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nato_room
(05/21/07) -

Finns Clearly Oppose NATO Accession

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – A majority of people in Finland believe their country should not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to a poll by TNS Gallup published in Turun Sanomat. 63 per cent of respondents oppose Finland’s entry into the international military alliance.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – A majority of people in Finland believe their country should not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to a poll by TNS Gallup published in Turun Sanomat. 63 per cent of respondents oppose Finland’s entry into the international military alliance.

NATO was originally formed in 1949 as an agreement of collaboration designed to prevent a possible attack from the Soviet Union on North America or Western Europe during the Cold War. In March 2004, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia officially joined NATO.

Finnish Centre Party (KESK) leader Matti Vanhanen has been Finland’s prime minister since June 2003, after the resignation of Anneli Jaatteenmaki. In March, Finnish voters renewed the Diet. Vanhanen formed a new coalition administration, encompassing the KESK, the conservative National Rally (KOK), the Swedish People’s Party (RKP), and the environmentalist Green League (VIHR).

On May 9, Finnish president Tarja Halonen refuted rumours that the country is seeking to officially join NATO. Halonen said that Finland is a NATO “partner” and appreciates the benefits of this cooperation on national defence, but said it has no plans to move into the “waiting room” to join as a full member.

In accordance with the 2000 constitution, Finland’s president is responsible for the country’s foreign policy along with the cabinet.

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose Finland’s entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)?

Support

27%

Oppose

63%

Source: TNS Gallup / Turun Sanomat
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 adult Finns, conducted in May 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.