In the spring 2024 session of the Hungarian Parliament, the final vote on Sweden's NATO membership is notably absent from the legislative program.
According to Hungarian media Telex.hu, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén submitted the program, which includes 18 various bills and amendments, but does not list Sweden's NATO accession for discussion or voting. This development is significant as Hungary, along with Turkey, remains one of the last NATO members yet to ratify Sweden's accession to the alliance.
Sweden and Finland decided to join NATO in May 2022, following the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war. At the 2022 NATO summit, it appeared that their accession would be a swift process.
By June 2022, the path for Sweden and Finland to join NATO was open, pending approval by the parliaments of all member countries. By the summer of 2022, 28 out of 30 countries had ratified the Nordic countries' application, but Hungary and Turkey delayed Sweden's accession.
In November 2023, Turkey indicated readiness to approve Sweden's NATO membership within weeks, suggesting that Hungary's approval might also be imminent.
However, in December, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán indicated that the Hungarian Parliament was not ready to make the decision.
This situation highlights the complex dynamics within NATO and the geopolitical considerations impacting the alliance's expansion.
The delay in Hungary's ratification process underscores the challenges in achieving consensus among NATO members, especially in the context of heightened global tensions and security concerns.