Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of North Macedonia are current participants in the Membership Action Plan (MAP), NATO said on its website on Friday, adding that “participation in the MAP does not prejudge any decision by the Alliance on future membership.”
“Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to continue pursuing democratic and defence reforms to fulfil its NATO and EU aspirations and to become a well-functioning independent democratic state,” the alliance said.
Bosnia’s cooperation with NATO is defined in the Reform Programme the country sent to the alliance in December 2019, which includes “the reforms the government intends to undertake and facilitates the provision of support by NATO toward these efforts.”
The country was invited to join the MAP in 2010, as Allied foreign ministers called on Bosnian authorities to resolve its key issue regarding the matter - to register its immovable defence property to the state.
The ministers decided that NATO is ready to accept Bosnia’s Annual National Programme in December 2018.
“The registration of immovable defence property to the state remains essential,” the NATO website said.
The countries participating in the MAP submit their annual national programmes on their preparations for possible future membership in the alliance, which cover “political, economic, defence, resource, security and legal aspects.”
The MAP provides “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, on the basis of an annual progress report. A key element is the defence planning approach for aspirants which includes elaboration and review of agreed planning targets,” the website said.
Meetings and workshops with NATO civilian and military experts take place throughout the year, allowing for discussion regarding the “spectrum of issues relevant to membership,” it said.