The Atlantic Alliance offers guarantees to Finland and Sweden, also to strengthen the European Union

The question of Finland and Sweden joining the Atlantic Alliance continues to be a problem for Turkey’s aversion, which requires counterparts from Helsinki and Stockholm, which cannot be guaranteed by the leaders of the Alliance; despite this awareness, the Secretary General of the Atlantic Alliance, Stoltenberg, said he was optimistic and confident about the positive conclusion of the accession process. The declarations of optimism took place during the summit with the President of the Commission and the President of the Council of the European Union, in the context of the signing of the third declaration of aid in favor of military support for Ukraine; however, despite the confidence in the inclusion of Finland and Sweden in the Alliance, the stalemate has not been broken. The positive conclusion of the process of accession to the Atlantic Alliance is seen from a perspective of very significant historical and political importance, due to the tradition of neutrality of the two countries and their strategic position, within the opposition to the Russian ambitions against the ‘Europe: precisely because of these assessments, the ratification of membership was signed by 28 members and rejected only by Turkey and Hungary. The reasons of the two opposing states are different: Ankara does not like the refuge provided by the Nordic countries to Kurdish exponents, therefore going to question internal political reasons of the candidate states, while in Budapest the suspect is the favorable attitude towards the Russian president, manifested several times and the origin of profound disagreements also within the European Union. Sweden and Finland have tried to carry out acts that could satisfy Turkey: such as the limitation of the activities of the Kurds on their territories, Stockholm has also lifted the ban on the sale of weapons to Ankara and distanced itself from the Kurdish-Syrian militias, as requested by Turkey, despite the role recognized by Western countries in the fight against the Islamic State; however, these openings are not enough for President Erdogan, who probably cannot make unwelcome concessions to his electorate until after the elections next June. In any case, as reiterated by NATO leaders, the risk of a Russian military attack against Finland and Sweden is not considered possible precisely because of the guarantees provided as long as the two countries are not members of the Alliance; in fact, therefore, the two nations already enjoy the protection of the Atlantic Alliance in all respects as if they were part of it in a formal way and a possible military attack already implies an automatic response from NATO. The latest joint declaration between the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance reaffirms the intentions of those signed in 2016 and 2018, but takes place in the context of the war of aggression perpetrated by Russia and strengthens the position of Finland and Sweden in the Euro-Atlantic sector, bringing a substantial political novelty which, in the immediate term, has an anti-Russian function, but in the future promises to have further developments beyond the military ones. The declaration of 2023, therefore, confirms the strategic concept of the Atlantic Alliance, which defines the European Union as a unique and essential ally and, on this basis, requires its even more enhanced integration, above all within the framework of the common strategy of defense and of international security. Very important is the favorable judgment towards an autonomous development of the military defense structures of the European Union, albeit still within the Atlantic Alliance, an issue repeatedly questioned by the previous president of the United States, Trump. If these considerations have a functional nature more pertinent to the contingent situation, relating to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, judgments have also been expressed, especially by the president of the European Union Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, relating to potential situations already present, but which, for the moment, are limited to conflicts of a commercial nature, such as relations with China. Beijing’s evident willingness to reshape the international order to its own advantage must alarm democratic countries, which could risk seeing their peculiarities in the way of governing altered. Only greater political integration and the creation of an autonomous military force in Europe can guarantee a deterrence capacity from armed threats or even from reversals of American politics, no longer as stable as it once was, which could cause a decrease in its own domestic of the Atlantic Alliance, due to isolationist tendencies already seen in the recent US past.

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