NATO Parliamentary Assembly.– After thorough debates across their whole societies and with large parliamentary majorities supporting the decision, Finland and Sweden simultaneously handed their official letters of application to join NATO over to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on 18 May 2022. NATO Heads of State and Government extended an invitation to Finland and Sweden to join the Alliance at the Madrid Summit on 29 June. The accession protocols for both countries were signed on 5 July after completion of accession talks. The protocols must now be ratified by all Allies, according to their national procedures.
As it has done with past accessions, the NATO PA is monitoring and encouraging prompt ratification of Sweden and Finland’s accession to Allied parliaments.
As soon as Finland and Sweden join NATO, they will also become full members of the NATO PA.
Note: the timeline below indicates the date of the end of the parliamentary procedures. This may not be the end of the ratification process in a nation. Moreover, to take effect, ratification instruments must be deposited with the United States government:
☑️ Canada - 5 July
☑️ Iceland - 5 July
☑️ Norway - 5 July
☑️ Estonia - 6 July
☑️ United Kingdom - 6 July
☑️ Albania - 7 July
☑️ Denmark - 7 July
☑️ Germany - 8 July
☑️ Netherlands - 12 July
☑️ Luxembourg - 12 July
☑️ Bulgaria - 13 July
☑️ Latvia - 14 July
☑️ Slovenia - 14 July
☑️ Croatia - 15 July
☑️ Poland - 20 July
☑️ Lithuania - 20 July
☑️ Belgium - 20 July
☑️ Romania - 21 July
☑️ North Macedonia - 27 July
☑️ Montenegro - 28 July
☑️ France - 2 August
☑️ Italy - 3 August
☑️ United-States - 3 August
☑️ Czech Republic - 27 August
☑️ Greece - 15 September
☑️ Portugal - 16 September
☑️ Spain - 21 September
☑️ Slovakia - 27 September
THE PROCESSES OF NATO AND NATO PA ENLARGEMENT
NATO’S PROCESS OF ENLARGEMENT
Within NATO, the process of enlargement normally involves the following steps1:
- Allies invite an aspirant to begin accession talks.
- Accession talks with a NATO team.
The aim of these talks is to obtain formal confirmation from the invitees of their willingness and ability to meet the political, legal and military obligations and commitments of NATO membership, as laid out in the Washington Treaty and in the 1995 Study on NATO Enlargement.
- Invitees send letters of intent to NATO, along with timetables for completion of reforms.
In the second step of the accession process, each invitee country provides confirmation of its acceptance of the obligations and commitments of membership in the form of a letter of intent from each foreign minister addressed to the NATO Secretary General. Together with this letter, they also formally submit their individual reform timetables.
- Accession protocols are signed by NATO countries.
NATO then prepares Accession Protocols to the Washington Treaty for each invitee. These protocols are in effect amendments or additions to the Treaty, which once signed and ratified by Allies, become an integral part of the Treaty itself and permit the invited countries to become parties to the Treaty. From the moment when Accession Protocols are signed, NATO invites representatives of the invited countries to attend meetings of the North Atlantic Council as observers.
- Accession Protocols are ratified by NATO countries.
The governments of NATO member states ratify the protocols, according to their national requirements and procedures.
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