Blomqvist: Extensive consensus in Parliament concerning NATO accession

Today (1 March 2023), the Finnish Parliament has approved the Government Proposal on Finland’s Accession to NATO. Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, is pleased that the Parliament gave this clear opinion on the matter and that Finland has now reached the conclusion of this phase of the accession process.

“Today’s vote confirmed the extensive consensus among Finland’s MPs regarding Finland’s NATO membership. The numbers 188–8 went down in Finnish history last May, when the Parliament gave its support to Finland’s NATO application. Today’s vote of 184–7 has once again proved that there is extensive agreement on the matter. The Parliament’s wishes are clear,” says minister Blomqvist.

“Russia embarking on its full-scale attack on Ukraine fundamentally shook Finland’s and Europe’s security environment. It was against this background that we applied for NATO membership, in order to maximise the safety of Finland and its population. With this in mind, in the past year the government and the Parliament have taken care of processes thoroughly but flexibly and speedily, in extensive mutual understanding. I am pleased that the Parliament has now approved the NATO legislation, allowing us to draw a line under this phase of the process,” Blomqvist states.“Now we just have to wait for ratification from Hungary and Turkey to conclude the process as a whole.”

In the last twelve months, Finland and Sweden have worked in very close collaboration on their NATO decisions and procedures.

“In these times of security turmoil we have seen very close cooperation between our two countries. The Government Report on Finnish Foreign and Security Policy states that Sweden is our most important bilateral partner, and this has now been seen in practice. Our joint, deliberate coordination of the process as a whole demonstrates the deep trust that exists between our nations. The strong support and collaboration of the other Nordic countries has also been significant. We will continue the process in mutual understanding and reciprocity with Sweden. It is my hope that Finland and Sweden will join NATO together, as soon as possible,” Blomqvist concludes.

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