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KEY DATES: The milestones ahead for Sweden's Nato membership

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KEY DATES: The milestones ahead for Sweden's Nato membership
A Nato flag hangs next to a Swedish flag during a visit by Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Sweden in 2022. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Will Sweden and Finland become members of Nato in time for the security alliance's summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, at the start of July? Here are some of the big steps ahead.


February 27th. Hungary's parliament debates Swedish and Finnish Nato membership.

In the week starting February 27th, Hungary's parliament is set to debate ratifying Sweden and Finland's Nato membership. The country's strongman president Viktor Orbán said in an interview on public radio on February 23rd that although he personally supported Swedish and Finnish membership, several MPs for his Fidesz party were "not very enthusiastic" about it, and called for more discussions between Swedish, Finnish and Hungarian parliamentarians on the issue. Read our story here

February 28th: Finland's parliament votes on Nato membership. Finland's parliament has decided to push ahead with a vote on Nato membership despite Turkey's continuing refusal to ratify Sweden's membership. The parliament is certain to vote in favour, after which the only step remaining for Finland to take is for the country's president, Sauli Niniistö, to sign the documents. Once he has done that, Finland will become a Nato member automatically as soon as its accession has been ratified by Turkey and Hungary. Read our story here


March 6th-March 9th. Hungary's parliament to vote on Swedish and Finnish Nato memberships. Hungary's parliament is set to hold two separate votes, one on ratifying Swedish membership of Nato and another on ratifying Finnish membership. 

March 7th: Swedish parliament to submit bill criminalising "taking part in a terror organisation". Sweden's government has said that it will table this bill, which makes participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation in any way that “promotes, strengthens or supports” the organisation punishable with up to four years in prison. Parliament is likely to vote on the bill within a few weeks of its submission. The bill is likely to make it easier for Sweden to crack down on people connected to the PKK Kurdish terror group, adding support to its claims that it is fulfilling its part of the agreement made between Sweden, Turkey and Finland at the Madrid Nato summit in June 2022. Find our story about the bill here.

March 9th: Nato talks with Turkey restart. Negotiators from Sweden, Finland, and Turkey are to hold meeting in Brussels on expediting Turkey's ratification of Sweden and Finland's Nato application.

March: Swedish government to submit proposition to join Nato to the Riksdag. Sweden's government has said it will submit a bill on joining Nato to the parliament in March, but has not yet given a firm date. Parliament normally votes on the bill within a few weeks of submission, although if a bill is seen as urgent, a vote can take place within days.  

April 2nd: Finland holds general election. Finland is to hold a general election which will see Prime Minister Sanna Marin battling to save her job. Polls currently put the five parties in the ruling coalition a few points ahead of the four opposition parties. But Marin's Social Democrats are falling behind. The party is now in third place, with the support of 19 percent of the voters. The conservative National Coalition Party is currently leading on about 21 percent, followed by the far-right Finns on close to 20 percent. 

14 May: Possible early Turkish presidential election. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has signalled that he might bring the date of Turkey's presidential election forward to May 14th, the date of the the 1950 election that ended the one party regime of the Republican People's Party founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. 

1 June: Sweden's new law criminalising "taking part in a terror organisation" comes into force. 


18 June: Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections currently set to take place. Turkey's presidential election is currently scheduled to take place at the same times as parliamentary elections on June 18th. Many Turkey experts believe that Erdoğan has partly been blocking Sweden's membership of Nato as a means of boosting support from voters, and expect that it will be easier for Turkey to vote to ratify Swedish Nato membership once the election has taken place. 

11-12 July. Nato to hold summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. Sweden's foreign minister, Tobias Billström, has been playing down the importance of Sweden becoming a member of Nato in time for Nato's summit in Vilnius, showing how uncertain Sweden is of getting its bid over the line in time for this informal deadline. 



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