Finland becomes a NATO invitee

The NATO member countries signed the Accession Protocols concerning Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on 5 February, making Finland and Sweden invitees of the Alliance. The Accession Protocols must next be ratified in each member country for Finland and Sweden to become members.

Finland’s Accession Protocol was signed at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on 5 July 2022. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto was present when the ambassadors of the NATO member countries signed the Accession Protocol. The signing of the Accession Protocol makes Finland an official invitee of the Alliance.

Invitee status means that Finland may attend and address NATO meetings, but is not entitled to vote. As an invitee, Finland is not yet covered by the security guarantees enshrined in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

Before Finland becomes a member of NATO, Finland’s membership must first be ratified in all NATO member countries. Each country has its own national procedures for ratification, but typically, each member country’s parliament must address and approve Finland’s Accession Protocol. Finland will become a NATO member once every NATO member country has ratified Finland’s membership. The ratification stage could take months.