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Foreign Affairs | Update on the admission to NATO for current applicant countries to ensure a fair and adequate balance globally

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the progress in the admission to NATO of the current applicant countries, with particular reference to the need to ensure a fair and adequate balance globally; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


Ireland is not a member of NATO and has no plans to join the organisation.

While I am therefore not in a position to comment in detail, my understanding is that NATO’s membership has increased from 12 to 30 countries through eight rounds of enlargement since 1949. Currently, five partner countries have declared their aspirations to NATO membership; Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Georgia, Sweden and Ukraine.

Of these five countries, Finland and Sweden have recently completed accession talks, and NATO Allies signed the Accession Protocols for both countries in July 2022. I understand that these protocols must now be ratified by all NATO Allies, according to their national procedures, and that 28 of the 30 NATO Allies have taken the necessary steps in this regard.

In terms of ensuring a fair and adequate balance, this is a matter for NATO and its members. It is my understanding that NATO operates what it refers to as an “open door policy” which is based on Article 10 of its founding treaty. Any decision to invite a country to join NATO is taken by the North Atlantic Council on the basis of consensus among all Allies.

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