While it's easy to find the US Senate voting records for these NATO expansion treaties, it's been surprising hard (for me) to find much about parliamentary ratification of those expansions in European countries (including Turkey).

One can find some information about the executive-level disagreements at the 1997 Madrid conference, for instance (where some European countries, in particularly France, were arguing about a more expansive 1st wave, contra Washington.) And I've seen briefly mentioned that the cohabitation government in France in 1997 made it more difficult for the measure to pass, but not stated in any numerical terms. Likewise, I've seen mentioned that the French and German governments were not exactly pleased with 2004-wave candidates effectively siding with the US on the invasion of Iraq. (The French government publically berated the "Vilinius Ten".) But I've not seen what this meant in terms of parliamentary approval in those two countries for the 2004 expansion.

So, in which country (that requires parliamentary ratification of such matters) did the 1999 & 2004 NATO expansions prove most controversial in numerical terms, i.e. received least percentage of votes?

(N.B. NATO has a the dates of parliamentary ratifications by country, at least for the 2004 wave, so that might be a starting point, but it doesn't give complete numerical votes in favor. It does mention that in a number of countries there were zero or only handful of votes against, and in which countries that happened, but I have the slight feeling that info might be a bit "cherry picked". But at least it reduces the search/work to the rest...)

  • What does parliamentary nadir mean? If it is a misspelling can you please correct it and if it is a technical term can you explain it? Commented May 24, 2022 at 15:31
  • I think "parliamentary nadir" is understandable if you read the whole question, but it might make the question more neutral if you simply ask for the vote margins in each country. (Note that vote margins don't actually prove anything about public opinion; some measures may be passed unanimously/without a vote if there is insufficient opposition; opposition may abstain or even vote against when they support the subject, because they know it will pass but don't want to support the government; and there are various reasons why individual members don't vote. But I guess it's still valid to ask.)
    – Stuart F
    Commented May 25, 2022 at 20:10
  • @StuartF: "ask for the vote margins in each country". I thought that would make answer(s) too long... and possibly boring. It's clear that the measure was uncontroversial in a good number of countries, where it passed with 0 opposition: US (96-0), Hungary (329-0) or little oppo (Denmark 101 to 4). This info is in the last link in my Q. Commented May 26, 2022 at 0:39

1 Answer 1


This is more of a frame challenge than an answer but in a multi party parliamentary system like Germany the final parliamentary vote about some law does not contain any real information about how controversial that law was. This effect is not specific to NATO expansion but affects all laws.

First there is some discussion about a proposed law. This may involve public statements from the different parties and politicians and two parties that are both part of the current government or even two politicians of the same party can voice very different opinions. Then there is some closed door negotiations between the parties that form the government and some compromise is reached.

This compromise is then presented to the parliament to vote and all parties in the current government vote for the proposal and in most cases all parties currently in opposition vote against it. It is a rare sign of general politicial consensus if opposition parties vote for a government proposal.

Note also that members of the German parliament are bound to vote with their party unless this restriction was explicitly lifted.

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