On March 29, 2004, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joined NATO at the 2004 Istanbul summit. Albania and Croatia joined the alliance in 2009. Macedonia had been expected to join in 2009, but because of the Macedonia naming dispute, Greece vetoed Macedonia's invitation, leaving it as the only former member of the Vilnius group not to be a member of NATO by 2009.
Vilnius (Lithuanian pronunciation:[ˈvʲɪlʲnʲʊs]; Polish: Wilno, see also other names) is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city, with a population of 542,664 as of 2015. Vilnius is located in the southeast part of Lithuania and is the second largest city in the Baltic states.
Vilnius is classified as a Gamma global city according to GaWC studies, and is known for the architecture in its Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Its Jewish influence until the 20th century has led to it being described as the "Jerusalem of Lithuania" and Napoleon named it "the Jerusalem of the North" as he was passing through in 1812. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture, together with the Austrian city of Linz.