Nato accessions: what if Hungary blocks them?

After months of delaying, the Hungarian parliament is turning its attention this week to the matter of Finland and Sweden's applications for Nato membership. Budapest has been playing for time; Hungary is now the only EU state that has not yet ratified the applications. A vote is expected next week. The stakes are high, say commentators.

Open/close all quotes
Contributors (RO) /

Budapest would alienate everyone

Blocking Nato accession would be a disgrace, Contributors insists:

“If this happens, the Fidesz-dominated parliament would commit a long series of breaches of contract: it would betray its Nato allies and be disloyal to European citizens and Hungarians living in neighbouring Ukraine. Furthermore, such a move would be dishonourable vis-à-vis those who rose up against Putin's predecessors in 1956. And it would be disloyal to the coming generations of Hungarians who will probably have to live in an unstable world - under the reproachful gaze of the Europeans.”

Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

No one brought Orbán to heel

Nato and the EU shouldn't be surprised about the delays, writes Helsingin Sanomat:

“Orbán is unrestrainedly destroying the West's united front from within. And the EU has only itself to blame. Orbán remains in power in Hungary, thanks to EU money, corruption and the power of Fidesz. When the EU's rule of law mechanism was finally adopted to tackle the authoritarian developments in Hungary and Poland, it was not properly used. Nato, too, should have put the autocrats in their place at that time, because now they've taken the military alliance hostage at a critical moment.”

Élet és Irodalom (HU) /

Enlargement already a reality

The delay doesn't change a thing, writes economist and former finance minister Lajos Bokros in Élet és Irodalom:

“Far from weakening it, Russia's imperialist war has spectacularly strengthened the unity of the West. Sweden and Finland have applied for membership in Nato and, factually speaking, enlargement has already happened even if accession in the legal sense is being delayed by the Turkish veto and the Hungarian peacock dance.”