Montenegro gained independence from its state union with Serbia in June 2006. The country is working to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic standards and institutions, with the aim of joining the Alliance. As with all of NATO’s Partner countries, the speed of progress and extent of cooperation ultimately depends on Montenegro's pursuit of democratic, institutional and defence reforms.
The Allies are committed to keeping NATO’s door open to Western Balkan partners that wish to join the Alliance, share its values and are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership. Euro-Atlantic integration is seen as the best way to ensure long-term, self-sustaining security and stability in the region.
The Membership Action Plan (MAP) is a NATO programme of advice, assistance and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the Alliance. Participation in the MAP does not prejudge any decision by the Alliance on future membership. Montenegro began its first MAP cycle in the autumn of 2010 with the submission of its first Annual National Programme (ANP).
In a speech given during his visit to the country on 29 June 2011, NATO’s Secretary General praised Montenegro for the progress made in introducing necessary reforms: “I commend Montenegro’s political leaders for that courage and determination. And I encourage you to continue your efforts. It is of utmost importance to ensure that the Montenegrin security agencies and defence sector meet NATO requirements. And that further efforts are made to fight corruption and organized crime. That will bring Montenegro even closer to meeting its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”