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Open for new members
The North Atlantic Alliance has an “open door policy”, which means NATO is in principle open to admitting new members.
Pursuant to Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, NATO nations may, “by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of [the] Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to [the] Treaty”. In addition, aspirant countries should meet certain political criteria. These include, for example, having a democratic political system, a free-market economy, fair treatment of minorities, and the will to settle disputes peacefully. Depending on a country’s situation, accession to NATO may thus require substantial reform efforts on the part of the aspirant.