General Jarmo Lindberg, FAF, MP, has been elected Chair of the Steering Board of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats from 1 January 2024 for a term of three years.
The current Chair, Mr Jori Arvonen, State Under-Secretary for European Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office of Finland, will leave the position at the end of 2023, having chaired the Steering Board since the establishment of the Centre in 2017. Mr Arvonen was also part of the group preparing for the Centre’s establishment in Helsinki, Finland.
The Steering Board, consisting of representatives from Hybrid CoE’s 35 Participating States, is the principal decision-making body at the Centre. Staff representatives from the EU and NATO are invited to attend the Steering Board meetings.
“As a consequence of the conventional war raging in Europe, we must also be better prepared for future hybrid threats where nation-states search for all possible avenues of influence to enforce their own agenda,” said General Lindberg. “We need to take our comprehensive security to the next level, where inter-governmental cooperation enables better situational awareness for future coordinated operations against challenging hybrid operations.”
General Lindberg is the former Chief of Defence of Finland (2014–2019) and is currently a Member of the Finnish Parliament. Previously, he has also served as Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics and Armaments in the Finnish Defence Command, as well as Commander of the Finnish Air Force, among other positions. He retired from the Finnish Defence Forces in 2019.
“In six years, the Centre has contributed greatly to raising awareness of hybrid threats and to bringing EU and NATO countries together, helping them to understand and counter the threats. It has been a privilege to participate in this journey,” said outgoing Chair, Jori Arvonen.
Talking to Hybrid CoE’s Steering Board, Under-Secretary Arvonen also commented on the future of the Centre: “The way I see it, the next step for Hybrid CoE is not only to contribute to our own work, but to reach out to our partners outside the EU and NATO and to create a global network of like-minded countries working together. With General Jarmo Lindberg as Chair, and Professor Teija Tiilikainen as Director, I am convinced that the Centre will continue to play an even more central role in the years to come.”
Hybrid CoE’s mission is to strengthen its Participating States’ security by providing expertise and training for countering hybrid threats, and by enhancing EU-NATO cooperation in this respect. The Centre is an autonomous hub for practitioners and experts, located in Helsinki, Finland.