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Government proposal on Defence Cooperation Agreement between Finland and United States sent out for comments

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Publication date 28.3.2024 15.24 | Published in English on 28.3.2024 at 15.30
Press release

Finland and the United States signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement in Washington DC on 18 December 2023. A draft government proposal to Parliament on the acceptance of the agreement was sent out for comments on 28 March 2024. The draft proposal was prepared by a wide-ranging cross-government working group, led by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) will deepen the close cooperation between Finland and the United States in the areas of security and defence. It establishes the terms and conditions for U.S. military presence in Finland in all security situations. The DCA will make it easier for the United States to support Finland, which reinforces the security of Finland as a NATO member. The agreement will also strengthen the security of the United States and the Nordic countries. The DCA is based on the NATO Status of Forces Agreement and supplements it.

In the draft government proposal, the working group assesses the DCA provisions on matters such as U.S. forces’ entry into and movement in Finland and U.S. forces’ access to and use of the facilities and areas of the Defence Forces provided for joint use. There are 15 such facilities and areas, and they are listed in the Annex to the agreement. The DCA also contains provisions on prepositioned materiel, the safety and security of U.S. forces, criminal jurisdiction, and the legal status of U.S. forces and U.S. contractors.

The working group concludes that the DCA would restrict Finland’s sovereignty, which is why Parliament’s acceptance of the agreement would require a two-thirds majority of the votes cast. 

In addition, the working group assesses the key impacts of the DCA. The agreement’s actual effects will depend on the extent of the future defence cooperation between Finland and the United States and on the number of U.S. forces entering the territory of Finland. The DCA would not mean a permanent presence of U.S. forces in Finland; as a rule, U.S. forces would be present in Finland on a rotational basis.

The draft government proposal also includes amendments to several related acts of different branches of government.

Comments on the draft government proposal may be submitted at Lausuntopalvelu.fi until 12 May 2024.

Inquiries

Ministry for Foreign Affairs:
 

  • Kaija Suvanto, Director General of the Legal Service, chair of the working group, tel. +358 295 351 159
  • Minna Laajava, Director, Unit for Security Policy and Crisis Management, tel. +358 295 350 128

Ministry of Defence:
 

  • Anna Korhola, Senior Specialist, Legal Affairs, tel. +358 29 514 0319
  • Tuomas Koskenniemi, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 140 058

Finnish Defence Forces:
 

 

 

 
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