Draft government proposal on Finland’s accession to NATO sent out for comments

A draft government proposal on the adoption of the North Atlantic Treaty and of the Agreement on the status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, National Representatives and International Staff was sent out for comments on 3 November 2022. The draft proposal was prepared by a working group led by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

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 is an agreement on the status of NATO as a legal person and on the privileges and immunities of NATO staff. Finland’s accession to NATO must be approved by Parliament.

The NATO member countries signed the Accession Protocols of Finland and Sweden in the North Atlantic Council on 5 July 2022. Once all NATO member countries have ratified the two Accession Protocols, Finland and Sweden will join NATO.

In the draft government proposal, the working group assesses the relationship between the North Atlantic Treaty and Finland’s Constitution. The working group 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.

The working group is of the opinion that Finland’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty would not affect the decision-making procedure concerning Finland’s foreign and security policy, the obligation to participate in national defence or the position of the President of the Republic as the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces.

Current legislation allows Finland to accede to the North Atlantic Treaty and to the Agreement on the status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, National Representatives and International Staff, and the resulting obligations do not require any immediate amendments to national legislation. Any subsequent legislative measures related to Finland’s NATO membership may be implemented by separate statutes.

The working group assessed the key effects of Finland’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty especially from the perspectives of foreign policy, security policy and defence policy. In addition, the working group identified economic effects and human resources effects of membership. The details of these effects will be specified once Finland becomes a member of NATO.

As a member of NATO, Finland must accede to other NATO agreements within 12 months of the deposit of Finland’s instrument of accession. These agreements concern the status of troops, security of information, and protection of information in the defence sector. Separate government proposals on Finland’s accession to these agreements will be later submitted for Parliament’s approval.

The working group drafting the government proposal had representatives from the Office of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom).

Comments on the draft government proposal may be submitted at (layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window)(layout.types.url.description)Lausuntopalvelu.fi(layout.types.url.description) until 23 November 2022.

Inquiries

  • Jukka Salovaara, Permanent State Secretary, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 431, [email protected]
  • Piritta Asunmaa, Director General, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 353, [email protected]
  • Janne Kuusela, Director General, Ministry of Defence, tel. +358 295 140 300, [email protected]
  • Pirjo Tulokas, Director General of Administrative Services, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 351 413, [email protected]
  • Kaija Suvanto, Director General of the Legal Service, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 351 159, [email protected]
  • Hanna Nordström, Director of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Defence, tel. +358 295 140 600, [email protected]