15. Anniversary of Croatia’s NATO membership celebrated in Brussels

NEWS 12.04.202417:56 0 komentara

Croatia celebrated the 15th anniversary of its NATO membership on Friday at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels. The ceremony was organised jointly with Albania, which joined NATO on the same day, 1 April 2009.

“It is a pleasure to be here today on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of joining the strongest military and political organisation that promotes democracy, security and stability not only for the member states but also beyond,” said State Secretary Zdravko Jakop.

In his speech, Jakop said that during the 1991-1995 Homeland War, members of the Croatian army often thought about how good it would be for Croatia to be a member of NATO. “It would have been much easier for us in those difficult times under the embargo, difficult but proud times,” Jakop said.

A photo exhibition was organised, showing photos from the beginnings of the Croatian armed forces and the Homeland War to today’s modern Croatian military, which is fully adapted to NATO standards.

The guests were entertained by the Croatian Army Jazz Orchestra and the Albanian Army Orchestra.

The 15th anniversary of Croatia’s membership comes three days before NATO’s 75th birthday. The foreign ministers of the United States and Canada and 10 European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United Kingdom) signed a treaty establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Washington on 4 April 1949.

The accession of Croatia and Albania was the sixth enlargement of NATO since its foundation. The first enlargement took place in 1952, when Greece and Turkey joined the alliance. Three years later, in 1955, the Federal Republic of Germany joined NATO and Spain became a member in 1982.

After the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland became the first countries of the former Warsaw Pact to join the Alliance in 1999.

In 2004, seven countries were admitted to the Alliance – Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Following the accession of Croatia and Albania, Montenegro joined NATO in 2017, North Macedonia in 2020, Finland in 2023 and Sweden in 2024.

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