Finland and Sweden will join the summary process shortly after submitting their expected formal application for NATO membership early next week.
According to European diplomatic sources who spoke to AMPE, the two Nordic countries are expected to apply for membership on May 17 and if that happens, the Accession Protocol will be signed by the end of the month at the latest.
This means that Finland and Sweden will have the status of observer country and will be able to sit at the table of the NATO Summit on 28-30 June in Madrid, as well as at all subsequent meetings of the North Atlantic Alliance.
After the first signing of the Accession Protocol, it will be ratified by the parliaments of the 30 NATO member states – a process that usually takes six to eighteen months, but in the case of Finland and Sweden it is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
During this period, Sweden and Finland will not yet be full members of NATO and will therefore typically not have the security guarantees provided for in Article 5 of the Treaty.
However, the two countries have received serious security assurances from powerful NATO countries, such as Britain and the United States.
Next weekend, the Foreign Ministers of Finland and Sweden are invited to the informal meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Berlin, where the above accession process will be confirmed.
As European diplomatic sources in the AMPE noted, the speed with which the accession process of the two countries is promoted is unprecedented for NATO data.