The government submitted the relevant bill to the Hungarian parliament in July, but the national assembly has not discussed it yet. As a result, Finland and Sweden could not yet join NATO. Turkey is the other NATO member state refusing to give green light to the Nordic countries. Erdogan wants Stockholm to withdraw its backing towards Kurdish separatists, but the Hungarian government does not have such intentions. Foreign minister Péter Szijjártó and other top officials clearly expressed that they would support the Swedish and Finnish NATO accession.
Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in May, weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. By today, the only two EU members that did not approve of the accession are Hungary and Turkey. Sanna Marin put the word out on the subject last week. The Finnish president, Sauli Niinistö, phoned PM Orbán because of the delay last week.
“I had a telephone conversation with PM Viktor Orbán”, he said. “Good that Finland can count on Hungary in our NATO ratification”, he added. However, nothing happened in practice.
I had a telephone conversation with @PM_ViktorOrban. Good that Finland can count on Hungary in our NATO ratification. I look forward to further strengthening our Fenno-Ugric connection also as allies.
Orbán also tweeted about their conversation but did not mention NATO:
Hungarian-Finnish relations have an ancient history. Our cooperation has always been excellent, and will always be excellent! Thank you for the conversation, President @niinisto! https://t.co/t3qhwlyHrM
Fidesz then brought up an ongoing public debate, 444.hu wrote. Therefore, today the Socialists and the biggest Hungarian opposition party, former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition, submitted a proposal on the issue. They wanted the parliament to discuss today the NATO accession of Finland and Sweden to “short-circuit” the question.
However, the government majority (135 out of the 199 seats in the parliament, supermajority) vetoed both proposals. Szilárd Németh, a vice chairman of Fidesz, said they managed to save the speaker’s decision from “the provocation of the Gyurcsányists.”
The government promised to accept the two Nordic countries’ applications during the autumn session until 7 December. However, there is still no sign of such decisions in the parliament schedule.