Skip to main content


Volume 487: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the relevance of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty to applicants for membership of NATO. (250872)

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is a political and military alliance with a collective defence commitment enshrined in article 5 of its founding treaty, which extends to member countries only.

While the commitment under article 5 of the Washington treaty is unquestionably a significant attraction for nations aspiring to join the alliance, there are also real benefits to be derived for these aspirants and for wider Euro-Atlantic security from the process of democratic and defence reforms required in the preparation phase for NATO membership. These are clearly demonstrated (and assessed regularly) in the development of good governance, the rule of law and stability within all applicant countries.