Civil Alliance 08: Together towards NATO

Duration:  Tuesday, 15 May, 2007 to Monday, 30 June, 2008

Project Description: 

Partner: FORUM Center for Strategic Research and Documentation, Skopje; Institute for International Relations, Zagreb
Donors: Businesses and various donors

This is an initiative for opening up the processes of NATO integration to our societies and region at large, for stimulating the non-for-profit sector in A3 countries to take relevant responsibilities and to be active partners of governments in the integration processes and for engaging in lobbing in Brussels and Washington D.C for the acceptance pf A3 countries in NATO. Civil Alliance 08 has found support from the Ministers of Defense from the A3 countries.

Since the early 1990s the countries of South East Europe have looked to NATO not simply as a security organization, but as the harbinger of a new era of stability, sustainable development and democratic prosperity in the region. In this framework, Adriatic Charter (A3) countries – Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia – have collaborated at different levels of security and have collectively participated in NATO-led peace-keeping trainings and missions. Looking forward to the full membership of NATO in 2008 three civil society organizations from A3 countries have joined together in the Civil Alliance 08: Institute for Democracy and Mediation in Tirana, FORUM Center for Strategic Research and Documentation in Skopje and Institute for International Relations in Zagreb. This is an initiative for opening up the processes of NATO integration to our societies and region at large, for stimulating the non-for-profit sector in A3 countries to take relevant responsibilities and to be active partners of governments in the integration processes and for engaging in lobbing in Brussels and Washington D.C for the acceptance pf A3 countries in NATO. Civil Alliance 08 has found support from the  Ministers of Defense from the A3 countries.

Civil Alliance in the initiated through three national conferences that will took place in Tirana on 20.04.2007, Skopje on 23.04.2007 and Zagreb on 07.05.2007, where representatives of civil society organizations, politicians and governmental experts discussed NATO integration process, national priorities, and the contribution of the civil societies to these Euro-Atlantic processes. In these conferences were approved the frameworks and roadmaps for civil action contributing to the support and enhancement of reforms.

The inaugural activity of Civil Alliance 08 was the national conference organized in Tirana on 24/04.2007, by Institute for Democracy and Mediation. Participants were representatives of civil society organizations, MPs, ministers, politicians, diplomats of NATO countries, academicians, opinion-makers, etc. In the opening session the conference was addressed by the leaders of parliamentary groups of Democratic Party and Socialist Party, respectively, Bamir Topi and Ben Blushi, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Besnik Mustafaj, the US ambassador of  and NATO contact point for Albania, Marcie B. Ries, the deputy minister of defense Petrit Karabina, representatives of the other founding organizations of Civil Alliance 08 – Saso Ordanovski from FORUM and  Damir Demonja from the Institute for International Relations- and the commander of Military Representation of NATO in Albania, Brig. Gen. Anastasios Rintis. At the end of the conference, the participants endorsed the “Framework for Action” for civil society in Albania (see below).

Other activities of Civil Alliance 08 will be activities with civil society organizations in A3 countries, lobbying in Brussels and Washington and a conference in Montenegro for expanding the regional cooperation for security of A3 with PfP countries – Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Hercegovina – and also Kosova.
Draft of the “Framework for Action 2007-2008”

Looking forward to the achievement of the historic aspiration to join NATO at the next NATO Summit in Washington; fully supportive to the structural reforms of our armed forces, law enforcement structures and other institutions; believing that the civil society has an important role to play in the integration process; we as civil society organizations pledge to join our best efforts and engage to work together in these directions:

  • encouraging and supporting a civil and fruitful political dialogue between the government and the opposition for the accomplishing reforms of vital interest to the country and to the objective of the NATO integration;
  • cooperating closely with the political parties in reaching an understanding on the electoral reform;
  • monitoring the implementation of reforms for the strengthening the rule of law and enhancing the democratic principles in Albania;
  • undertaking initiatives and partnerships with governmental agencies in fighting the corruption in the public sector;
  • supporting and participating in programs for the restructuring of the security sector, civil oversight and democratic control of the armed forces;
  • undertaking public awareness campaigns about duties and responsibilities of NATO integration of the country;
  • supporting and participating in regional cooperation and trust building initiatives;
  • undertaking nationally, regionally and internationally lobbying in Brussels and Washington D.C. for NATO membership of Albania, together with Croatia and Macedonia.