Message to the Senate of the United States
April 10, 2003
I transmit herewith Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 on the accession
of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. These
protocols were opened for signature at Brussels on March 26, 2003, and signed
that day on behalf of the United States and the other parties to the North
Atlantic Treaty. I request the advice and consent of the Senate to the ratification
of these docu-ments. I also transmit for the information of the Senate a report
submitted to me by the Secretary of State regarding this matter.
The end of communism and the consolidation of freedom and democracy in Central
and Eastern Europe have been among the great developments of human history.
NATO played a vital role in defending freedom and promoting this peaceful
change for over 50 years. I am pleased that, with the advice and consent
of the Senate, these new democracies can soon join us as members of this
As the threats to the Alliance have changed, NATO itself has adapted to
face them. At the Prague Summit in November 2002, I joined the leaders of
NATO not only in inviting these nations to join us as members, but also in
calling for a transformation of NATO's military capabilities and structures
to meet the threats of the 21st century. NATO is proceeding with that agenda.
Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia are
already making real contributions to the common security of the NATO Allies,
including the United States, and I am firmly convinced that their full membership
in NATO will strengthen our Alliance further.
I ask the Senate to join me in advancing the cause of freedom and strengthening
NATO by providing its prompt advice and consent to these Protocols of Accession.
My Administration stands ready to assist you as best we can in your deliberations.