NATO 50 Fact Sheets
NATO Summit:
Membership Action Plan Fact Sheet

The Foundations for NATO Enlargement

NATO enlargement is an integral component of Alliance efforts to project stability and work together with partners to build a peaceful, undivided, democratic Europe. At the 1997 Madrid Summit, NATO Leaders reaffirmed that, as provided for in Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, NATO remains open to membership by European countries in a position to further the principles of the Treaty and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area. NATOs leaders have agreed to review the process of enlargement at the next summit, no later than 2002.

Membership Action Plan

Determined to reaffirm the principles of Madrid and to advance further the process of enlargement, NATOs 19 leaders have approved a Membership Action Plan (MAP). The MAP is a tailored program for aspirants, designed to help build a roadmap to future membership, by offering active advice, assistance and practical support to strengthen their candidacies.

The Membership Action Plan is available to all declared aspirants on the basis of self-selection. Nine of NATO's current partners have declared their candidacy for future membership, including Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Key elements of the Membership Action Plan include:

  • Annual National Programs covering political, economic, defense, resource, security and legal aspects of preparing for membership;

  • A feedback mechanism on progress that includes both political and technical advice, as well as annual assessments by the North Atlantic Council;

  • A clearinghouse for coordinating security assistance by NATO and by member states;

  • Enhanced defense planning that includes establishment and review of agreed planning targets specifically tailored to prepare aspirant militaries for possible future membership.
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