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The Constitutional Law Committee issued a statement on the government proposal on Finland’s accession to NATO

Published 1/13/2023 12:00 AM
Constitutional Law Committee sign

The Constitutional Law Committee issued a statement on the government proposal on Finland’s accession to NATO

​On 12 January, the Constitutional Law Committee issued a statement (PeVL 80/2022 vp) on the government proposal to approve and enter into force the North Atlantic Treaty and the Agreement on the Status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, National Representatives and International Staff. The statement is unanimous.

According to the Constitution, Finland participates in international cooperation for the protection of peace and human rights and for the development of society. The Committee notes, taking into account the content of the NATO agreement and Parliament's previous determination in the matter, that it has no objections to the goal of joining the North Atlantic Treaty.

According to the Constitutional Law Committee, the agreements require the approval of Parliament, because they contain regulations that fall within the scope of legislation, are significant and bind Parliament's budget authority. According to the Committee, there is no obstacle to the agreements being approved in Parliament before all NATO member states have ratified Finland's membership. However, if necessary, the processing can be continued even after the ratifications and the spring parliamentary elections.

According to the Constitutional Law Committee, the approval of agreements can be decided by a majority of votes cast. Acceptance does not require a qualified majority of at least two thirds of the votes cast, because the proposals do not conflict with the Constitution and do not mean the transfer of authority to an international organisation that is of significance with regard to Finland's sovereignty.

According to the Constitutional Law Committee's assessment, NATO membership does not immediately affect the competence relationships and decision-making procedures of Finland's state bodies. The Committee notes, however, that membership can have significant indirect effects on power structures between state bodies. The Government should assess such effects and the need to review the regulation of the Constitution caused by them.

Read more about the parliamentary consideration of the government proposal on Finland's accession to NATO.

Read more about the two government reports on the changes in the security environment. ​

Constitutional Law Committee; International affairs