Subsequently, at the Washington Summit in April 1999.
This is a direct threat to the democratic values that NATO is meant to defend.
NATO’s main need in this post-bipolar period is to protect young democracies in Central and Eastern European countries that have just liberated themselves from communist authoritarian regimes. This need determines the logic of NATO’s expansion to the East, the peculiarity of which is that the young democracies of the countries of the former socialist camp are primarily interested in joining NATO, and not the members of the Alliance themselves. These new conditions and time needs could not but affect the NATO accession process.
The authors of the monograph "Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine: military-political aspects" T. Brezhnev, O. Izhak, A. Shevtsov mean modern modified procedures for NATO membership as an "open door" policy. This wording can be accepted, as it clearly shows the philosophy behind the new logic of NATO enlargement. The "open door" indicates that formally anyone who wants to be present in a house called the "North Atlantic Alliance" can enter.
In other words, the initiative should no longer belong to inviting members, but to countries wishing to join the Alliance. This initiative is that countries wishing to enter these "open doors" must submit a written statement of such intentions. And only then will NATO members consider inviting or not inviting a country to the Alliance, depending on how well it meets the requirements of membership.
As a result of this logic, the entry procedure has become more extensive in time and much more in-depth in content. It began to be clearly visible, the two phases of the invitation – political and legal. The political phase involves demonstrating the country’s intentions to join NATO in the form of a formal application, supported by the necessary internal procedure.
The application is nothing more than a political decision of the country to join the Alliance, and does not imply any obligations. However, it is a necessary prerequisite for the transition to the second phase of accession – legal. The passage of the political phase should convince members of the Alliance of the readiness and ability of the candidate country to make legal commitments to membership.
The legal phase begins when the North Atlantic Council issues an invitation to a NATO candidate country. It includes: confirmation by the country of its readiness to join the Alliance; signing of the accession protocol by the North Atlantic Council; ratification of the accession protocol by NATO member states; ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty by the acceding country; transfer of instruments of ratification to the United States government.
Thus, the logic behind these procedures is for candidate countries to comply with a number of requirements set out in documents such as the NATO Enlargement Study and the NATO Membership Action Plan.
The "Study on NATO Enlargement", published and passed on to candidate countries, was, in fact, the first document outlining the conditions for membership in the Alliance in the post-bipolar period. It identifies and substantiates the main need and motivation for the expansion of this organization. The accession procedure set out in the Study is based on the principles of Article 10 of the Washington Treaty.
At the same time, the requirements for membership included positions that reflected the new conditions of the post-bipolar period, key of which were internal instability and local conflicts, as well as Russia’s objections to NATO enlargement. Taking these factors into account, the Study sets out the following additional requirements for membership in the Alliance:
resolution of interethnic conflicts, external territorial disputes, as well as disputes over internal jurisdiction by peaceful means in accordance with OSCE principles; the ability of the countries concerned to make their military contribution not only to collective defense but also to peacekeeping and other new Alliance missions; the absence of a veto or "right of oversight" over the enlargement process and the decisions taken in this regard by countries outside the Alliance.
Decisions to invite a new member to join the Alliance are made on the basis of a consensus based on each member’s own opinion as to whether a particular candidate country can contribute to the security and stability of the North Atlantic region. Following this procedure and the requirements set out in the Study, the first three countries of Central and Eastern Europe were invited to the Alliance at the NATO Summit in Madrid in July 1997: Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
As a mechanism to enable Allies to ascertain the ability of candidate countries to make appropriate contributions, an intensive one-on-one dialogue was established with them on a full range of political, military, financial and security issues related to possible NATO membership to any final decision.
The dialogue process includes EAPC meetings, as well as periodic meetings within the regular sessions of the North Atlantic Council, international secretariats and other NATO bodies as appropriate. This process will be under the constant control of the Allied Foreign Ministers.
Subsequently, the Washington Summit in April 1999 adopted the Membership Action Plan (MAP), which details and specifies the process of preparing interested countries for membership in the Alliance. Implementation of this plan must precede the invitation to membership procedure.
In fact, the invitation itself is provided depending on the results of the Plan. In this way, participation in IDAs enables those countries to better online lab report writing prepare for NATO membership by providing methodological and technical assistance and practical advice to its members. However, participation in the IDA does not guarantee future NATO membership. At this stage, neither party undertakes any legal obligations.
IDA provides for a wide range of activities that go beyond the departmental responsibilities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Defense and concern the national level. At the same time, a country joining the IDA has the right to choose the elements of the plan that best suit its own national priorities.
Participation in IDA is done through the preparation and implementation of the Annual National Program, which covers political, economic, resource, legal and security issues, each of which contains a number of requirements for NATO candidate countries. Political and economic issues are of paramount importance in this area.
The following requirements are set for the candidate countries: peaceful settlement of any international, ethnic or external territorial disputes by means; demonstration of commitment to the rule of law and human rights; establishing democratic control over their armed forces; ensuring stability and prosperity through economic freedom, social justice and responsibility for environmental protection.
Defense and military issues concern the country’s ability to contribute to the Alliance’s collective defense and the new missions facing it. Large-scale participation in PfP is an integral part of this. Through individual PfP programs, candidate countries can address important issues related to NATO membership. The objectives of the Partnership for Candidate Countries include those planning objectives that are most relevant to Allies applying for membership in the Alliance.
Resource issues focus on the need for candidate countries to provide defense funds that will enable them to meet their collective commitments related to future NATO membership.
Security issues relate to the implementation in the applicant countries of the procedures necessary to protect classified information.
Legal aspects require candidate countries to ensure that legal arrangements and agreements governing cooperation in NATO comply with national law.
In addition to these issues and requirements, the Annual Program sets out the objectives that need to be achieved to address these issues, as well as a list of specific measures that need to be taken to achieve these objectives; work schedules and specific bodies responsible for the implementation of these measures are determined.
For the first time, the IDA procedure was applied to nine countries: Bulgaria, Albania, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Estonia, which wished to become members of NATO in the second "wave" of its expansion. In November 2002, at the NATO Summit in Prague, as a result of the successful implementation of the IDA, these countries, with the exception of Macedonia and Albania, were invited to join NATO.
The invitation of these countries to membership was largely due not only to the successful implementation of the Membership Action Plan, but also to a change in the foreign policy priorities of the US administration led by President George W. Bush. During his first tour of Central Europe in June 2001, George W. Bush made a historic statement in Warsaw about the need to join NATO for all European countries that demonstrate a desire to be a member of the Alliance and a commitment to its core principles.
This softening of the US approach to NATO membership was due to the aftermath of the Balkan crisis and the authoritarian regime of Slobodan Milosevic, which had a strong destabilizing effect on European security. Thus, NATO enlargement in this context was again seen as a factor in strengthening stability and security on the European continent.
Later, the priority of defending democracy (or, in George W. Bush’s view, fighting the authoritarian regime) became even more relevant in US foreign policy, especially during the war with Iraq. The war in Iraq demonstrated the solidarity of new members of the Alliance, as well as candidate countries, with US policy, which further strengthened the US administration’s belief in further enlargement of the Alliance to include Central and Eastern Europe and some post-Soviet countries.
Thus, the third wave of NATO enlargement will be driven primarily by the Alliance’s need to fill the remnants of the post-Cold War security vacuum by joining the countries of South-Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet space.