Hungary ratifies Sweden's membership in NATO, last country to do so

The Hungarian Parliament has just ratified Sweden's accession to NATO this Monday, February 26.

Hungary was the last country not to do so.

She had been blocking the process for almost two years.

Viktor Orban, Hungarian Prime Minister in Parliament, February 26, 2024. AP - Denes Erdos

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Stockholm's candidacy was approved by an overwhelming majority of Hungarian MPs (188 out of 199).


A historic day

 ,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson immediately reacted on X (ex-Twitter), adding that “ 

Sweden is ready to assume its responsibilities in terms of Euro-Atlantic security


The wait will have been long and the road chaotic: to the negotiations with Turkey, concluded by a positive vote in January, were added the procrastination of the Hungarian nationalist leader Viktor Orban, the last holdout.

Today is a historic day.

The parliaments of all NATO member states have now voted in favor of Swedish accession to NATO.

Sweden stands ready to shoulder its responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security.

— SwedishPM (@SwedishPM) February 26, 2024

Why did Hungary drag its feet so much?

And why did Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban finally give the green light to his deputies?

Viktor Orban is no stranger to diplomatic blackmail.

In exchange for giving the green light to Sweden's membership in NATO, he convinced the Scandinavian kingdom to help Hungary prepare to take over the presidency of the European Union.

A presidency that Budapest must occupy from July 1.

Hungary secures Swedish support

Viktor Orban thus ensures the support of Sweden, in the event that member states oppose the Hungarian presidency.

And by agreeing to support Budapest, Sweden will be forced to tone down its criticisms of the authoritarian drift in Hungary, explains our correspondent in Budapest,

Florence La Bruyère


The other reason for Viktor Orban's decision: we are getting closer to June 9, the date of the European and municipal elections in Hungary.

However, 78% of Hungarians are for Sweden's entry.

The Hungarian opposition regularly accuses the Hungarian Prime Minister of wanting to weaken the Atlantic Alliance.

With today's vote, Viktor Orban removes a weighty argument from the opposition before the European vote.

Sweden's accession protocol, which requires unanimity of the members of the Atlantic Alliance, had been pending since May 2022. Once the approval of the Hungarian Parliament has been received, the law should be promulgated by the president in the coming days.

Sweden will then be able to deposit its “

 instrument of accession

 ” in Washington, in accordance with the NATO treaty, to become the 32nd member.

Many reactions 

Sweden's membership in NATO will make the Atlantic Alliance " 


 ", said its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after the green light from Budapest.


I welcome the vote of the Hungarian Parliament ratifying Sweden's membership in NATO.

Now that all Allies have approved it, Sweden will become NATO's 32nd Ally.

Sweden’s membership will make us all stronger and safer

 ,” he wrote on X.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed a “ 

historic day

 ” for NATO.


We look forward to welcoming you to NATO very soon 

,” Rishi Sunak said on the social network X. French President Emmanuel Macron also congratulated Sweden.

As for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, he estimated that Sweden's membership in NATO would “



the security of Europe and the world 


Read alsoTurkey: a new step taken in Sweden's membership of NATO


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