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Eastern Europe: Armed Forces

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of whether the military forces of (a) Albania, (b) Croatia and (c) Macedonia are capable of interoperability with those of other European states. (194425)

Albania, Croatia and Macedonia are each participating in a NATO membership action plan, a programme of advice, assistance and practical co-operation designed to help them in their preparations for potential membership and in their drive to meet NATO standards, including their ability to contribute to collective defence and participate in NATO missions. Their progress is assessed by the North Atlantic Council against Annual National Programmes under five chapters: political, economic, defence, resource, security and legal aspects. Decisions on their readiness for NATO membership will be made at the Bucharest Summit in April. Albania, Croatia and Macedonia are already operating alongside NATO nations and their partners, making a valuable contribution to ISAF in Afghanistan.