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Mar 30 2020

NATO Welcomes 30th Member to the Alliance


Brunssum, the Netherlands – On Friday 27 March 2020 North Macedonia became NATO’s newest member, upon depositing its instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty with the US State Department in Washington DC.  NATO Allies signed North Macedonia’s Accession Protocol in February 2019, after which all 29 national parliaments voted to ratify the country’s membership.

Official ceremonies, raising the national flag of North Macedonia, were conducted across the Alliance today, led by the Secretary General.   

At JFC Brunssum the Deputy Commander, Lieutenant General Stuart Skeates, led a small flag raising ceremony.  This was a poignant moment for the Deputy Commander as he has strong connections with North Macedonia following his involvement, as a NATO officer, in Operation Essential Harvest – a NATO operation 18 years ago in which the country ceased its engagement in the Balkans conflict and embraced peace.  Lieutenant General Hubert de Reviers de Mauny, Chief of Staff JFCBS, was in attendance.

COM JFC Brunssum, General Erhard Bühler, said: This is great news at a difficult time, when the whole world is faced with fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.  Every nation is taking unprecedented measures to limit the spread of the virus, save lives and limit the impact on our economies.  This challenge is too great for any single nation alone.  So it is more important than ever that our nations stand together, work together and support each other.  This is the essence of transatlantic solidarity.  We are stronger together”.

The security that NATO membership provides is unequalled.  That security has been the foundation of transatlantic stability and prosperity for over 70 years.  Article 5 of our founding treaty states that an attack on one member is an attack on all.  From now on, North Macedonia will always have the full support of 29 Allies.

NATO membership is good for North Macedonia and it is also good for NATO.  The Alliance is grateful for the contribution of North Macedonian soldiers who serve in Afghanistan and the Alliance’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.

North Macedonia is now part of the NATO family, a family of thirty nations and almost one billion people.  A family based on the certainty that, no matter what challenges we face, we are all stronger and safer together.

Welcome into the NATO family, North Macedonia!


Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office

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