Adriatic Charter

Fact Sheet
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
August 25, 2011

Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, together with his colleagues, Foreign Ministers Meta, Picula and Mitreva, signed the Adriatic Charter in Tirana, Albania, May 2, 2003. The Adriatic Charter, an initiative in the spirit of the 1998 U.S.-Baltic Charter, was proposed jointly by the Presidents of Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia to then-President Bush at the NATO Prague Summit in November 2002. Then-President Bush welcomed the Adriatic initiative as a strong contribution toward his vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. The Charter builds on the achievements of the NATO Prague Summit by reinforcing continued U.S. support for the Alliance's "Open Door," underscoring the goal of Albania's, Croatia's, and Macedonia's eventual full integration into NATO and other Euro-Atlantic institutions.

The Charter:

  • Underlines Albania's, Croatia's, and Macedonia's dedication to strengthening their individual and cooperative efforts to intensify domestic reforms that enhance the security, prosperity and stability of the region.

  • Highlights the tremendous accomplishments of Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia on the path of Euro-Atlantic integration, outlines areas of continuing focus, and reiterates the intention of the United States to continue assisting the countries in implementing necessary reforms. Notes also that each aspirant country will be judged individually on its progress toward meeting standards for membership in Euro-Atlantic bodies.

  • Reaffirms the parties' shared political commitment to strengthen democratic institutions, civil society, rule of law, market economies, and NATO-compatible militaries; to fight corruption and crime; and to protect human rights and civil liberties for all individuals in Albania, Croatia, Macedonia and the other countries of southeast Europe.

  • Promotes the stability and Euro-Atlantic integration of all the countries of southeast Europe by bolstering political, defense, and economic cooperation among the partners and between them and their neighbors.

At the NATO Summit in Bucharest in April 2008, NATO Allies agreed that all three countries met NATO membership criteria. Albania and Croatia completed the accession process and became NATO members in April 2009. Macedonia will be extended an invitation as soon as a mutually acceptable resolution to its name issue is found. The Adriatic Charter Partners decided in September 2008 to invite Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to join the Charter. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, in an exchange of notes, have since affirmed and adhered to the principles outlined in the Adriatic Charter. On December 4, all six Partners signed an addendum to the Charter to officially welcome Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.