Again extracted from Wikipedia!
|Map of NATO affiliations in Europe|
|Individual Partnership Action Plan|
|Partnership for Peace|
NATO has added new members seven times since first forming in 1949 (the last two in 2009). NATO comprises 28 members: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
New membership in the alliance has been largely from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, including former members of the Warsaw Pact. At the 2008 summit in Bucharest, three countries were promised future invitations: the Republic of Macedonia, Georgia and Ukraine. Though it has completed the requirements for membership, the accession of Macedonia is blocked by Greece, pending resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute. Cyprus also has not progressed toward further relations, in part because of opposition from Turkey.
Other potential candidate countries include Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which joined the Adriatic Charter of potential members in 2008. Russia, as referred to above, continues to oppose further expansion, seeing it as inconsistent with understandings between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President George H. W. Bush that allowed for a peaceful German reunification. NATO’s expansion policy is seen by Moscow as a continuation of a Cold War attempt to surround and isolate Russia.
Cooperation with non-member states
A double framework has been established to help further co-operation between the 28 NATO members and 22 “partner countries”.
- The Partnership for Peace (PfP) program was established in 1994 and is based on individual bilateral relations between each partner country and NATO: each country may choose the extent of its participation. The PfP program is considered the operational wing of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership. Members include all current and former members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Belarus joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace in 1995.
- The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) was first established on 29 May 1997, and is a forum for regular coordination, consultation and dialogue between all 50 participants.