From the event

Official text

3 April 2008

NATO decisions on open-door policy

The Heads of State and Government of the NATO member countries met today to enlarge the Alliance and further strengthen their ability to confront the existing and emerging 21st century security threats.

NATO invites Albania and Croatia to accession talks

Allied leaders decided to invite Albania and Croatia to begin accession talks with NATO. The decision was announced at the Summit meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government in the Romanian capital Bucharest.

The Heads of State and Government of the 26 NATO countries held an extraordinary session in the presence of their counterparts from Croatia and Albania to welcome these two new members.

The countries that join us can be rightly proud of what they have achieved in meeting NATO's demanding criteria for membership. The many years of hard work within the Membership Action Plan have paid off. Due to your hard work, Allies can be confident that your admission to the Alliance will strengthen NATO,” said the NATO Secretary General at the meeting.

This will be the sixth round of enlargement in the Alliance's history.  Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia joined in 2004; the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in 1999; Spain in 1982; Germany in 1955 and Greece and Turkey joined the Alliance in 1952.

Allies also reaffirmed their commitment to keeping NATO’s door open to any European democracy willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership, in accordance with Article 10 of the Washington Treaty.

NATO Allies agreed that an invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1 will be extended as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached. They encouraged the negotiations to be resumed without delay and expect them to be concluded as soon as possible.

NATO welcomes Georgia's and Ukraine's aspirations for membership

At the Bucharest Summit, NATO Allies welcomed Ukraine's and Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership and agreed that these countries will become members of NATO.

They also agreed that both nations have made valuable contributions to Alliance operations and welcomed democratic reforms in Ukraine and Georgia.

The Membership Action Plan (MAP) is the next step for the two countries on their direct way to membership.

Allies made clear that they support Georgia's and Ukraine's applications for MAP. Allies also said NATO will now begin a period of intensive engagement with both countries at high political level to address the questions still outstanding regarding their MAP applications. NATO Foreign Ministers were asked to make a first assessment of progress at their December 2008 meeting.

NATO invites Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to Intensified Dialogue

At the Bucharest Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government decided to invite Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to begin an Intensified Dialogue with the Alliance.

Allies have welcomed Bosnia and Herzegovina’s and Montenegro’s reform efforts to further aspirations towards their Euro-Atlantic goals. With the Intensified Dialogue, Allies will help foster and guide these efforts.

The Intensified Dialogue will cover the full range of political, military, financial and security issues relating to their aspirations to membership, without prejudice to any eventual Alliance decision.

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