Government proposal on Finland’s accession to NATO submitted to Parliament

The Finnish Government submitted a proposal on Finland’s accession to NATO to Parliament on 5 December. The consultation on the draft proposal generated about 1,600 responses. The Government reviewed the proposal based on the responses and supplemented the rationale with specifications concerning cooperation between the Government and the President of the Republic, Parliament’s role in the handling of NATO matters and in making decisions on them, and the status of Åland Islands under international law.

The Government proposes that Parliament approve the North Atlantic Treaty and the Agreement on the Status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, National Representatives and International Staff. The North Atlantic Treaty establishes the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and defines the principles governing the activities of the Alliance and the obligations of its members. The Agreement on the Status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, National Representatives and International Staff, known as the Ottawa Agreement, defines the status of NATO as a legal person and the privileges and immunities of NATO staff.

Finland may accede to the North Atlantic Treaty and become a member of NATO when all NATO member states have ratified Finland’s accession. So far, 28 out of 30 NATO member states have ratified Finland’s accession. Ratifications by Türkiye and Hungary are still pending. Legally, Parliament may consider the government proposal before all NATO member states have ratified Finland’s Accession Protocol. After Parliament has considered the proposal, the President of the Republic will decide on Finland’s accession to NATO. However, Finland’s instrument of accession may be deposited with the Government of the United States in its capacity as Depositary and Finland may become a member of NATO only after all NATO member states have ratified Finland’s Accession Protocol and the NATO Secretary General has invited Finland to join the Alliance.

Government proposal assesses key effects of NATO membership

The government proposal assesses the key effects of Finland’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty. The key effects concern foreign policy, security policy and defence policy, in particular. As a member of NATO, Finland will commit to the North Atlantic Treaty and will participate in all aspects of NATO. Finland is preparing militarily to fulfil its obligation of collective defence under Article 5, including the use of armed force. Finland will integrate its defence into NATO’s collective defence. As a member, Finland will participate in NATO’s security policy consultations, commit to the Alliance politically, and participate in NATO’s peacetime missions as agreed separately.

Finland’s NATO membership will have economic effects and human resources effects, which will be specified once Finland becomes a member.

The government proposal gives a concise description of NATO’s history, the contents of the North Atlantic Treaty and the Ottawa Agreement, Finland’s accession talks, and the activities, tasks and decision-making of NATO. In addition, the proposal examines the implications for the existing legislation. The Government assesses that the existing legislation allows Finland to accede to the North Atlantic Treaty and to the Ottawa Agreement, and the resulting obligations do not require any immediate amendments to national legislation.

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

Inquiries

Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Jukka Salovaara, Permanent Secretary of State, tel. +358 295 350 431

Piritta Asunmaa, Director General, Political Department, tel. +358 295 350 353

Pirjo Tulokas, Director General of Administrative Services, tel. +358 295 351 413

Kaija Suvanto, Director General of Legal Service, tel. +358 295 351 159

The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format [email protected]

Ministry of Defence

Janne Kuusela, Director General, tel. +358 295 140 300, [email protected]

Hanna Nordström, Director of Legal Affairs, tel. +358 295 140 600, [email protected]