NATO Membership

I. Macedonia’s determination for Euro-Atlantic integration

origins from 1993 when the Assembly adopted a Resolution for NATO membership. The Republic of Macedonia, the security importer, for a short time grew into a trusted and compatible partner of the Alliance, and is actively contributing to the security missions of NATO, EU and UN in the region and the world.

On 15th November 1995 the Republic of Macedonia signed the Framework agreement for accession to the Partnership for Peace (PfP). In that time, the Republic of Macedonia was also admitted to the North-Atlantic Cooperation Council, later succeeded by Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. On 14th June 1996 the NATO Liaison Office in Skopje was opened, and in the end of 1997, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Macedonia to NATO was established. The Mission has its HQ in Brussels. In April 1999 at the NATO Summit in Washington the Republic of Macedonia was given the status of a candidate country and, afterwards, it started the preparation and realization of the Membership Action Plan (MAP).

In 2002 Republic of Macedonia started its participation in international peace-keeping missions as it follows: Afghanistan in 2002, Iraq in 2003, and the EU mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2006 and UN Mission in Lebanon. In the last six-month rotation, Republic of Macedonia participated with 174 people which are nearly 3% of the overall staff of the ground forces of ARM, deployed in three international operations: ISAF, ALTHEA and UNIFIL. The Republic of Macedonia reaffirmed readiness within their possibilities and mandate given by the Alliance, to actively participate in the joint efforts within the frames of the future NATO Mission in Afghanistan “Decisive Support” in terms of training, counselling and providing help to the Afghan security forces. From a regional point of view, Republic of Macedonia still gives full logistic support to KFOR forces in Kosovo through the Host Nation Support Coordination Centre (HNSCC) in Skopje.
At the last NATO Summit in Chicago (May 2012) the members of the Alliance reiterated their agreement from 2008 Bucharest confirming the readiness of the country for full-fledged NATO membership to extend an invitation to the Republic of Macedonia as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached within the framework of UN, as the same time, strongly urging intensified efforts towards that end.

From a regional aspect, 2nd May 2003 is a very important date. On that date, Macedonia, Albania and Croatia, supported by USA, signed the Partnership Charter (US-Adriatic Charter). Thus, the regional cooperation in NATO context was practically agreed in order to achieve stabilization, prosperity and Euro-Atlantic Integration of the countries in the region. Following the NATO Summit in Bucharest, the Charter received two more aspirant countries – Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Within NATO, Republic of Macedonia has the chairmanship of the Group for Security Cooperation in SEE (SEEGROUP) for the third time. The SEEGROUP Chairmanship in 2014 is an excellent opportunity for Republic of Macedonia to be promoted as a country that contributed to the stability and security in the region, a country that undertakes responsibility in the regional initiatives, and is a loyal ally to NATO, before NATO Summit in Cardiff takes place.

Regarding the political part, the status of Republic of Macedonia within the frames of the Membership Action Plan in NATO is very important, and when it comes to the military-defence segment, the status of the Planning and Review Process is in the focus of the developments. Republic of Macedonia shall continue to realize the MAPs in the Alliance and to implement the overall domestic reform processes, necessary to receive NATO membership.

In anticipation of an invitation for NATO membership, the biggest challenges of the country shall remain: the further development and enhancement of the cooperation with the Alliance and its member states, in both operational-partnership cooperation, and within the frames of the process of full integration into the Alliance.


 II. The Directorate for Political Security Cooperation within MFA

is responsible for the political aspects of the cooperation between Republic of Macedonia and NATO.

The main responsibilities of the Directorate for Political Security Cooperation are:

  • enhancement of the relations of Republic of Macedonia and NATO, including the member states and the states in integration process;
  • maintenance and development of the political dialogue between Republic of Macedonia and NATO;
  • cooperation and coordination within the frames of the competences of the Working Committee for Integration of Macedonia into NATO;
  • cooperation and coordination with other governmental institutions, and especially the organizational units in the Ministry of Defence responsible for NATO;
  • activities stipulated in the Membership Action Plan (MAP), and the Annual National Program for NATO Membership;
  • as well as bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the countries from the region regarding issues of political security aspect.

The Directorate is divided into two departments:

  • NATO and Operations Monitoring and Planning Department and
  • International and Regional Political Security Cooperation Department.

Within the frames of realization of MAP, the Directorate for Political Security Cooperation coordinates the Working Group of the Working Committee for Integration of Macedonia into NATO. The implementation of 15th round of the MAP is ongoing at the moment. Upon its adoption on a session of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, on 17th December 2013 in Brussels the National Annual Program of the Republic of Macedonia for NATO membership 2013-2014 was presented. The program has 5 chapters:

  1. Political-economic issues;
  2. Defence-Military issues;
  3. Defence Resources;
  4. Security and Legal issues;
  5. Priorities and activities for realization.

In April 2014 a NATO team of experts assessed the degree of realization of the goals and activities presented in the Annual National Program for NATO Membership 2013-2014. The team assessed the progress of the Republic of Macedonia as positive.


 

GNP -Icon Annual National programme of the Republic of Macedonia for NATO Membership 2014 - 2015