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Finnish Nato referendum goes on parliamentary agenda

The citizens' initiative gathered the required signatures within a few days. 

Parliament must debate citizens' initiatives gathering 50,000 signatures of support. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle
Yle News

A citizens' initiative demanding a referendum on a Finnish application to join Nato has passed the required 50,000 signatures for consideration by parliament.

The initiative was published on Monday and gathered the signatures by Friday evening. Its authors had mentioned the tenser security situation in the Baltic Sea as a reason for Finland to permanently commit to security guarantees with its partners.

The authors suggest that membership of Nato would significantly enhance Finland's ability to defend itself from external threats.

It is possible this parliament might run out of time to discuss the initiative before elections due in 2023. If that were to happen, a new initiative may be required to force a debate.

At present some 22 citizens initiatives are in parliament waiting for consideration.

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