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Allied reception on the agenda in Nordic-Baltic defence estate agencies

Forsvarsbygg (N) hosted the Nordic-Baltic conference in Bergen this week, with the respective directors and members of executive groups from the seven member countries.

Photo: From the left: Heilika Reinvart (Estonia), Anders Mærkedahl (Denmark), Thorbjørn Thoresen Forsvarsbygg (Norway), Eimantas Juodzevicius (Lithuania), Matias Warsta (Finland), Maria Bredberg Petterson (Sweden) og Edvins Circenis (Latvia). Photo: Åsmund V. Sjursen/ Forsvarsbygg.

The agenda included status updates, sharing of knowledge and experience on topics related to common challenges, with special regards to allied reception and NATO co-operation.

Estates and properties are significant resources in the defence- and preparedness work

Thorbjørn Thoresen, Director General Forsvarsbygg commented:
- Preparedness is a value delivered by what we have today, not what we plan to build in the future. Fully operative estates and properties are a significant resource for the defence of all countries. Our countries face many of the same challenges within this field in the defence sector. It is in our view important to maintain good relations between the countries in the Nordic and Baltic region. Swedish and Finnish NATO membership will potentially strengthen this co-operation further. 

Large co-operation across boarders
The Nordic and Baltic countries are running co-operation projects within areas such as organizing and providing support to allied reception, energy, environmental issues, procurement, and several other areas.

Other topics raised for discussion this time included Nordic co-operation, host-nation support, preparing and executing NATO-exercises and other types of exercises, co-operation on readiness, energy, procurement and environmental issues. The seven countries also address common themes as total defence concepts, where infrastructure, capacity and competence are important elements.

NATO membership – commented by Finland and Sweden
Matias Warsta, CEO Defence Properties Finland said:
- It has been an exceptional year. The real estate impact of the Finnish application for NATO membership will develop in the years to come. There have been significant investments in preparedness during 2022, and the program to improve wartime facilities will continue, including a major F35 program development, following similar programs in Norway and Denmark.

- The new world situation has high impact on our activities and operations. We must react to the situation, operate quickly, and cut down on decision processes, balanced with the different resources needed to develop a modern and up-to-date defence delivery. A NATO membership will potentially be a big shift for Sweden, and for our operations. Co-operation with other Nordic estate agencies have never been more important than now, for us to become good NATO-members if that is the decision, said Maria Bredberg Pettersson, Director General Swedish Fortifications Agency.

NBDE (Nordic-Baltic Defence estates) is a body comprising of the Nordic and Baltic countries' associated organisations in the area concerning defence buildings and military areas. 

The Nordic Defence Estate cooperation was established in 1973 witch Norway, Denmark and Sweden as the original members. Finland joined the group in 1993. In 2015 the group enlarged with Estonia and Latvia becoming full members. Since 2015 the cooperation has been known as the Nordic-Baltic Defence Estates or NBDE. In 2016 Lithuania joined the group as full member. 


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