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Home NATIONALKeskusta finds NATO membership unnecessary
Mon, 16 Jun, 2014 12:51:50 AM
FTimes-STT Report, June 16
The newly elected leaders of the Keskusta at the party council in Turku. Photo Lehtikuva.
The annual convention of the Suomen Keskusta (Centre Party) in the coastal town of Turku came to a close on Sunday.
The party chair, Juha Sipilä addressed the delegates during the main event to clarify his views on the country’s foreign and security policy, especially the relationship with the military alliance NATO.
The Keskusta holds that the country does not need to change its military and defence policy in the near future.
Sipilä believes the NATO membership would limit the room for independent political manoeuvres. 
He also added that seeking military alliance does not eliminate the need to strengthen the country’s own defence.
The Keskusta chair reminded that membership in the military alliance comes with commitments and obligations. Thus, by becoming a member of NATO, the country should prepare to show solidarity through participation in military operations, such as in Iraq.
Despite this, the party has unanimously adopted a resolution which states that the independent nation should not be limited towards moving in any direction.
According to the party, the country is prudent enough to come up with its own solutions and that seeking alliance is possible if the leadership and the people decide on a new fundamental solution.
The Keskusta also maintains that a possible application for NATO membership should be subject to referendum.
On matters relating to education, the party on Sunday morning took the view that institutions of higher education can charge tuition fees to students from outside the European Union and European Economic Area.
The party on Saturday extended current chair Juha Sipilä’s mandate by two more years.
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