NATO

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Established: 1949.
Membership: 28 Alliance Members: Albania, Bel-gium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hunga-ry, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States.
Background: The Brussels Treaty of 1948, revised in 1984, represented the first step in the post-war reconstruction of Western European security and brought into being the Western Union and the Brus-sels Treaty Organization. It was also the first step in the process leading to the signature of the North At-lantic Treaty in 1949 and the creation of the North Atlantic Alliance. The Brussels Treaty is the found-ing document of the present day Western European Union (WEU).
Negotiations culminated in the signature of the Trea-ty of Washington in April 1949, bringing into being a common security system based on a partnership among 12 countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1952, Greece and Turkey acceded to the Treaty. The Federal Republic of Germany joined the Alliance in 1955 and, in 1982, Spain also became a member of NATO. The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO in 1999. Bulgar-ia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Romania became NATO members in 2004. Croatia and Albania became members in April 2009.
Objectives and Structure: The North Atlantic Alli-ance was founded on the basis of a Treaty between Member States entered into freely by each of them after public debate and due parliamentary process. The Treaty upholds their individual rights as well as their international obligations in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. It commits each mem-ber country to sharing the risks and responsibilities as well as the benefits of collective security and requires each of them to

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