Hungary’s cabinet omits Sweden’s NATO accession in legislative program

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Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Shemien presented the government’s legislative agenda for the upcoming spring session of 2024 to the Hungarian Parliament, conspicuously excluding the ratification of the agreement concerning Sweden‘s accession to NATO.

The State Assembly, Hungary‘s unicameral parliament, is set to reconvene in February following a hiatus related to Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Missing from agenda

Shemien handed over the 18-point legislative program to Parliament Speaker Laszlo Kever on January 15. Notably absent from the proposed agenda are tasks related to international treaties, as reported by the online publication Telex. However, the program does encompass bills addressing issues such as the minimum wage in alignment with EU standards, the recognition of foreign diplomas and certificates in Hungary, the state budget for 2025, and various other legislative documents.

The Hungarian government had initially submitted a bill to Parliament in the summer of 2022 seeking ratification of the agreement on Sweden’s accession to NATO. Nevertheless, deputies opted to postpone voting on the matter due to unfavorable statements made by Swedish politicians directed at Hungary.

No significant enthusiasm

Although the document underwent committee discussions, a definitive date for its consideration in the full parliament is yet to be determined. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, during a December press conference summarizing the year’s results, remarked that he had not observed significant enthusiasm among deputies to address the Sweden-NATO accession issue.

Among NATO member states, approval for the Swedish application has been outstanding only from Hungary and Turkey, with the latter pressing for more stringent measures against Kurdish separatists in Sweden.

On March 27, 2023, the Hungarian parliament greenlit Finland’s accession to NATO but deferred the decision on Sweden. Both Finland and Sweden had submitted their NATO applications on May 18, 2022, citing the conflict in Ukraine as a catalyst for their proactive stance.

David Archer

David Archer is a columnist for, specializing in NATO affairs. With a strong background in international relations, he has provided extensive coverage of NATO's military and strategic decisions. David is known for his analytical approach and in-depth reporting, making him a respected expert in the field of security and defence.

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