The Membership Action Plan (MAP) is a NATO programme of advice, assistance and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the Alliance. Participation in the MAP does not prejudge any decision by the Alliance on future membership.
At present, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1 is the only country participating in the MAP.
Countries participating in the MAP submit individual annual national programmes on their preparations for possible future membership. These cover political, economic, defence, resource, security and legal aspects.
The MAP process provides a focused and candid feedback mechanism on aspirant countries’ progress on their programmes. This includes both political and technical advice, as well as annual meetings between all NATO members and individual aspirants at the level of the North Atlantic Council to assess progress. A key element is the defence planning approach for aspirants, which includes elaboration and review of agreed planning targets.
Throughout the year, meetings and workshops with NATO civilian and military experts in various fields allow for discussion of the entire spectrum of issues relevant to membership. An annual consolidated progress report on activities under the MAP is presented to NATO foreign and defence ministers at their regular spring meetings each year.
The MAP was launched in April 1999 at the Alliance’s Washington Summit to help countries aspiring to NATO membership in their preparations. The process drew heavily on the experience gained during the accession process of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, which had joined NATO in the Alliance’s first post-Cold War round of enlargement in 1999.
Participation in the MAP
Participation in the MAP has helped prepare the seven countries that joined NATO in the second post-Cold War round of enlargement in 2004 (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) as well as Albania and Croatia, which joined in April 2009.
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1 continues to participate in the MAP – Allied leaders have agreed to invite the country to become a member as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over the country’s name has been reached with Greece.