NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

10. The “Open Door”.

Any European state which can contribute to the security and principles of the Alliance can be invited to join. It is up to the country concerned to decide if it wishes to seek membership. On six occasions, between 1952 and 2009, a total of 16 European countries chose to seek membership and were admitted. This process has contributed to peace and security in Europe. On 19 May 2016, Allied Foreign Ministers signed the Accession Protocol for Montenegro. Following the signature of the Protocol, Montenegro has ‘Invitee’ status, allowing its representatives to participate as observers in Allied meetings. Once all 28 Allies have ratified the Accession Protocol Montenegro can then accede to the Washington Treaty and become a full member of the Alliance. Currently, three further countries aspire to NATO membership: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*. Allies assess each applicant country according to its own merits. A wide range of political, economic and security reforms need to be implemented before any country can join.

    ¹Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

Last updated:: 21 Dec. 2015 15:11