The development of a security community in the north of Europe has been made difficult by two trends that could be observed throughout the 1990s. On the analytical level, a shift of emphasis from compatible to common values has substantially altered the original conception of a security community. Applied to Europe’s north, this has been accompanied by calls for adaptation by the former socialist part of the region to norms and values prescribed by the West. This may result in a weak internalization of norms and values that, in turn, may be insufficient for the development of the sense of community necessary to a security community. On the policy level, what has already been achieved in regard to a security community’s core value – peaceful change – seems to have been frequently underestimated, in particular with respect to the achievements of the Russian Federation. Taken together, both trends have resulted in an underestimation of the steps already taken towards security community-building in the north of Europe.