NATO Summit in Bucharest (2-4 April 2008)

The NATO Summit held in Bucharest on 2-4 April 2008 was the major foreign policy event organized by Romania, and the largest summit in NATO's history.

The Summit was attended by 26 Member States, 23 Partner countries, senior representatives from international organizations and the states contributing to NATO operations in Afghanistan, at the level of President (23 States), Prime Minister (22 countries), Foreign Minister (7 states), Defence Minister (Kazakhstan) and political director (Ireland).

The Summit was a unique event not only for Romania but also for NATO. It was the largest NATO Summit in number of participants (over 6500) as well as formats. For the first time in NATO history, in addition to traditional meetings (the North Atlantic Council, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, NATO-Ukraine Commission and NATO-Russia Council) there was an extended format meeting of countries and organizations contributing troops to the Alliance mission in Afghanistan. This meeting was attended by the UN Secretary General, the President of the European Commission, the Secretary General of the EU Council, the World Bank Director, along with the Afghan President Hamid Karzai and senior officials of the contact countries (Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Jordan).

At the Bucharest Summit, Malta announced its return to the Partnership for Peace.

The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, attended the first Summit meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) since the creation of the NRC in 2002.

The Heads of State and Government adopted four public documents:

  • The Bucharest Declaration;
  • NATO-Ukraine Joint Statement;
  • ISAF's Strategic Vision;
  • Chairman statement of the NATO-Russia Council.

On this occasion, Heads of State or Government endorsed another 13 classified documents, developed in the specialized committees of NATO.

The final Summit declaration reiterates that indivisibility of allied security is one of the major elements of NATO's existence. The documents adopted at the Summit demonstrate NATO’s increased relevance for the 21st century’s challenges.

A series of public diplomacy events were organised in parallel with the Summit, such as the Bucharest Conference (1-3 April 2008, organizers: MFA, German Marshall Fund and Chatham House) and Young Atlanticist Summit (1-4 April, organizers: Committee of the U.S. Atlantic and Euro-Atlantic Council Romania).