Albania And Croatia Join NATO
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the organization became drawn into the Balkans while building better links with former potential enemies to the east, which culminated with several former Warsaw Pact states joining the alliance in 1999 and 2004. On April 1, 2009, membership was enlarged to 28 with the entrance of Albania and Croatia. Since the September 11 attacks, NATO has attempted to refocus itself to new challenges and has deployed troops to Afghanistan as well as trainers to Iraq.
Albania is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Council of Europe, World Trade Organisation, Organisation of the Islamic Conference and one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Albania has been a potential candidate for accession to the European Union since January 2003, and it formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009.
Croatia is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, CEFTA, and is an elected member of the UN Security Council for the 2008–09 term. The country is a candidate for European Union membership and is a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. Croatia is classified as an emerging and developing economy by the International Monetary Fund and a high income economy by the World Bank.