NATO Day is an official celebration in Romania. It was established by law in 2005 and it is celebrated each year in the first Sunday of April. This year, NATO Day in Romania is celebrated on Sunday, April 4th.
Romania was invited to join the military alliance in 2002, during the NATO Summit in Prague. It took 2 years after that, but in 2004 Romania officially joined NATO on March 29. On the same year, on April 2, the ceremony of hoisting the Romanian flag within the NATO headquarters finally told the whole world that Romania was a full member of the alliance.
Romania has later become one of the important states within NATO. The country hosted in 2008 the biggest NATO summit so far, with more than 6,500 participants, between April 2-4. But it was not only that. Romania is an active country when it comes to send troops to conflict and war zones wherever NATO is implied. Also, Romania is one of the few states to observe this rule within the alliance: each state has to allot to the budget of defense at least 2% of its GDP.
Besides, by hosting the U.S. land-based SM-3 interceptor ballistic missile defense system (also referred to as the Aegis Ashore site), Romania has become a key component in the defense strategy of the EU Eastern borders. The “missile shield from Deveselu” as it is known, has become an important American-Romania military structure from this perspective.
On April 4th, 2021, Romania celebrates its membership to NATO. It should be proud for the achievements within the alliance, for the way it is respected by the other members and for the progress the country has accomplished during the last 17 years in its defense capabilities.
Let’s not forget one more thing: at the moment, the Deputy Secretary General of NATO is the Romanian Mircea Geoana. It shows the importance Romania started to have within the military and political alliance.