Brussels, 7 June 2017 – NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Paolo Alli (Italy) is attending the flag-raising ceremony organised at NATO Headquarters today to mark Montenegro’s accession to NATO. The ceremony will be held in the presence of H.E Mr Filip Vujanovic, President of Montenegro. Mr Alli’s participation underlines the NATO PA’s long-standing and continuing support for NATO’s Open Door policy.
Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Alli stressed the significance of the Alliance’s welcoming of its 29th member state.
Accession to NATO is a major achievement for Montenegro and I congratulate our Montenegrin friends on this historic step”,
Mr Alli said. “It is also an important step for NATO, which has been at the forefront of efforts to integrate the Western Balkans into our common area of peace, stability and prosperity. Furthermore, Montenegro’s accession sends a clear signal to all those other nations that aspire to join NATO that NATO’s door is indeed open. No amount of outside pressure can prevent aspirants from pursuing their membership goal.
The Alliance officially invited Montenegro to begin the accession process in December 2015, a process which involved ratification by the national parliaments of all NATO member countries as well as Montenegro. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which brings together leading members of parliament from all NATO member countries, played a key role in actively monitoring and encouraging parliamentary ratification of Montenegro’s accession, leading up to Monday’s official entry of Montenegro in NATO and today’s official ceremony.
Members of the-then regional parliament of Montenegro participated in NATO PA meetings starting as early as 2002. The parliament of the newly independent State of Montenegro formally became an Associate Member of the NATO PA in 2007. This week’s accession of Montenegro to NATO also marks the Montenegrin parliament’s formal accession as a full member of the NATO PA.