7 Mandatory Stages and a Series of Conditions for Countries to Join NATO

Jakarta, CNN Indonesia

Sweden and Finland submitted documents to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). They still have to fulfill a number of conditions in order to officially become a member of this alliance.

However, their steps did not seem so smooth. Because Turkey, which is also a member of NATO, strongly rejects Sweden and Finland.

The reasons ranged from sanctions imposed to accusations that the two countries housed and financed Kurdish groups with weapons.

In fact, to become members, one of the mechanisms that must be carried out by the two Baltic countries is to get the approval of all NATO members.

While Turkey sticks to its will, NATO and the West believe they can overcome Ankara’s objections.

To become a member of NATO, a country must have a number of conditions, namely having a functioning democratic system based on a market economy, being fair to minority populations, and being committed to peaceful conflict resolution.

Next up is the ability and willingness to make a military contribution to NATO operations and a commitment to democratic civil-military relations and institutional structures, according to the NATO Development Study.

If the things above have been met, then the next steps are as follows, as quoted from the official NATO website.

1. Accession talks with the NATO team.

These talks took place at NATO headquarters in Brussels and brought together a team of NATO experts with representatives from each of the invited or prospective members.

Their goal is to obtain formal confirmation of the willingness and ability of new recruits to fulfill the political, legal and military obligations and commitments of NATO membership, as set out in the Washington Treaty and in the Study on NATO Development.

The talks took place in two sessions. In the first session, political and defense or military issues were discussed, and provided an opportunity to determine if the prerequisites for membership were met.

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The second session was more technical and included discussions on resource, security, and legal issues as well as the budget contribution of each new member state.

It is determined proportionally, according to the size of the country’s economy.

Prospective members are also asked to implement measures to ensure the protection of confidential NATO information, prepare their security and intelligence services to work with the NATO Security Office

The end product of these discussions is the schedule each invitee must submit to complete the necessary reforms.

2. Prospective members send application letters to NATO and schedule completion of reforms.

In the second stage of the accession process, each prospective member provides confirmation of acceptance of membership obligations and commitments in the form of: letter of intent from each foreign minister addressed to the Secretary General of NATO.

Together with this letter they also formally submitted each country’s reform schedule.

3. The accession protocol is signed by all NATO members

NATO then prepares an Accession Protocol to the Washington Treaty for each new member candidate.

These Protocols were essentially amendments to the Treaty, which the Allies had signed and ratified, and allowed new members to become parties to the Treaty.

Four more stages that a candidate for NATO member must go through, read on the next page…

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Four More Stages That NATO Candidate Countries Must Go through