NATO Enlargement: Albania, Croatia, and Possible Future Candidates [October 6, 2008] [open pdf - 721KB]
"At the April 2-4, 2008, NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, a principal issue was consideration of the candidacies for membership of Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia. The allies agreed to extend invitations to Albania and Croatia. Although the alliance determined that Macedonia met the qualifications for NATO membership, Greece blocked the invitation due to an enduring dispute over Macedonia's name. After formal accession talks, on July 9, 2008, the foreign ministers of Albania and Croatia and the permanent representatives of the current 26 NATO allies signed accession protocols amending the North Atlantic Treaty to permit Albania and Croatia's membership in NATO. To take effect, the protocols must now be ratified, first by current NATO members, then by Albania and Croatia. Albania and Croatia are small states with correspondingly small militaries, and their inclusion in NATO cannot be considered militarily strategic. However, it is possible that their membership could play a political role in stabilizing southeastern Europe."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34701