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NATO's Nordic Expansion

Experts discuss why Finland and Sweden, both longstanding neutral nations, moved towards NATO membership following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin meet in Stockholm on April 13, 2022.
Carl Bildt
Julianne Smith
Alexander Stubb
Ivo H. Daalder
Event Date

About This Event

Sweden and Finland have officially applied for NATO membership following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, marking a significant security policy change for the two Nordic nations. In light of this historic geopolitical shift, US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith, former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt, and former Prime Minister of Finland Alexander Stubb join Council President Ivo Daalder to discuss what obstacles remain to a northern enlargement of NATO, how Moscow might respond, and the overall implications for European security.

About the Speakers
Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sweden
Carl Bildt is the former prime minister and former foreign minister of Sweden. Subsequently, he served in international functions with the European Union and the United Nations, primarily related to the Balkans conflicts. He was co-chairman of the Dayton peace talks on Bosnia and Herzegovina and later became the special envoy of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to the region.
US Permanent Representative to NATO
Ambassador Julianne Smith assumed her position as the US Permanent Representative to NATO in November 2021. Prior to her current position, she served as a Senior Advisor to Secretary Blinken at the Department of State. Previously, she served as the Director of the Asia and Geopolitics Programs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Former Prime Minister, Finland
Professor Alexander Stubb is the director of the School of Transnational Governance at European University Institute. He has served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, and Trade and Europe Minister of Finland. From 2014 to 2016, he was the chairman of the Finnish National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), and later, vice president of the European Investment Bank (EIB).
CEO, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Headshot of Ivo H. Daalder
Ivo H. Daalder served as the US ambassador to NATO from 2009 to 2013. He joined the Council as president in 2013 and took on the new role of CEO in 2023. Previously, he was a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution and served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. He is the author or editor of 10 books.
Headshot of Ivo H. Daalder