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News > Hungary

Hungarian Parliament Approves Finland's Accession to NATO

  • House of Parliament in Budapest, Hungary.

    House of Parliament in Budapest, Hungary. | Photo: Twitter/ @hannamabd

Published 27 March 2023

Finland and Sweden dropped their decades-long policies of military non-alignment and applied to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in May 2022.

On Monday, the Hungarian parliament approved legislation allowing Finland to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).


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Besides the far-right party "Our Homeland" (Mi Hazank), all parties voted in favor of Finland's accession. While 11 lawmakers were absent, 182 members of parliament voted in favor and six against.

Last Friday, Mi Hazank Vice President Elod Novak said that his party would veto Finland's accession because "expanding the military alliance on Russia's border would be a provocation, while the neutral zone is an international interest."

The Hungarian parliament originally tabled to vote on the ratification of the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO in the last trimester of 2022, but had since decided to hold two separate votes.

Before Monday's vote, the Hungarian parliament sent a delegation on a "courtesy visit" to Finland and Sweden, to inquire as to why Helsinki and Stockholm had criticized Hungary's democratic institutions.

"We were forced to hold consultations with the speaker, foreign minister, and parliament members of the two countries about whether they see Hungary as an ally, because the political statements in recent years were unduly hostile and did not reflect the reality in Hungary," Hungarian parliament speaker Laszlo Kover said last week after the visit.

Finland and Sweden had criticized the Hungarian government on issues related to corruption, media freedom and the judicial system. 

"Hungary has managed to get reassurance from the Finns that these problems will not persist in the future," Balazs Orban, the prime minister's political director, said on Sunday.

Finland and Sweden dropped their decades-long policies of military non-alignment and applied to join NATO in May 2022. Before Monday's vote, Hungary and Türkiye were the last two of NATO's 30 members holding out on ratifying the accession of Sweden and Finland. Türkiye has not yet ratified either of the Nordic nations' accession to NATO.


Balazs Orban
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