Finland presents NATO membership proposal to parliament while awaiting Hungary, Turkey ratification

Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto arrives for the meeting of the NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Bucharest, Romania, on November 30, 2022. Georgia, and Moldova. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

Finland’s government submitted a proposal to parliament on Monday, laying the groundwork for the country’s accession to NATO while awaiting ratification from Turkey and Hungary.

“The proposal concludes that the North Atlantic Treaty would not be a problem for Finland’s sovereignty and participation in international cooperation and that Finland’s accession to the Treaty would not constitute a significant transfer of competence to an international organization,” the government said in a statement on Dec. 5.

“Therefore, Parliament could make the decision to adopt the Treaty by a simple majority vote.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year has transformed the security picture in Europe and prompted both Sweden and Finland to apply for NATO membership.

Their applications were approved and the accession protocols for both countries were signed on July 5. 

The 30 member countries must now ratify the protocols. Turkey and Hungary are the remaining two countries to do so. 

Looking ahead

Finland and Sweden have vowed to enter into NATO together

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and then Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Anne Linde give a news conference after the signing of the accession protocols of Finland and Sweden at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

In November, Reuters reported Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban saying Hungry would ratify Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership in early 2023.

Turkey has not yet given a date when it expects to approve the Nordic countries’ memberships.  Ankara says Sweden and Finland harbour Kurdish militants that are wanted in Turkey.  

On Monday, the Finnish government said NATO membership would have economic and human resources effects that would be specified once it becomes a member of the alliance. 

Once Finland and Sweden’s applications have been ratified by all 32 NATO countries, all Nordic countries will be members of the alliance.

Closer Nordic cooperation 

Besides the move towards NATO membership, the Russian aggression in Ukraine has prompted even closer ties between Nordic governments, particularly in the North along the Arctic borders shared by Finland, Norway and Sweden. 

In November, the three countries signed an agreement of intent to improve the ability of the three countries’ militaries to work with each other. 

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Canada’s North spared from national military staff shortages, CBC News

Faroe Islands: Faroe Islands’ Arctic strategy focuses on security, climate & cooperation, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: No return to pre-war reality when it comes to Arctic cooperation, says Finnish rep, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Greenland, Iceland sign cooperation agreement in Reykjavik, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Canada’s GG among keynote speakers at Arctic Circle Assembly, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Hybrid threat researcher detained in Tromsø on suspicion of being Russian agent, Thomson Reuters

Russia: Newly deployed nuke-bombers at Kola is certainly a signalling, expert says, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: China, Russia among global priorities, including in Arctic, in U.S. security strategy, Eye on the Arctic

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