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U.S. – Adriatic Charter (A-5)

The U.S. – Adriatic Charter is an initiative formed by Albania, Croatia, Macedonia and the United States with the specific goal to support its member countries on their way to NATO membership. The Charter builds on the achievements of the NATO Prague Summit by reinforcing continued U.S. support for the Alliance's "Open Door Policy”, promoting the vision of a Europe as whole, free and at peace. The Charter, officially referred to as “A Charter of Partnership among Macedonia and Albania, Croatia and the United States” was signed by the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, together with his colleagues, Foreign Ministers Meta, Picula and Mitreva in Tirana, Albania on  May 2, 2003. In 2008, Montenegro, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, officially joined the Charter and Serbia accepted observer status. Since 2008, the non-official name of the Charter has therefore been changed from A-3 to A-5, symbolizing the number of countries involved.

The Charter represents a strategic partnership between the member countries which recognize common interests, such as the strengthening of bilateral and multilateral relations between the member states and other countries in the region, with a view to ensure safety and total integration into European and transatlantic political, economic, security and defence institutions. As a comprehensive regional initiative, the Charter underlines its member states dedication of strengthening their individual and cooperative efforts to intensify domestic reforms that enhance the security, prosperity and stability of the region. 

At the Wales summit , held on 4 to 5 September 2014, NATO heads of state and government have pledged to attribute more resources to building defense capabilities, and maybe even more importantly, to make these capabilities available to the Alliance.Rapidly deteriorating security environment at the East and the South of the Alliance urged the need for implementation of various elements of the Readiness Action Plan.  NATO is assuming new strategic posture and building capabilities necessary to enable the Alliance to meet current and future threats and challenges. 

By pooling resources and sharing national capacities, the Charter member states can make a significant contribution to NATO’s overall efforts. 

All members of the Charter are facing the significant challenges of reconciling priorities in defense capability planning with financial/budgetary restraints. Therefore, Smart Defense projects in the development of these capabilities present themselves as a logical and prudent choice. The BRAAD project stands out as a good example of a successful Smart Defense project.

With the shared dedication to the security and future of Afghanistan, the members of the Charter have decided to make a joint contribution to NATO-led “Resolute Support Mission” in Afghanistan. For this purpose, the Republic of Croatia has relinquished 9 positions allocated to the 2nd HRVCON RSM that has been deployed to Afghanistan in March 2015by assigning them to the Charter members. Common contribution to the Situational Awareness and Recovery Operations Centre (SAROC) is a valuable asset to overall Allied efforts in Afghanistan. Successful joint engagement in the RSM has been continued in the scope of the 3rd HRVCON RSM that has been deployed to Afghanistan in September 2015.

The achievement of a Europe whole and free through Euro-Atlantic integration has been and remains the underlying principle, core task and key area of interest of the A-5. This remains a demanding task, calling for a focused and enhanced effort, based on streamlined activities through improved governance of the Charter. For the Charter member states, achievement of interoperability and capabilities development through the utilization of NATO’s Connected Forces Initiative (CFI) and Smart Defense remains essential stepping stone on their way to NATO membership, while simultaneously contributing to NATO’s enhanced readiness and responsiveness.

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