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10 years after Bucharest: Why NATO should double-down on Georgian membership

2018 is a momentous year for Georgia: it marks the 100th anniversary of the first Democratic Republic of Georgia. It is also the 10th anniversary of the war with Russia (August 2008) and of the Bucharest Summit, when Tbilisi was promised a seat at NATO’s table. Against this backdrop, Amanda Paul and Ana Andguladze review the achievements of NATO-Georgia cooperation over the past decade and the prospects of a further deepening and expansion of cooperation.

Georgia now meets NATO standards in many areas: it has modernised its armed forces and interoperability between Georgian troops and the armies of NATO countries has increased. The 11-12 July 2018 NATO Brussels Summit is an opportunity for the Alliance. Given Georgia’s commitment to transatlantic security, it is in NATO’s interest to strengthen ties with Tbilisi. As a reliable partner that shares common interests and values, the country offers the West a strategic foothold in the South Caucasus.

The Alliance must reaffirm its membership commitment and reiterate that no third country has a veto on its enlargement. Reaffirming NATO’s support would reassure Georgian society, boost reform efforts and move the country ever closer to the Alliance.

More concretely, NATO should:

  • Dispense with the MAP process given that Georgia has already met all the requirements.
  • Include Georgia in its new EU-NATO initiatives related to the Black Sea.
  • Invite Georgia to join the multinational battalion based in Poland.
  • Expand Georgia’s territorial defence capabilities.
  • Establish in Georgia a ‘Black Sea NATO Centre of Excellence’ focused on improving cybersecurity resilience.

The full paper can be downloaded from the European Policy Centre’s website @

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