Sweden's NATO accession not on Hungarian Parliament's agenda for spring session

January 15. 2024. – 10:57 AM



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Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén has submitted the government's legislative programme for the spring 2024 session of Parliament to the House Speaker. It includes 18 various bills and amendments, but the final vote on Sweden's NATO membership is not on the list, Atv.hu reports. According to Semjén's proposal, Parliament is to discuss and vote on things such as the amendment of the law on water distribution services, the adoption of the 2025 state budget, the recognition of foreign certificates and diplomas, or complying with the EU directive on minimum wage, to name just a few.

Sweden and Finland decided to give up their military independence and join NATO in May 2022, after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war. At the 2022 NATO summit, it seemed only a matter of months before the two countries – both of which have strong military capabilities – could join the alliance, and in June of the same year it was finally decided that the way to NATO for Sweden and Finland was open.

In order for the decision to be finalized, it needs to be approved by the parliaments of all member countries. Throughout the summer of 2022, the ratification was completed in nearly all the countries from the United States to Slovakia, with 28 out of 30 countries approving the Nordic countries' application for membership within a short time. If it were up to this majority, both Sweden and Finland could have become full members by the end of September. For some reason though, Hungary and Turkey have been delaying Sweden's accession. We summarized the reasons in this article.

At the end of November 2023, Turkey indicated that it could be ready to approve Sweden's NATO membership within a few weeks. This suggested that Hungary's approval may also be close.

However, at his international press conference in December, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that

the Hungarian Parliament can't stomach the decision.

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