SEE BELOW FOR A SELECTED CHRONOLOGY OF TRANSATLANTIC SECURITY RELATIONS, 1941-2016
(updated through August 13, 2016)
NEW!!! First post-publication review of Defense of the West by John Pennell in Defence Report, February 22, 2017.
NEW!!! "Transatlantic Relations in 2017," by Stanley R. Sloan. January 29, 2017. This article was published as a contribution to a special inauguration issue of the Diplomatic Courier, in cooperation with Duco experts group. It was originally prepared in December 2016 for publication in the first week of the Trump presidency.
NEW!!! On January 17, 2017, as part of his class on Euro-Atlantic Relations in the Winter Term at Middlebury College, Stan Sloan organized a discussion of "The United States and NATO in the Trump Administration." The event featured presentations by Ambassador (ret.) Jeffrey Lunstead, Middlebury's Diplomat in Residence and Lawrence Chalmer, Professor-emeritus of International Relations at National Defense University. Stan moderated the session.
Sloan examines how illiberal political trends on both sides of the Atlantic could affect NATO unity and the ability to deal with the Russian and Islamic State threats; an issue brief published by the Atlantic Council of the United States: "NATO's Hollowing Values Agenda," 10 May 2016
“Defense of the West,” Text
of Presentation by Stanley R. Sloan to the Vermont Humanities Council
First Wednesday Program at Ilsley Library, Middlebury, Vermont, January 6,
"NATO and the Paris Attacks: why there will not be an Article V response" by Stanley R. Sloan, warontherocks, November 18, 2015.
"Understand Putin and Russia, but
look after our own interests", March 6, 2014 http://warontherocks.com/2014/03/understand-putin-and-russia-but-look-after-our-own-interests/
"A Transatlantic Opportunity in the
Ukraine Crisis?" March 5, 2014, http://warontherocks.com/2014/03/a-transatlantic-opportunity-in-the-ukraine-crisis/
"Atlanticism’s Revenge?", (with
Jordan Becker), December 11, 2013, http://warontherocks.com/2013/12/atlanticisms-revenge/
"NATO’s Value: Things big and small", November
5, 2013, http://warontherocks.com/2013/11/natos-value-things-big-and-small/
"Keep your Eyes on the Prize: The Asia Pivot", September
9, 2013, http://warontherocks.com/2013/09/keep-your-eyes-on-the-prize-the-asia-pivot/
Transatlantic Community: NATO is
Not Enough" (with Sten Rynning),
March 17, 2014, http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/publications/articles/securing-the-transatlantic-community-nato-is-not-enough
burden-sharing What the Asian pivot, the NSA spying scandal and European
austerity mean for the future of NATO", Security Times, Stanley
R. Sloan, January 31, 2014 (whole issue, Sloan on p. 2).
Fatigue” by Stanley R. Sloan, New Atlanticist Policy and Analysis Blog,
Chicago Summit: A New
Beginning?” by Stanley R. Sloan.
Interview with Stanley R.
Sloan anticipating the Chicago NATO Summit, video produced by the US Embassy, Prague, the Czech Republic.
We Need NATO after Afghanistan?" by Stanley R. Sloan, New Atlanticist Policy
and Analysis Blog, April 2012.
Transatlantic Bargain, Mark D. Ducasse,
Ed., et al, NATO Defense College, Rome Italy (in cooperation with the Center
for Transatlantic Security Studies, National Defense University) January
“Fiddling While Rome Burns?”,
Stanley R. Sloan, in Strategic Insights, Winter 2011 (link to entire
“The War on Terror
and Transatlantic Relations,” Stanley R. Sloan, in Atlantic
Perspectives Special Issue on A Decade of “War on Terror,”
September 2011 (link to entire issue).
Transatlantic Relations: Re-validating the Alliance in an Age of Austerity,” Stanley R.
Sloan, Report on the 12-14 September 2001 Wilton Park Conference on
“Re-engineering the Transatlantic Security and Defence
Relationship,” 28 September 2011.
Defense of NATO,” Stanley R. Sloan, International Herald Tribune, New
York Times Global, 28 June 2011.
Defense of the West
NATO, the European Union and
The Transatlantic Bargain
Stanley R. Sloan
With a foreword by Admiral James G.
University Press, 2016)
From the foreword:
"This eminently accessible analysis
should clearly be read not just by students but also by the successor leaders
who will soon take their place in a new American administration, as well as in
those of other NATO and EU states. It is equally a valuable read for concerned
American and European citizens who want to base their foreign policy and
defense perspectives on the thoughtful work of an authoritative expert rather
than on the headlines of the day." -- Admiral James G. Stavridis (ret)
Lists of figures and tables
Foreword by Admiral James G.
List of abbreviations
Part I: Cold War alliance
1 The transatlantic bargain and defense of the West
2 Genesis of the bargain
3 The transatlantic bargain revised
4 The bargain through the Cold War, 1954-89
5 The United States and Europe at the end of the Cold War:
some fundamental factors
Part II: Post-Cold War alliance
6 The 1990s: transitions and challenges
7 The 2000s: turbulent transatlantic ties
8 The 2010s: new tasks, new traumas
Part III: Defense of the West
9 External threats and
10 In defense of the West
Appendix 1: The North Atlantic Treaty: Washington D.C. – April
Appendix 2: Active Engagement, Modern Defence, NATO Strategic
Concept, November 20, 2010
NATO and the
Transatlantic Bargain from Truman to Obama
Stanley R. Sloan
Praised by Roger George, professor at National Defense University with extensive career in government, including service as the National Intelligence Officer for Europe: "I had the chance to read your book cover to cover and loved it; could not find a chapter I wouldn't assign."
"Stanley Sloan has for
many years been one of the most influential and authoritative analysts of the
NATO Alliance. In his new book “Permanent Alliance” he
demonstrates once again his in-depth knowledge of NATO issues and his sound,
balanced judgements of both the strengths and weaknesses of the Alliance as
it strives to adapt to the 21st century security challenges. This book
should be at the top of the list for anyone who wants to understand
today’s NATO." -- Jamie
Shea, Director, Policy Planning, Private Office of
the Secretary General, NATO
“Stanley Sloan, a
distinguished NATO analyst, has been thinking, lecturing, and writing about
the "transatlantic bargain" for over a generation. In this,
his third book on the subject, he has produced a masterly re-examination
of the sixty-year relationship between America and Europe.
Cautiously optimistic about NATO's future, this authoritative study should be
welcomed by scholars and policymakers alike. It will be a valuable
text for my NATO history classes.” -- Lawrence S. Kaplan, Emeritus Director of the Lyman, L. Lemnitzer
Center for NATO and European Union Studies, Kent State University
“Sloan’s book is an
outstanding study on the subject matter of transatlantic relations. He is an
original thinker, an experienced researcher and – clearly
visible– loves the subject matter. This study is a must both for teachers and students of political
science and contemporary history.” -- Bram Boxhoorn, Director Netherlands Atlantic
"I read Stan Sloan as I
began teaching NATO affairs decades ago. I continue to read him today to
learn. You will as well - read him." Lawrence Chalmer, National Defence University
Permanent Alliance examines
how US-European relations are evolving in response to the many global trends
that are changing the strategic environment for that relationship. It seeks
to assess whether NATO is becoming the permanent alliance President George
Washington warned us against, or if it is nearing the end of its utility.
Stanley R. Sloan is one of America’s top experts on
US-European relations. He is the founding Director of the Atlantic Community
and a Visiting Scholar at the Rohatyn Center for
International Affairs at Middlebury College.
the Honorable Lee H. Hamilton
Part I Cold War Alliance
1. The Bargain as a Framework for Analysis
2. Genesis of the Bargain
3. The Transatlantic Bargain Revised
4. The Bargain through the Cold War, 1954-1989
5. The United States and Europe at the End of the Cold War: Some Fundamental
Part II Post Cold War Alliance
6. NATO Outreach and Enlargement: The Legacy of Harmel
7. NATO and Russia: Partnership or New Cold War?
8. NATO’s Post-Cold War Military Missions in Theory and Practice
9. NATO in Afghanistan
10. European Security and Defense Policy and the Transatlantic Bargain
11. Implications of the Bush, 9/11 and Iraq Shocks for the Transatlantic
Part III: Permanent Alliance?
12. Is NATO Necessary but Not Sufficient?
13. Permanent Alliance?
Appendix: The North Atlantic Treaty, Washington, D.C., April 4, 1949
Selected Living History of Transatlantic Security 1993 - 2016
(Sources include NATO.int, Timelines: NATO, Timelines: EU, and a variety of open press sources too numerous to list.)
August 10 – Russian President Putin accused Ukraine of sending special forces into the Russian-occupied Ukrainian region of Crimea and killing a Russian soldier and an intelligence officer. Putin suggested that Ukraine was trying to destabilize Crimea in advance of Russian parliamentary elections scheduled for September. Putin said that the incident made it "meaningless" to hold the next session of peace talks on the conflict in eastern Ukraine between Russia and Ukraine tentatively scheduled to be held on the margins of the G-20 meeting in China in September. Western sources continued to worry that this incident was part of a Russian plan for more offensive military operations against Ukraine along the border with Crimea.
July 15 – A coup attempt at overthrowing Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan failed. In the aftermath, Erdogan supporters accused the United States of supporting the coup attempt. In response to Western criticism of the widespread post-coup detentions and arrests by the Erdogan government, Erdogan put special emphasis on continuing the rapprochement with Russia by planning a visit to St. Petersburg where he would meet Russian President Putin on August 9. Turkish officials said that this was no sign that NATO member and EU candidate Turkey was turning its back on the West, but relations between Turkey and its NATO partners remained seriously troubled.
July 13 – Following a Brussels meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that Russia's actions in Ukraine have undermined Euro-Atlantic security, as well as NATO-Russia relations. He added that a settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine by peaceful means would contribute to an overall improvement in relations between NATO and Russia.
July 11 – In the wake of the vote favoring British exit from the EU (Brexit), Prime Minister David Cameron resigned and was replaced by new Conservative Party leader Theresa May.
July 9 – A NATO summit meeting in Warsaw, Poland confirmed decisions taken at the September 2014 Wales summit to deploy
multinational rotating military units in the Baltic member states and Poland to
reassure those allies that NATO’s collective defense provision (Article 5) do
apply to them and that any Russian aggression would in its very early stages
encounter troops from many NATO countries, including the United States. The
allies also took steps to enhance NATO’s military presence in the Baltic and
Black seas. The allies congratulated themselves on the fact that overall allied
defense expenditures in 2016 would increase for the first time since 2009. They
also declared the Initial Operational Capability of NATO’s ballistic missile
defense, while assuring Russia that the system did nothing to degrade its
strategic missile capabilities. And, all allies pledged to strengthen their own
cyber defenses and they recognized cyberspace as a new operational domain for
June 23 – British voters by a slim margin voted to leave the European Union. Scotland meanwhile voted strongly to stay in the EU, leading to speculation that it might leave the United Kingdom.
June 17 – The EU continued for another year the sanctions imposed on Russia for its annexation of Crimea.
June 1 – The EU said Poland's government is not following the rule of law as required of EU members.
May 20 – NATO and partner foreign ministers said they had agreed to extend the Resolute Support training and support mission in Afghanistan beyond 2016.
May 19 – The NATO allies invited Montenegro to become the alliance's 29th member. Montenegro will become a member after it and all members have completed their treaty ratification processes.
May 4 – US General Curtis M. Scaparrotti assumed his new post as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), succeeding General Philip M. Breedlove.
April 29 – An expert panel advised the Finnish government that Finland would invite "harsh" reactions from Russia if it decided to join NATO but that it would be less exposed if it did so along with Sweden.
March 27 – In Serbia, protesters marched against NATO and the West while carrying banners praising Russian President Putin on the 17th anniversary of NATO's intervention to bring an end to Serbia's violence against Albanian separatists in Kosovo.
March 18 – The EU called on more countries to impose sanctions on Russia over its annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine.
February 20 – British Prime Minister David Cameron called a June 23 referendum on whether or not the UK should stay in the European Union.
February 15 – Bosnia applied for EU membership.
February 11 – NATO defense ministers said the alliance would send military ships to the Aegean Sea to help Turkey and Greece combat criminals smuggling migrants and refugees into Europe.
January 13 – The EU decided to open a case over Polish legislation on its constitutional court and media that has been criticized as inconsistent with the democratic principles underlying EU membership.
January 1 – Ukraine's free trade agreement with the EU came into effect.
December 21 – EU members agreed to extend Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia for another six months into 2016.
December 18 – NATO and US officials certified an anti-missile defense site in Romania that is scheduled to become operational in 2016.
December 2 – The NATO allies invited Montenegro to become the alliance's 29th member. Russia threatened to end joint projects with Montenegro if it joined NATO.
November 24 – Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border, saying it had repeatedly violated its airspace.
November 17 – EU member states unanimously approved the French government's call for its EU allies to support military action against the Islamic State group following the 13 November terrorist attacks in Paris.
November 10 – The EU accused Turkey of backsliding on rule of law, rights and the media and urged Ankara to act to remedy the democratic shortcomings that could affect Turkey's application for EU membership..
– President Putin said Russia would counter NATO's missile defense program by deploying new strike weapons that could pierce the shield.
October 19 – NATO opened its biggest military exercise in 13 years, mobilizing 36,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen from 30 NATO member and partner countries.
August 27 – NATO opened a training center in Georgia.
July 31 – NATO allies agreed on a package of measures to help strengthen Iraqi security and defense forces, including assistance with training, demining and countering improvised explosive devices.
July 27 – EU foreign ministers scheduled the launch of the first phase of a military operation targeting smugglers in the Mediterranean; member governments approved the plan on September the 14.
June 24 – Russia extended a ban against most Western food imports for a year following the EU extension of sanctions against it.
June 23 – US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the US will pre-position tanks, artillery and other military equipment in eastern and central Europe.
June 22 – EU governments extended economic sanctions on Russia until January 31, 2016.
June 15 – A Russian defense official said a plan by the US to station tanks and heavy weapons in NATO states bordering on Russia would lead Moscow to retaliate by strengthening its own forces.
June 1 – US-led NATO exercises began in Poland and the Baltic members of NATO; this followed US delivery of military equipment to these countries on March 9.
May 28 – Moscow release a blacklist of 89 EU politicians barred from Russia in response to EU sanctions.
May 19 – EU members agreed to synchronize their laws to bar citizens from going abroad to fight for the Islamic State group and other extremists.
May 4 – Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski gave formal consent to a
joint Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian military unit, which will serve separately
from the three countries' military command structures, but will participate in
NATO, UN, and EU operations. This military repositioning and buildup in Eastern
Europe marked yet another response to Russian aggression in Crimea
and eastern Ukraine.
April 23 – The EU Council issued a statement identifying the refugee
crisis emerging from the Middle East as a tragedy, and pledged to mobilize
efforts to address the rising loss of life at sea, as well as the root causes
of the humanitarian crisis. This marked an ongoing shift of attention to the
spread of IS in the Iraq and Syria, causing massive waves of refugees to flee
February 16 – The EU published an expanded list of Russian individuals and entities being sanctioned for actions related to fighting in eastern Ukraine.
February 7 – Differences between NATO and Moscow failed to be bridged in
talks following continued accusations of direct Russian involvement in eastern
Ukraine, yet the participants agree to continue to hold talks in the future.
January 30 – NATO announced that the allies would deploy small units in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria and romania to help coordinate a spearhead force being created to respond to Russia's actions against Ukraine.
January 15 – The EU Parliament condemned Russia as a "potential threat to the European Union itself.
December 26 – According to the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin signed a new
military doctrine which named NATO expansion as a key external risk, following
statements from Russia that it would ever ties with NATO if Ukraine became a
member of the organization.
December 8 – US and NATO closed their combat command in Afghanistan more
than thirteen years after the initial invasion, a response to the mounting
pressure, especially domestically, to withdraw combat troops.
November 13 – Eight Northern European nations (Great Britain, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden) decided to step up
cooperation in the face of increasing Russian military activity. This agreement
rose in context of the tripling of NATO intercepts of Russian jets, as well as
Russia's retention of significant forces on the Ukrainian border.
September 14 – The Ukrainian defense minister announced that certain
NATO member states were delivering weapons to his country to fight pro-Russian
separatists, resulting from agreements reached during the Wales Summit which
began on September 4. NATO leaders at the Summit had also approved plans for a
rapid response force to be headquartered in Eastern Europe, another defensive
escalation in response to the ongoing tensions with Russia over eastern
September 5 – The Wales Summit Declaration emerged from the Summit
convened on September 4, providing an opportunity to discuss and take action in
response to “Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine”, “Growing instability
in our southern neighbourhood, from the Middle East to North Africa”, and
“transnational and multi-dimensional threats” (http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_112964.htm). In
addition to reaffirmed commitment to the central tenants of NATO in a trying
and tumultuous time, the Declaration announced the approval of the Readiness
Action Plan, a strong condemnation of Russia's continued involvement in Ukraine
while expressing hope for renewed strategic cooperation, expressed serious
concerns over the instability in Syria and Iraq due to both long standing
issues as well as ISIL, and emphasized continuing NATO relationships and
involvement around the world.
The Wales Summit marked a formal shift of NATO policy towards the
increased threat and turmoil emerging from both Ukraine as well as the Middle
East, and introduced the Readiness Action Plan to bring both assurance and
adaption measures to Eastern Europe, which increased and modified NATO's
presence in the region. The Summit and Declaration emphasized the changing face
of NATO's relationship with Russia, as well as the importance of defense
spending targets and flexibility in both political policy and military
The Minsk Protocol was signed on September 5 between representatives of
Ukraine, Russia, the Donetsk People's Republic, and the Luhansk People's
Republic, under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation
in Europe. While it followed after several other failed attempts at peace in
Eastern Ukraine, its provisions provided a framework for continued attempts by
the international community at easing fighting within the region. Its
importance as a framework which the key parties signed kept the agreement
relevant despite its initial failure to achieve a lasting ceasefire.
September 4 – Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani
and Abdullah Abdullah, pledged to form a
national unity government and sign agreements permitting NATO troops to stay
within the country for another year, ending the anxiety caused by former
President Karzai's refusal to sign such an agreement.
September 3 – US President Barack Obama arrived in Estonia as a show of
solidarity with the Baltic state in the face of instability in Ukraine,
pledging to defend NATO allies. Russian President Vladimir Putin also made it
known that a deal to end fighting within Ukraine could be reached within a
week, seemingly specifically timed to sow doubt in the upcoming NATO Summit in
Wales, as well as meetings on further EU sanctions on the state.
August 29 – Ukraine announced it would seek the protection of NATO
membership due to the apparent participation of Russian military in the
country's eastern uprising. Pro-Russian rebels said they would allow for a
'humanitarian corridor' for encircled Ukrainian troops.
August 21 – Gunmen opened fire on fuel tankers driving through northwest
Pakistan to NATO ISAF troops, killing the driver and wounding two others,
similar to an incident on August 19, when a NATO fuel tanker's driver was
killed and helper wounded in a militant assault. Tensions between international
troops and Afghan militants, with the continuing violence and attacks,
continued to escalate rather than diminish.
August 5 – Major General Harold J. Greene was killed at Camp Qargha by
an Afghan soldier, making him the highest ranking US officer to die in combat
since 1970. Eighteen others were wounded in the shooting, including a German
and two Afghan generals. In Tirinkot, an Afghan police officer killed seven
colleagues at a checkpoint and fled. In Paktia province, an Afghan police guard
exchanged with NATO troops before being killed. This marks an incredibly high
profile instance of growing tensions between foreign troops and the Afghan
public, adding to existing distrust.
June 22 – In Kosovo, NATO-backed special EU police broke apart Albanian
rioters in Mitrovica with tear gas and rubber bullets. The riots spawned after
the blockage of the city's main bridge by Serbs, sparking a backlash by the
Albanian Kosovars, growing out of ethnic tensions that have failed to cease in
some places, even years after the division of Kosovo from Serbia.
June 15 – Secretary General Anders Rasmussen announced that NATO was
preparing measures to help Ukraine defend itself, and that the organization
must adapt to the fact that Moscow viewed it as an adversary. This statement,
following the suspension of all practical cooperation between the two parties
on April 1, summed up the ideological shift between the two sides, as tensions
continued to escalate in regards to Russia's involvement in Ukraine.
April 1 – NATO member states' foreign ministers agreed to suspend
practical cooperation with Russia, and drafted measures to strengthen defenses
and reassure Eastern European members. Moscow warned Ukraine against furthering
NATO integration, simultaneously hiking natural gas prices and threatening to
claim previous discounts given to Ukraine.
March 16 – In a hastily-organized referendum, 97% of Crimean voters supposedly backed secession, a Russian claim widely rejected in the West.
March 6 – Six US fighter jets and two tanker planes arrived in
Lithuania, following the US decision to increase its NATO air policing of the
three Baltic member states. This moved reflected an increased focus on possible
Russian aggression towards other countries with large Russian minorities
besides Ukraine, which caused a prioritization of Eastern European NATO
– President Obama signed Executive Order 13660, bringing sanctions
against “individuals and entities responsible for violating the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of Ukraine, or for stealing the assets of the Ukrainian
people.” http://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi/ukrainerussia/ These moves would
continue to have a large impact on U.S.-Russian relations for the months to
February 27-28 – Pro-Russian gunmen and Russian troops with no military designations on their uniforms began the process of taking control of the Crimean region of Ukraine.
February 22 – President Yanukovych left Kiev, eventually turning up in exile in Russia. Protesters took control of government facilities in Kiev and the parliament voted to remove Yanukovych from power with elections set for May 25.
February 20 – Violent conflicts in Ukraine, ongoing for several weeks, escalated in Kiev, with at least 88 people killed over 48 hours.
December 17 – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a deal with Ukrainian President Yanukovych in which Russia would buy $15 billion in Ukrainian debt and reduce the price of Russian gas supplies.
November 27 – Thousands of pro-Europe demonstrators for the fifth day protested the government of President Viktor Yanukovych's decision not to sign an agreement with the EU and to restore trade ties with Russia instead.
November 25 – The EU expressed strong disapproval of Russian pressure on Ukraine to reject a trade deal with the EU.
November 5 – The European Union resumed membership talks with Turkey after a suspension of 3 1/2 years over Turkey's dispute with EU-member Cyprus.
October 10 – The UN Security Council voted unanimously to extend the mandate of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan until the scheduled handover of responsibility to Afghan forces at the end of 2014.
September 11 – The European Union warned Russia that pressure to deter Ukraine and other former Soviet republics from expanding trade ties with the EU, including threats of retaliation, was unacceptable.
July 8 – The United States and members of the EU opened negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
July 1 – The German government said if reports of extensive US spying on the European Union were true it would be unacceptable behavior between partners who require mutual trust to reach agreement on a new transatlantic trade accord.
June 18 – Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that Afghan armed forces were taking over the nationwide security lead from the US-led NATO coalition.
April 19 – Kosovo and Serbia reached agreement to normalize relations.
March 11 – Hungary's parliament voted to amend the constitution expanding the power of the government led by the Fidesz party's Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, despite warnings from the European Commission that the changes conflicted with EU law.
January 23 – British Prime Minister David Cameron promised voters that he would schedule a referendum on the UK's membership in the EU if he is returned to power in the 2015 elections.
December 7 – The Netherlands joined Germany in agreeing to send two batteries of Patriot missile defense systems to Turkey.
October 19 –- The EU mediated the first formal talks between the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo.
October 27 – The 17 EU members participating in the Eurozone reached agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a program to reduce Greek debt.
October 12 –- The Nobel Committee announced that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 would be awarded to the European Union for its promotion of peace on the European continent.
October 9 – After Syrian regime artillery struck a Turkish town on October 4, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen reiterated that NATO is ready to help defend Turkey if necessary.
October 5 – The government of Spain agreed that the United States could base naval units that are part of the NATO anti-missile system at the existing US naval station at Rota, Spain.
September 14 – Taliban fighters broke into the heavily fortified
British base Bastion in southern Afghanistan, destroying six US marine
Harrier aircraft and damaging other facilities. Two US marines were killed in the
battle to defeat the insurgent attack. All attackers were killed except one who was wounded and
captured. The attack, combined
with the increasingly frequent attacks by Afghan soldiers and policeman on
NATO troops, further increased support in the United States and other NATO
countries for rapid withdrawal of combat forces from the country.
August 6 – The North Atlantic Council announced that it had approved
the nomination by the President of the French Republic of Air Force General
Jean-Paul Paloméros as Supreme Allied
Commander Transformation. The change of command ceremony, at which French Air
Force General Stéphane Abrial
will hand over command to General Paloméros,
was scheduled for September 28, 2012.
July 31 – Pakistan signed an agreement with the United States to
allow NATO convoys to travel into Afghanistan until the end of 2015.
June 29 – EU leaders
agreed they would let funds intended to bail out indebted governments to be
directed to struggling banks as well. They also agreed on a long-term
framework for establishing tighter budgetary and political union, although
practical steps in these directions remained problematic and unlikely in the
June 26 – The North
Atlantic Council met at Turkey's request to hold consultations under Article
4 of the Washington Treaty which states that "the Parties will consult
whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political
independence, or security of any of the Parties is threatened." The North Atlantic Council condemned
Syria for shooting down a Turkish military aircraft and said that the
incident was “another example of the Syrian authorities’
disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life.”
May 26 – Afghanistan's parliament approved the strategic partnership
agreement with the United States. President Obama and President Karzai signed the “Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement
between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of
America” on May 1, 2012.
May 20 – At a meeting of NATO heads of state and government hosted
by President Obama in Chicago, Illinois, the allies issued the Chicago
Summit Declaration. The
declaration covered the usual wide range of issues that concern the allies,
but focused in particular on the process of making the transition from a
combat to an advisory role in Afghanistan. The allies said, in part, “Today we have taken further
important steps on the road to a stable and secure Afghanistan and
to our goal of preventing Afghanistan from ever again becoming a safe haven
for terrorists that threaten Afghanistan, the region, and the world.
The irreversible transition of full security responsibility from the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the Afghan National
Security Forces (ANSF) is on track for completion by the end of 2014, as
agreed at our Lisbon Summit.”
The allies also approved a statement on the Deterrence
and Defense Posture Review , a study they had mandated at the Lisbon
Summit. The study did not resolve
the issue of what nuclear capabilities are required to be stationed on
European territory in support of NATO deterrence strategy. The allies did offer to consider
further reductions in non-strategic nuclear weapons assigned “in the
context of reciprocal steps by Russia, taking into account the greater
Russian stockpiles of non-strategic nuclear weapons stationed in the
Against the backdrop of severe financial difficulties in member states,
they issued a Summit
Declaration on Defence Capabilities: Toward NATO Forces 2020, declaring that “NATO allows us to
achieve greater security than any one Ally could attain acting alone.
We confirm the continued importance of a strong transatlantic link and
Alliance solidarity as well as the significance of sharing responsibilities,
roles, and risks to meet the challenges North-American and European Allies
face together. We recognise the importance of
a stronger and more capable European defence and
welcome the efforts of the European Union to strengthen its capacities to
address common security challenges. These efforts are themselves an
important contribution to the transatlantic link.”
April 9 – Afghanistan and the United States signed an agreement to
end American night raids on the homes of suspected insurgents, a practice
that has been fuelling resentment among Afghan
March 15 – Following a nighttime assault on two Afghan villagers by
a U.S. soldier that killed 17 civilians, mainly women and children, Afghan
President Hamid Karzai demanded NATO troops immediately pull out of rural
areas and called for Afghan forces to take over the security lead across the
country in 2013. The Taliban
broke off talks with the United States. The affair led to a further decline of support in the United States
for the American presence in Afghanistan.
March 1 – The European Union formally granted Serbia the status of a
candidate for membership in recognition of its government's efforts to round
up war crimes suspects and normalize relations with Kosovo, its former
February 20 – The accidental disposal and incineration of copies of
the Koran by US troops at Wagram Air Base touched off days of violent protests
across Afghanistan in spite of messages of apology from NATO and U.S.
officials, including President Obama..
February 8 – NATO said it has decided to extend until 2018 an
operation to protect the airspace of Baltic members Estonia, Latvia and
Lithuania with fighter jets from allied nations.
January 27 – France announced it would withdraw its troops from
Afghanistan a year earlier than the 2014 date previously agreed by NATO. President Sarkozy, meeting in Paris
with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said France had told the United States of
its plan, and would present it at a Feb. 2-3 meeting of NATO defense
ministers in Brussels. The French
decision came just days after an Afghan wearing an Afghani military uniform
killed four French troops, the latest in a series of insider attacks by
Afghani troops on NATO-nation forces.
– Fitch ratings downgraded the debt of Belgium, Cyprus, Italy,
Slovenia and Spain even as European finance chiefs gathering in Davos,
Switzerland sought to reassure global business leaders that Europe is on
track to solve its debt crises.
December 9 – The EU said that 26 of its 27 member countries are open
to joining a new treaty tying their finances together to solve the euro
crisis. Only Britain remained opposed. Britain's leaders argued that the
revised treaty would threaten their national sovereignty and damage London's
financial services industry.
-- Croatia signed a treaty leading toward joining the European Union
December 8 – NATO informed Iraq that it would withdraw its training
mission at year’s-end after Baghdad refused to grant it legal
immunity. The end of the mission
would therefore parallel the final withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.
November 29 – The Government of Pakistan decided to boycott a key
international conference on Afghanistan scheduled for December in Bonn to
protest lethal cross-border NATO strikes. The move strained Pakistani-US
relations and further complicated talks about Afghanistan’s future.
November 16 – Afghan
President Karzai, at the opening of a grand council, or "loya jirga," told tribal elders that a continuing
partnership with the United States must include an end to unpopular nighttime
raids by NATO and on the international forces handing over control of detention
centers to Afghan troops.
October 31 – NATO formally ended its mission in Libya.
October 21 – NATO announced plans to end its 7-month mission in
Libya on October 31 but said that it would issue a formal decision the
following week after consulting the United Nations and Libya's interim
authorities. The announcement
came one day after Libyan rebel forces captured and killed a fleeing Muammar
September 13 – In Washington, Romanian President Traian
Basescu, after meeting with President Obama, announced that Romania had agreed to
host part of the US/NATO missile defense system.
September 2 – Turkey said it had agreed to host an early warning
radar as part of NATO's missile defense system designed to counter ballistic
missile threats from neighboring Iran.
July 18 – US General David Petraeus, slated to become the new
director of the Central Intelligence Agency, handed over command of US and
NATO-led troops in Afghanistan to US Marine Corps General John Allen.
July 17 -- The government of Afghanistan began the process of taking over
combat missions from NATO forces with the goal of Afghani forces assuming
responsibility for all combat missions by 2014.
June 10 – In a Brussels speech, departing Secretary of Defense
Robert Gates warned: “The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling
appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress, and in the American body politic
writ large, to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that
are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources ... to be serious
and capable partners in their own defense.” Gates warned that the developing
“two-tier” alliance in which some members make serious efforts
and take costly risks while others sit on the sideline cannot be sustained.
March 24 – The North Atlantic Council decided that the alliance
would assume responsibility for the operation of a no-fly zone over
Libya. The allies had already
agreed to help enforce the UN-mandated arms embargo against Libya.
March 17 – The UN Security Council approved Resolution 1973
authorizing "all necessary measures" to establish a no-fly zone,
protect civilian areas and impose a ceasefire on Gaddafi’s military.
Five countries abstained, including China, Russia, India, Brazil and Germany.
The vote produced a deep schism between leading EU members France and the UK
on one hand and Germany on the other.
March 11 – NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels endorsed a
list of the first cities and provinces where Afghan police and soldiers will
take control of security, a key element in the US and NATO exit strategy from
the decade-old war.
March 6 – While Taliban fighters kill many more Afghan civilians
than do NATO forces, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told General David
Petraeus, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, his apology
for an ISAF air strike that killed nine children on March 1 was "not
March 1 – The UN General Assembly suspended Libya from its top human
rights body as governments worldwide pressured Moammar Gaddafi to halt the
deadly crackdown on his people.
February 26 – The United Nations Security Council ordered an arms
embargo against Libya and other sanctions. The Security Council also agreed
to tell the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to probe the
December 16 – In a step that symbolizes allied commitment to
NATO’s future, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new NATO headquarters
building, scheduled for completion in 2015. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh
Rasmussen said "In an unpredictable world, NATO is here to stay. And NATO will
stay here in Brussels."
November 20 – At a NATO summit meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, the
allies issued a new
strategic concept. The
leaders also agreed to start turning over Afghanistan's security to the
government in Kabul in 2011 and to give Afghanistan security forces full
control by 2014. The allies also invited Russia to join in developing a
missile defense system to protect Europe against potential Iranian missile
attacks. For additional
documentation from the summit go to: Texts
of NATO Documents
June 26 – Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike
Mullen, assured President Hamid Karzai that General David Petraeus, new
commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, would
pursue the same war strategy crafted by ousted General Stanley McChrystal.
April 23 – NATO foreign ministers meeting in Tallinn, Estonia,
agreed to begin handing over control of Afghan security to the Karzai
government. US President Obama
has set July 2011 as the date when US troops will begin returning home,
without specifying the numbers or pace of withdrawals.
March 1 – NATO said one of its destroyers sank a pirate mothership
off the Somali coast. Pirate crew members were transferred to a smaller boat
and allowed to return to the mainland.
Newly-elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, visiting Brussels, said
"Our priorities will include integration into the European Union, bringing
up constructive relations with the Russian Federation, and developing
friendly relations with strategic partners such as the United States."
January 27 – In Brussels, it was announced that, following the
revitalization of NATO/Russia ties agreed at the December 4 meeting of the
NATO-Russia Council, Russia had
agreed to enhance cooperation with the alliance in Afghanistan, including
opening more transit routes for supplies to international troops and helping
service Soviet-built helicopters used by ISAF forces. It was also announced that NATO had
finalized an agreement with Kazakhstan to open the last leg on an overland
route to Afghanistan from Europe via Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan,
offering an alternative to the one through Pakistan.
January 26 – NATO and Russia formally resumed military ties in the
latest sign of improving relations between the Cold War rivals.
December 22 – Hansjoerg Haber, the EU
monitoring mission chief, said Russia had failed to observe fully an
EU-brokered peace deal that ended the August 2008 war with Georgia. He said
Russia has not met an obligation to withdraw its forces to positions held
before the conflict.
December 4 – NATO said 25 countries had pledged a total of around
7,000 more troops to support the US-led war in Afghanistan.
December 1 – President Barack Obama, in a speech at West Point
Military Academy, announced that the United States would send an additional
30,000 troops to Afghanistan with the goal of beginning the process of
withdrawing US forces by July 2011.
new EU Treaty of Lisbon went into effect.
November 27 – A NATO official said alliance nations may increase
their fighting force in Afghanistan by up to 6,000 soldiers in addition to
President Barack Obama's expected decision to add 30,000 US troops to its
November 25 – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that 10 NATO
nations were ready to offer about 5,000 more troops for the war in
November 19 – Herman Van Rompuy, Belgium's Prime Minister and former
economist, was named the European Union's first permanent President. Baroness
Catherine Ashton, Britain's European Commissioner, was appointed the
EU’s Foreign Minister-designate, with the formal title of High
Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
November 3 – Czech President Vaclav Klaus signed the EU reform
treaty, completing the ratification process of a charter intended to make the
EU a more unified and effective global player.
November 1 – Former Afghan foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah withdrew from the presidential runoff election
against Harmid Karzai scheduled to take place on November 7, arguing that the
election would not be fair. The
move effectively handed the presidency to Karzai but, at the same time,
undermined his legitimacy.
October 23 – The Czech Republic and NATO said that they supported
the new Obama administration’s missile defense plan intended to defend
against threats from Iran and other nations.
October 10 – Polish President Lech Kaczynski signed the EU’s
Lisbon Treaty into law, leaving the Czech Republic as the only country still
to ratify the document.
October 2 – Ireland voted 67% to 33% in favor of the EU's Lisbon
Treaty, overturning a previous no vote and taking a key step towards ending
the 27-nation bloc's deadlock.
Copenhagen, President Barack Obama met with General Stanley McChrystal,
commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, for the first time since
McChrystal presented a pessimistic assessment of the war effort and requested
September 30 – An EU-commissioned report said Georgia's attack on
its breakaway South Ossetia region in 2008 initiated the war with Russia,
which then retaliated with excessive force.
September 16 – Afghanistan's election commission released preliminary
vote totals showing President Hamid Karzai with 54.6 percent of the vote in
the first full results to be released since the country's Aug. 20 election. A
UN-backed group investigating fraud has ordered a massive audit and recount
of about 10 percent of the country's voting stations. Widespread evidence of
fraud and the strong showing of former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah forced Karai to
schedule a runoff election for November.
– The European Parliament approved another five-year term as
European Commission president for Jose Manuel Barroso, but its vote reflected
lingering misgivings about the conservative ex-Portuguese premier.
August 4 – The North Atlantic Council approved a plan to reorganize
the alliance's command structure in Afghanistan by setting up a new
headquarters to handle the day-to-day conduct of military operations.
August 3 – Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former Danish prime minister,
took office as NATO's new secretary-general. He said his top priorities would
be guiding the war in Afghanistan to a successful conclusion, repairing ties
with Russia, and expanding NATO's partnership with moderate nations in North
Africa and the Middle East.
June 30 – At the US military’s Patch Barracks near Stuttgart,
Germany, Navy Admiral James Stavridis replaced Army General Bantz J. Craddock
as the new head of the US European Command and NATO’s top military
June 27 – In their first high-level meeting since the 2008
Russia/Georgia war, NATO and Russia agreed to resume military ties and to
cooperate on Afghanistan, counterterrorism and anti-piracy patrols.
June 15 – US General Stanley McChrystal assumed command of American
and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
May 22 – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev challenged EU leaders meeting
at a summit in Khabarovsk to help Ukraine pay its gas bills in order to
prevent disruption of Russian supplies to Europe.
May 14 – Russia proposed a new version of the Conventional Forces in
Europe arms-control treaty it suspended more than a year ago.
May 6 – Russia said it would expel two Moscow-based NATO employees
who are Canadian diplomats to retaliate for NATO's recent expulsion of two
Russian envoys from its headquarters in Belgium.
April 29 – NATO and Russia resumed formal contacts eight months
after they were suspended because of last year's war with Georgia.
April 18-19 – Allied forces coordinated in NATO’s Operation
Allied Protector interrupted and defeated a pirate attack on a Norwegian oil
April 3-4 – The leaders of 28 NATO nations met at the summit in
Strasbourg, France and Kehl, Germany to celebrate the alliance’s 60th
anniversary. The NATO summit was
the first for US President Barack Obama, and European leaders clearly
welcomed his style of alliance leadership. The summit was largely a transitional
gathering, as the leaders welcomed the new US strategy toward Afghanistan,
including a significant build-up of US forces there, and mandated preparation
of a new Strategic Concept for consideration at the next summit. They also welcomed
France’s decision to return to participation in NATO’s Integrated
Command Structure. However, the European allies made no new commitments to
send additional combat troops to Afghanistan.
leaders confirmed Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the
alliance’s next Secretary General, NATO’s civilian leader, in
spite of anger in some Muslim quarters about his handling of the
“cartoon crisis” in which he defended the right of a free press
in Denmark to publish unflattering caricatures of Mohammed. Rasmussen is scheduled to take over
from Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on August 1, 2009.
statements issued by the leaders included: Declaration
on Alliance Security; Strasbourg/Kehl
Summit Declaration; and Summit
Declaration on Afghanistan.
April 1 – Albania and Croatia became NATO members, bringing total
membership to 28 countries.
March 24 – NATO resumed counter-piracy operations (Operation Allied
Protector) off the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden.
March 17 – French President’ Nicolas Sarkozy’s
government won a vote of confidence in the French National Assembly on the
question of whether or not France should return to NATO’s Integrated
Command Structure and therefore participate fully in NATO’s
March 11 – French President Sarkozy announced that his government
would return France to membership in NATO’s Integrated Command
March 5 – NATO Foreign Ministers announced that NATO would resume
high-level contact with Russia, suspended in 2008 following Moscow’s
incursion into Georgia.
February 19 – NATO released the most
recent report on defense expenditures.
– In an informal meeting in Krakow
(Poland), NATO defense ministers and those from their International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) partners welcomed the announcement that the United
States would be sending more troops to Afghanistan and agreed that there is
also a need for an equal civilian surge including more development, more
support for government and more institution building.
January 26 – European Union leaders said they would accept the
transfer of prisoners from the US facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as long as
the United States demonstrated that the former detainees posed no security
January 19 -- Following a new
round of gas cut-offs by Russia leading to natural gas shortages in several
European countries, Russia and Ukraine signed a new supply agreement intended
to regulate future gas supply relationships and avoid reductions in supply.
January 1 – The Czech Republic assumed the rotating EU presidency,
following France’s six months in the chair.
– Slovakia became the 16th
member of the European Union to adopt the Euro.
December 15 – The handover of the anti-piracy maritime mission in
the Gulf of Aden off the Somali coast from NATO to the European Union was
December 9 – The European Union deployed its UN-mandated European
Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) to help develop Kosovo’s police and
December 8 – The European Union launched an anti-piracy task mission
(Codenamed ATALANTA) off the Somali coast as a step toward a 15 December
takeover from the NATO naval force that has been seeking to deter piracy
attacks there. The mission is the
EU’s first expeditionary naval operation.
December 3 – NATO foreign ministers reaffirmed support for U.S.
plans to deploy anti-missile defenses in Europe. The ministers said they expected Albania
and Croatia to be NATO members by the time of the alliance’s 60th
anniversary summit celebration in April 2009. They reiterated their intent to issue
a membership invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as soon
as the dispute over the country’s name is resolved. With regard to Georgia and Ukraine,
ministers said that their countries would “provide further assistance
to both countries in implementing needed reforms as the progress towards NATO
membership.” Go to http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2008/p08-153e.html
for the Final Communiqué from the meeting.
November 20 – The UN Security Council extended the mandate for the
EU’s peacekeeping force in Bosnia for a year.
November 5 – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in his first state
of the nation speech, said Russia would deploy missiles near NATO-member
Poland’s border if the United States deploys anti-ballistic missile
October 9 – NATO defense ministers decided to send a fleet of
alliance warships to the coast of Somalia to join international attempts to
deter piracy attacks on shipping.
September 29 – Some 300 observers from 22 EU nations were in
position to monitor Russia’s promised troop withdrawal from Georgian
September 15 – The North Atlantic Council visited Tbilisi, Georgia
and joined in the first meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission established in
light of the recent Russia/Georgia conflict.
August 26 – Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and
Abkhazia, a step not accepted by most other nations.
August 7 – Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia’s capital
Tskhinvali providing the excuse for Russian forces to respond, leading to a
conflict that spilled over into the other breakaway Georgian republic of
Abkhazia and onto Georgian territory proper. Russian forces dominated the fighting
and severely damaged Georgian civilian infrastructure as well as military
bases. French President Nicolas
Sarkozy negotiated a cease fire including withdrawal of Russian forces from
Georgian territory. Neither NATO
nor the United States provided military assistance to NATO-aspirant Georgia,
but the United States and other quickly provided humanitarian assistance.
July 1 – France took over the rotating presidency of the European
June 23 –The European Union approved new sanctions against Iran,
including freezing the assets of Iran’s largest bank.
June 14 – The European Union presented Iran with an amended package
of incentives in return for Iran’s suspension of its uranium enrichment
program. A spokesman for the
Iranian regime said it would reject the offer.
April 29 – Other EU nations failed to convince Lithuania to remove
its objection to opening talks on a new partnership pact with Russia.
April 11 – French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner
said France would double the number of French troops available to fight the
Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan (from around 1500 to 3000 troops).
April 4 – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin strongly criticized
NATO’s continued expansion toward the East, but said that Russia did
not want a new Cold War.
April 3 – The NATO heads of state and government, meeting in
Bucharest, Romania, supported US plans to deploy components of a limited
antiballistic missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic and agreed to
study how the system could be coordinated with NATO’s overall missile
The NATO leaders issued invitations to Albania and Croatia to join the alliance,
but the government of Greece blocked an invitation to the Republic of
Macedonia (also known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or
“FYROM”), arguing that the country’s name could be seen as
asserting sovereignty over the neighboring Greek region named Macedonia. Also, in spite of strong support from
US President Bush, the allies were unwilling to put the former Soviet
republics of Ukraine and Georgia on the path toward NATO membership by allowing
them to negotiate Membership Action Plans with the alliance. The allies nonetheless proclaimed that
the two countries would, one day, become NATO members (in spite of
Russia’s strong objections).
In the context of the summit, several allies announced or confirmed their
intentions to send additional troops to join the under-manned NATO-led
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The summit also confirmed the
importance of contributions by other international actors, particularly the
United Nations and the European Union, to the ultimate goal of a stable,
modernizing Afghanistan that serves neither as a launching pad for
international terrorism nor a leading source of narcotics.
Go here for a
copy of the Bucharest
March 13 – The Canadian
Parliament voted to extend is mission in Afghanistan to 2011 on the condition
that other NATO countries send additional troops and equipment to fight the
Taliban in the south.
March 11 – Serbia and Russia
demanded that the UN administration in Kosovo halt the transfer of authority
for the former Serbian province to the European Union, calling it illegal and
promising never to recognize Kosovo’s independence.
March 5 – A NATO official
said Uzbekistan had allowed some NATO members, including the United States,
to use an air base on its territory.
March 4 – Ukraine’s
natural gas company warned that if Russia makes additional cuts to its gas
supplies it could be forced to divert shipments intended for Western Europe.
February 27 – The Euro
continued its climb above the US dollar, finishing the day above $1.50 for
the first time.
February 22 – Following
violent protests in Belgrade that culminated in an attack on the US Embassy,
the Russian Ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin,
said that “If the EU works out a single position or if NATO steps
beyond its mandate in Kosovo… then we will begin operating under the
assumption that in order to be respected, one needs to use force.”
February 16 – Kosovo
declared independence from Serbia, a moved immediately condemned by Serbia
and Russia. The European Union
gave final approval for deployment of a 1,800-member policing and administrative
mission in Kosovo.
February 7 – At a meeting of
NATO defense ministers in Lithuania, France agreed to help Canada deal with
Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan.
February 5 – Fist fights and
protests in Ukraine’s parliament over the government’s intent to
pursue NATO membership caused the president to cancel his state of the union
January 28 -- The EU launched its
long-awaited peacekeeping force for Chad and the Central African Republic to
help protect hundreds of thousands of refugees from strife-torn Darfur.
January 25 – Russia’s
lower house of parliament annulled an agreement with Ukraine on using
Soviet-built military radars in response to Kiev’s bid to join NATO.
January 10 – Russia’s
President Putin appointed Dmitry Rogozin, a
prominent nationalist politician who is known for his outspoken of NATO and
the West, as ambassador to NATO.
December 20 -- Estonia, Hungary,
Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic
joined Europe's passport-free Schengen zone. They all joined the EU on May 1,
December 13 -- EU leaders signed
the Treaty of Lisbon to reform the EU's institutions and to
strengthen its leadership and international role. The treaty, prepared after the failed
attempt to gain approval for an EU constitution, still must be ratified by
member governments and then would go into force on January 1, 2009.
December 7 – The NATO
Foreign Ministers pledged to keep their KFOR troops in Kosovo as the former
Serbian province moves toward independence and as needed thereafter. They agreed that NATO’s main
mission in Afghanistan was to help the Afghan National Security Forces get to
the point where they could take over responsibility for the nation’s
security. They said that their
officials would prepare “for endorsement by our Heads of State and
Government at their meeting in Bucharest, a forward-looking, comprehensive
strategic political-military plan to achieve NATO's aims in
Afghanistan.” NAC Communiqué.
November 29 -- Osama bin Laden
released a new tape calling on Europeans to stop helping the United States in
the war in Afghanistan.
November 20 – President
Putin said that Russia’s decision to suspend participation in the CFE
treaty was a necessary response to NATO “muscle-flexing” near its
November 14 – Italian
Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola was selected as the new
chairman of NATO’s military committee.
September 22 – Serbian Prime
Minister Vojislav Kostunica warned the United States, NATO and Kosovo
Albanians they would be responsible for devastating consequences if Kosovo
declared its independence.
August 27 – French President
Sarkozy called for a clear timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops
from Iraq and outlined an assertive role for France in other world hotspots.
Sarkozy urged EU nations to accept a greater share of defense spending to
cope with escalating global threats.
July 14 – Russia suspended
participation in the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe. Russia has approved the 1990 treaty as
amended in 1999 but the United States and other NATO countries have refused
to do so as long as Moscow does not withdraw troops from the former Soviet
republics of Moldova and Georgia.
July 2 – President Putin,
visiting President Bush in Maine, US, proposed an alternative missile defense
system be developed jointly under the auspices of the NATO-Russia Council.
June 26 – The Labour
Party’s Gordon Brown succeeded Tony Blair as British Prime Minister.
June 13 – A senior US
diplomat said NATO had intercepted Iranian weapons shipments to insurgents in
Afghanistan. A week earlier, US
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had said the US believed that weapons were
coming into Afghanistan from Iran but agreed with Afghan President Hamid
Karzai that it cannot be proven that Iran’s government was behind the
June 3 -- President Vladimir Putin
warned that Moscow could take "retaliatory steps" if Washington
proceeded with plans to build a missile defense system for Europe, including
possibly aiming nuclear weapons at European targets.
May 10 – Talks between top
NATO and Russian military leaders failed to narrow differences over missile
defense and arms control in Europe.
May 8 – NATO Secretary
General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf agreed
to strengthen security along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.
May 6 – Nicolas Sarkozy was
elected president of France, promising to renew good ties with the United
May 3 – Russia condemned
both the European Union and NATO for supporting Estonia in its dispute with
Moscow over moving a Soviet war memorial out of central Tallinn.
April 30 – The Presidents of
Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to share intelligence on extremist groups to
deny sanctuary, training and financing to terrorists in both countries.
April 19 – At a special
meeting in Brussels, NATO member countries agreed that the territory of all
member countries must be protected from missile threats in the interest of
February 4 – US Army General
Dan K. McNeill assumed command of the NATO-led International Security
Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
December 21 – U.S. Marine General James Jones, who served
as NATO Supreme Allied Commander from 2003 until earlier this month, told
journalists in Washington that the alliance's troops are still needed in
Afghanistan, but establishing the country as a self-sustaining democracy can
be only be done by strengthening its civil institutions and eradicating the
huge trade in opium.
December 17 – The French
government announced that it was withdrawing its 200-strong special forces
contingent from Afghanistan. These troops constituted France’s
contribution to the US anti-terror operation Enduring Freedom. France will
continue to deploy air units and its 1100 troop contingent in support of the
NATO-led ISAF force, and will train Afghan special forces with the goal of
establishing greater self-sufficiency for the government in Kabul.
14 – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia joined the
Partnership for Peace.
December 7 -- US Army Gen. John Craddock became the 15th Supreme Allied
Commander Europe during a ceremony held at the Supreme Headquarters Allied
Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Casteau, Belgium, December
7, 2006. Craddock took over command from US Marine Gen. James L. Jones.
28/29 – NATO leaders, meeting at a scheduled summit session in Riga,
Latvia, discussed the critical importance of NATO’s mission in
Afghanistan. Discussions failed to produce substantial new troop commitments
for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force there, but several
allies revised limitations that they had placed on the use of their forces in
Afghanistan to permit them to assist other NATO troops in a crisis situation.
NATO’s Response Force was declared fully operational even though
questions remained whether troops would be made available when needed and how
operations of the force would be financed. Riga Summit Declaration.
28 – NATO signed a contract with a consortium led by the US Science
Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to develop a theater missile
defense system that, by 2010, is supposed to be able to protect troops in specific areas against short and medium
range ballistic missiles by intercepting them.
7 – In mid-term elections in the United States, the Democratic Party
took control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate from the
Republican Party. The vote was widely seen as a defeat for President George
W. Bush, growing opposition to the President’s handling of the war in
Iraq, as well as disapproval of Republican management of the Congress.
16 – The Intelligence Fusion Center was opened in Molesworth, UK. The
center’s mission is to facilitate comprehensive sharing of intelligence
among NATO members and partners, particularly regarding on-going NATO
– Israel finalized its Individual Cooperation Program with NATO in the
context of the enhanced Mediterranean dialogue. It was also announced that
Israel had settled on the modalities of its contribution to NATO’s
maritime Operation Active Endeavor.
October 5 – The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan
enlarged its area of operations to include the East of Afghanistan, expanding
its UN-mandated stabilization mission to include the entire country.
September 21 – At the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers
in New York, the NATO Secretary General announced the decision to offer
Intensified Dialogue to Georgia. The dialogue is a step in the direction of
possible membership in NATO.
September 12 – 13 NATO allies released a Letter of Intent to launch contract negotiations
with Boeing for the purchase of C-17 transport aircraft to provide a
strategic lift capability for the alliance.
July 31 – The NATO-led International Security
Assistance Force assumed command of the Southern region of Afghanistan from
US-led Coalition forces, further extending ISAF’s mission since NATO
took command of ISAF in Kabul in August 2003.
July 14 – NATO approved the nomination of
General Bantz J. Craddock, US Army, to succeed General James L. Jones, as
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.
1 -- Finland took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
21 – EU Commission
President José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Council and
Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel and US
President George W. Bush met at the EU-US Summit in Vienna to discuss foreign
policy co-operation, energy security, economy and trade, and other global
8 – NATO defense ministers met in Brussels focusing in particular on
how to improve NATO’s ability to meet the requirements of the ISAF
mission in Afghanistan. Final Communiqué.
1 – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that the United
States would join direct talks with Iran if the Iranian government would first
suspend its uranium enrichment program.
29 – Israel announced it would fully participate in a NATO naval
exercise for the first time, increasing the substance of its cooperation with
the Western alliance.
US Senator John Warner suggested that NATO be used to mount a deterrence
against Iran should negotiations fail to dissuade the Iranians from
developing nuclear weapons capabilities.
24 – The African Union accepted NATO’s offer to extend its
assistance in Sudan’s Darfur region.
17 – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected a possible
European offer for incentives, including a light-water nuclear reactor, in
return for allaying fears about his country’s nuclear program.
15 – A top official said the EU would support an Iranian nuclear
program that cannot be put to military use and will boost political and
economic cooperation if Tehran accepts international oversight.
7 – Vice President Cheney endorsed the NATO membership aspirations of
Croatia, Albania and Macedonia.
4 – In Vilnius, Lithuania, Vice
President Cheney said that opponents of reform in Russia are “seeking
to reverse the gains of the last decade....” He also rebuked Moscow for
using oil and gas as “tools of intimidation [and] blackmail.” The
Vice President was participating in a summit of Baltic and Black Sea state
- The UK assumed command of NATO’s ISAF in Afghanistan.
May 3 – The EU suspended aid and trade talks with Serbia after Belgrade
failed to deliver fugitive General Ratko Mladic to the Un war crimes
April 28 – Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged Taliban militants to
end the violence raging across the country the join forces with the new
government to help with Afghanistan’s reconstruction.
April 26- EU Parliament investigators said the CIA had conducted more than
1,000 undeclared flights over European territory since 2001.
April 10 – EU foreign ministers endorsed a freeze of aid to the
Palestinian government but said they would seek alternative ways of providing
money for humanitarian projects.
April 9 – A gathering of Imams and Islamic leaders in Austria urged
European governments to launch affirmative action-style programs and
streamline citizenship paths to help ease integration for the
continent’s 33 million Muslims.
April 7 – The EU said it had cut off direct aid payments to the
Hamas-led Palestinian government because of its refusal to renounce violence
and recognize Israel.
March 30 – The EU, Russia, the UN and the United States warned the
Hamas-led Palestinian government that it must recognize Israel and seek peace
talks if it wants to be guaranteed continued aid.
March 14 – It was announced that NATO peacekeepers in northern
Afghanistan had found the biggest weapons cache in recent years including 80
tons of TNT and 25,000 landmines. The weapons were stored underground in old
February 10 – In Sicily, NATO defense ministers meeting to discuss
the process of NATO transformation, also sought to calm Islamic anger over
cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. They additionally met with representatives
of Mediterranean Dialogue countries including Israel, Egypt, Algeria,
Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Mauritania.
February 7 – NATO peacekeepers exchanged fire with protesters who
attacked their base in Afghanistan in the second straight day of violent
demonstrations over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
One demonstrator was killed and dozens wounded.
February 2 – Armed militants, angered by a caricature of the Prophet
Muhammad published in European media, surrounded EU offices in Gaza and
threatened to kidnap foreigners as outrage over the caricatures spread across
the Islamic world.
January 31 – NATO ended its earthquake relief operation in Pakistan,
the alliance’s first big disaster mission involving deployment of
ground troops outside a member state.
January 30 – EU foreign ministers called on Hamas to recognize the
state of Israel, renounce violence, and disarm.
January 26 – The British government said it would send at least
another 4,000 troops to Afghanistan in coming months in support of
NATO’s expanding mission there.
December 22 – The government of The Netherlands said it planned to
send up to 1,400 additional troops to Afghanistan for expanded NATO peace
December 15 – NATO SACEUR General James L. Jones said drugs are a
greater security threat in Afghanistan than a Taliban resurgence, despite a
rise in attacks attributed to remnants of the hard-line
Islamic regime and their al-Qaeda allies.
December 9 – The government of Afghanistan welcomed NATO’s
decision to expand its peacekeeping mission, saying it would boost increase
security, while the Taliban said more alliance troops would only increase
opportunities for guerrillas to attack them.
December 8 – NATO foreign ministers approved plans to send up to
6,000 troops into southern Afghanistan, a major expansion of the
alliance’s peacekeeping mission into some of the most dangerous parts
of the country. [Ministerial
November 23 – A NATO official said Uzbekistan had told NATO allies
they can no longer use its territory or air space to support peacekeeping
missions in neighboring Afghanistan.
- Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili
predicted his country would become a member of NATO by 2009.
November 21 – EU defense ministers adopted a plan to open up their
$35 billion arms industry to increased cross-border competition within the
25-nation bloc in a move intended to reduce costs of weapons production and acquisition for
- EU foreign ministers
authorized the opening of cooperation agreement negotiations with
November 7 – EU foreign ministers agreed to launch a three-year
police training mission to help the Palestinian Authority build up a
“sustainable and effective” police force.
November 3 – European Union officials said they would investigate a
report that the CIA had set up secret jails in Eastern Europe to interrogate
top al-Qaeda suspects.
October 24 – NATO pledged to help Ukraine push through military
reforms seen as essential to prepare the country for membership in the
October 21 – The EU Commission agreed to open talks with Bosnia-Herzegovina
on a cooperation agreement that could lead to full EU membership.
October 12 – The EU agreed to require telecommunications companies
to keep records of phone and e-mail traffic for up to one year as part of its
September 27 – NATO officials opened a training academy in Iraq for
the Iraqi military.
September 16 – The government of Lithuania denied Moscow’s
requests to hand over a Russian pilot whose fighter jet crashed in the NATO
member’s territory after violating its airspace, saying it must first
complete an investigation of the incident.
September 9 – NATO nations agreed to use alliance ships and aircraft
to rush European aid to the US gulf Coast in response to an American request
for help in coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
September 1 – As EU foreign ministers opened a meeting in Wales to
assess Turkey’s progress toward meeting the requirements for
membership, the government of Turkey insisted that it had fulfilled the
August 16 – Two helicopters carrying NATO-led forces to prepare for
September elections crashed in the desert of western Afghanistan, killing at
least 17 Spanish troops.
August 6 – Iran rejected the most recent European proposal for
ending the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program, saying it was
“unacceptable” because it did not give the country the right to
July 7 – In Pale, Bosnia-Herzegovina, NATO troops arrested Aleksandar Karadzic, the son of top Bosnian Serb war
crimes fugitive Radovan Karadzic. Karadzic is wanted for alleged genocide
including the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
June 18 – A summit of EU leaders collapsed without agreement on the
future of the EU following the failed constitutional referenda in France and
June 1 – Dutch voters, worried about the cost of social benefits and
immigration, overwhelmingly rejected the EU constitution.
May 31 – NATO troops took command of security and reconstruction
efforts in western Afghanistan from US forces as a further step toward NATO’s
ISAF taking on increasing responsibilities in Afghanistan.
May 29 – French voters rejected the EU’s first constitution,
dealing a potentially fatal blow to the charter.
May 24 – NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said NATO
would offer airlift, training and other logistics support to African Union
forces seeking to end the civil war in Sudan’s Darfur region.
April 13 – The European Parliament approved the entry of Bulgaria
and Romania into the EU in 2007 conditioned on the two countries carrying out
April 1 – Australia signed an agreement with NATO to cooperate in
the fight against international terrorism, weapons proliferation and other
global military threats.
March 19 – Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters demonstrated
across Europe to mark the second anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.
February 22 – NATO leaders meeting in Brussels announced a 12-year
program to destroy Soviet-era weapons in Ukraine.
February 21 – In Brussels, President Bush appealed to European
countries to move beyond animosities over Iraq and join forces in encouraging
democratic reforms across the Middle East.
February 13 – Iran rejected a European demand to stop building a
heavy water nuclear reactor in return for a light-water reactor.
January 31 – EU foreign ministers agreed to restore normal
diplomatic relations with the Cuban government while pledging to increase
contacts with critics of President Fidel Castro.
December 16 - European Union leaders, meeting in Brussels, invited Turkey
to begin membership negotiations with the EU in 2005.
December 9 - NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels declared that
"Contributing to peace, stability and democracy in Afghanistan, through
the UN-mandated, NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, remains
the Alliance's key priority." The ministers agreed to continue the
process of expanding NATO's role in Afghanistan by deploying Provincial
Reconstruction Teams to the country's western provinces, but no allies
pledged additional troops for the effort. The ministers also agreed to
increase manning of the NATO training program in Baghdad from 60 to 300
officers. Six allies - France, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Spain and Luxembourg
- did not oppose the decision but said they would not send officers to
Baghdad in support of the program.
December 2 - A ceremony in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina marked the end
of NATO's Stabilization Force (SFOR) mission and the beginning of the
European Union's follow-on EUFOR. The EUFOR mission is organized under the
"Berlin Plus" arrangements for NATO to support European Union
missions and represents the first major operation test of those arrangements.
NATO will retain a small presence in Bosnia/Herzegovina largely for the
purposes of supporting Bosnian defense reform, pursuing war criminals, and
participating in counter terrorist operations. NATO remains in charge of the
17,000 troop presence in Kosovo.
November 28 – Manuel Durau Barroso, former
Portuguese Prime Minister, took over as head of the EU Commission.
November 21 – The "Paris Club" of creditor nations agreed
to forgive up to 80% of Iraq's foreign debt in a compromise between the
United States and European opponents of the Iraq war. US Treasury Secretary
Snow said the agreement was "...a real milestone and shows that the
trans-Atlantic alliance remains a strong force for good in the world.''
November 17 – French President Chirac said in an interview that the
Iraq war had not made the world safer. He also questioned whether the UK benefited
in any way from backing the US war effort.
November 2 – Republican George W. Bush won a second term as
President by defeating Democratic nominee Senator John Kerry. The victory
came at the end of an election campaign that focused on the question of which
candidate would better manage the war on terrorism, the crisis in Iraq, and
other foreign and security policy challenges.
September 22 – NATO decided to send military officers to run an
officer training program in Iraq, expanding the alliance's presence there
after overcoming resistance from several members, most notably France.
October 29 – EU leaders, meeting in Rome, signed Europe's
465-article constitution, which must be approved by all 25-member states by
the end of 2006 to come into effect.
September 22 – NATO decided to send military officers to run an
officer training program in Iraq, expanding the alliance's presence there
after overcoming resistance from several members, most notably France. Under
the agreement, about 300 NATO officers will be sent to Iraq to set up and
administer a military academy at Rustamiya, on the
outskirts of Baghdad. The academy will help prepare mid-level and senior
officers in Iraq's security forces.
September 14 – NATO will send 2000 more troops to Kosovo ahead of
parliamentary elections in October in the province currently administered by
the United Nations. The troops are being supplied by Italy, France and
Germany and will bring the number of soldiers in the region to 20,000 by the
time of the Oct. 23 vote.
September 20 – It was announced that the Russian Federation and
Republic of Belarus would conduct their second Open Skies Treaty observation
mission over the territory of the United States. The Open Skies Treaty
entered into force on January 1, 2002. Since entry into force, this will be
the second observation mission the United States has hosted under the Treaty.
To date, the U.S. has conducted thirteen observation missions over the
territories of the Russian Federation and Republic of Belarus. In June, Russia
and Belarus conducted the first of their two observation missions over the
September14 – On a visit to NATO headquarters, interim
Iraqi President Sheikh Ghazi Al-Yawar welcomed the
Alliance’s assistance to Iraq and called for further assistance on an
September 10 – During a one-day visit to NATO partner
country Sweden on 10 September, NATO Secretary General De Hoop Scheffer said
the Alliance was seeking to involve interested partners more closely in
NATO’s activities and operations.
September 10 – NATO announced it was increasing its
presence in Afghanistan in support of the nation’s election process.
The new troops will augment and support the already in–theater forces
boosting the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) capabilities
leading up to the election.
September 7 – The NATO-Russia Council condemned the recent
terrorist attacks in Russia. The Council met in extraordinary session for the
first time in more than two years of operation to discuss the recent wave of
terrorist attacks in the Russian Federation.
September 5 – France took command of NATO peacekeeping
operations in Kosovo.
September 2 – EU declared its shock at the terrorist actions in
the Russian Federation
August 14 – Russian Defense Minister Sergei B. Ivanov
criticized NATO's expansion into the three Baltic states.
August 14 – The core of NATO’s Training
Implementation Mission in Iraq arrived in Baghdad to identify best methods
for training Iraqi forces and start training selected headquarters personnel.
August 10 – NATO’s AWACS radar aircraft started
patrols of Greek airspace to protect the Olympic games.
August 9 – The five-nation Eurocorps
took command of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in
Afghanistan (ISAF) for the next six months.
August 3-5 – NATO experts observed a Russian military
exercise, Avaria 2004, focused on protecting and
defending nuclear weapons convoys and responding to terrorist attacks.
August 2 – NATO deployed elements of its Multinational
Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear battalion to Greece, the first
part of operational activities to assist the Greek authorities in ensuring
security for the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
August 1 – UN, EU and NATO personnel took part in a border
control training organized by NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo. The objective
is to improve Kosovo border security through training nearly 700 police,
military and civilian personnel from Kosovo, Albania and the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia1,
July 13 – On his first visit to NATO, the Foreign Minister
of Iraq, Hoshyar Zebari,
appealed to the Alliance to provide Iraqi forces with training and equipment
as soon as possible.
July 12 – NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
said that NATO and the EU should broaden their strategic partnership beyond
the Balkans and exploit its full potential.
July 2 – In an interview with the New York Times, NATO
Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer criticized the Bush
administration’s attitude toward NATO. . "If the mission defines the coalition, then you don't need
NATO," he said. "You will then see the Europeans falling into each
other's arms." He said he had a "simple message" for
Washington regarding NATO: "Get engaged."
July 1 – NATO took a first step to further expanding its
presence in northern Afghanistan by taking command of provincial
reconstruction teams in Mazar-e-Sharif and Maimana.
June 29 – NATO leaders met at the summit in Istanbul,
Turkey [Istanbul Summit Communiqué] [The Istanbul Declaration]. In the course of the meeting, they agreed that the NATO-led
Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina would be brought to a
successful end at the end of this year. The European Union has agreed to take
responsibility over from NATO at that time.
The leaders agreed that NATO would take on command of four new
provincial reconstruction teams and deploy extra troops to support the upcoming
elections in Afghanistan. They decided to elevate the Alliance’s
Mediterranean Dialogue to a genuine partnership and to launch the Istanbul
Cooperation Initiative with selected countries in the broader region of the
The heads of state and government agreed to boost the
Alliance’s anti-terrorism efforts with an agreement to improve
intelligence sharing and to develop new, high-tech defenses against terrorist
In a statement released on the first day of summit meetings, NATO
Heads of State and Government agreed to assist Iraq with the training of its
security forces [Statement on Iraq].
US President George Bush expressed his support for cooperation with
the allies in dealing with security problems and asked for their support.
French President Chirac and German Chancellor Schroeder were supportive but
careful not to give the American president anything that he could use to
enhance his re-election prospects.
June 22 – NATO, Russia and partner countries tested their
capabilities to jointly respond to a disaster situation in a field and
strategic-level exercise and seminar held in the Kaliningrad region of the
June 22 – In a letter to the NATO Secretary General, the
interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ilyad Allawi requested
NATO support through training and other forms of technical assistance.
June 17 – The foreign ministers of Albania, Croatia, and
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia came to NATO Headquarters to
present a joint strategy for NATO membership.
June 7 – NATO and Ukraine sign an agreement on strategic
June 1 – NATO assumed control of Kabul International
May 24 – A Norwegian ISAF soldier was killed in a rocket
attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.
May 13 – It was announced that NATO Airborne Early Warning
Aircraft (AWACS) would provide support for two major public events: the Royal
Wedding in Spain and the Euro 2004 Portuguese Championship.
April 26 - 27 – The North Atlantic Council visited Afghanistan,
to assess the situation on the ground, as the Alliance prepared to expand its
mission in the country.
April 7 - 8 – During a visit to Moscow, NATO Secretary
General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer signed agreements establishing Russian military
liaison offices at NATO’s top military headquarters. Russian President Putin, during the visit,
said, “Life shows that
simply expanding [NATO membership] will not enable us to effectively counter
the main threats that we are facing today.”
5 – Experts and top officials from NATO countries and the Russian
Federation discussed ways of enhancing military cooperation in the fight
against terrorism at a conference in Norfolk, Virginia.
2 – The flags of the seven new NATO members were raised in a ceremony
at NATO headquarters. Meeting with fellow foreign ministers in Brussels to
celebrate the event, US Secretary of State Colin Power attempted to persuade
the allies that NATO should take on a peacekeeping role in Iraq. The issue will be on the agenda of the
NATO Summit to be held in Istanbul on 28-29 June. The ministers issued a
declaration on terrorism which can be found at: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2004/p04-057e.htm
March 31 – Russia’s lower house of
parliament adopted a resolution that denounced NATO’s enlargement and
the deployment of four Belgian F-16 fighter jets to a Lithuanian air base to
patrol the air space of the new Baltic members of NATO.
29 – Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia formally became members of NATO by
depositing their instruments of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty with
the United States Government.
March 26 – It was reported that NATO would
help provide security for the 2004 Athens Olympics.
March 19 – The NATO Council met to assess
the security situation in Kosovo. The Council noted NATO’s resolve to
help bring this violence under control as quickly as possible. The Alliance
is deploying additional troops from the previously designated operational and
strategic reserve to ensure that KFOR has all the resources necessary.
March 17 – The North Atlantic Council
strongly condemned the terrorist bombing of commuter trains in Madrid on 11
March 16 – NATO decided to expand Operation
Active Endeavour to the whole Mediterranean. Since
its inception on 18 October 2001 in response to the terrorist attacks on the
United States, NATO Task Force Endeavor has conducted surveillance and
monitoring operations of the major shipping lanes in the Eastern
Mediterranean. More than 41,000 vessels have been hailed since the
beginning of the operation, and 47 compliant boardings
have taken place in the Eastern Mediterranean. Additionally, more than 414
allied non-combatant ships have been escorted successfully through the Strait
March 15 – Javier Solana, EU High Representative for CFSP,
congratulated Vladimir Putin on his re-election as President of the Russian
Federation and stressed the importance of the development of
the partnership between the EU and Russia
14 – Elections in Spain removed the party of Prime Minister Jose
Maria Aznar from power. Voters apparently blamed Aznar’s support of the
US-led war in Iraq for the bombings that killed just under 200 people in
Madrid on 11 March and rebuffed the government’s attempt to blame the
bombings on Basque nationalists. Voters overwhelmingly endorsed candidates
from the opposition Socialist Party, whose leader, Jose Luis Rodriguez
Zapatero, had promised to withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq, move
Spain's foreign policy away from such close links to the United States and
restore good relations with European allies France and Germany that had
opposed the Iraq war.
March 13 – Greece formally asked NATO to help guard the 2004 Olympic
Games in Athens.
March 8-12 – NATO and Russia conducted a groundbreaking computer simulation in the United States
to test joint responses to missile attacks against deployed troops.
March 3 – In a lecture on the EU’s
role after enlargement, on the High-Level Conference on the future of
transatlantic relations, EU Commission President Romano Prodi said that “even in the most complex
situations, Europe and the United States have always managed to find the
right responses on a strategic scale that have had a positive impact on world
order and balance.”
February 26 – In a speech at the European
Parliament, EU Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten said he was
disappointed with the results of five years of intensive co-operation with
Russia. He said the EU should start discussing frankly Russian practices that
run counter to European values, such as human rights in Chechnya, media
freedom and co-operation on the environment. Patten suggested the EU should
not hesitate to defend its interests vigorously. He urged more and better
co-ordination between policies defined at EU level and the approach of
individual Member States to relations with Russia.
February 19 – The NATO-led peacekeeping
force in Bosnia and Herzegovina conducted search operations in Pale targeted
at the support network of indicted war criminals.
February 16 – The
EU's Political and Security Committee (PSC) and the North Atlantic Council
(NAC) met to discuss the question of how and when the European Union might assume
responsibility for a "follow on force" in Bosnia/Herzegovina. EU
high representative Javier Solana said the two sides had "good
discussion" on the intended hand-over of the peacekeeping mission and
the EU will closely cooperate with NATO to ensure the success of the
transfer. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the hand-over
will make the EU and NATO "close together," but "it is too
early to decide" the specific timetable for the transfer because
"homework" on the preparation has to be done "on both
13 – EU commissioner Chris Patten gave a speech titled: “Has the
transatlantic relationship run out of road?” Patten said,
“there’s much more that unites than divides us” and
emphasised the mutual need for cooperation in all fields.
According to US Ambassador Alexander Vershbow at the Centre for European
Security Studies, Russia does not have to choose between a European or an
Atlantic approach: "The choice between Europeanism and Atlanticism - by
which people in reality are referring to the United States - is a false
12 – On 12 February nine nations signed an agreement with the NATO
Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) to provide NATO with strategic sealift
capability for rapidly deployable forces.
to undersecretary of State John Bolton: “Even though the longstanding
friendship between the United States and Germany was tested by
"undeniable differences over our conception of the threat posed by
Saddam Hussein, and the methods taken to address that threat," the Bush
Administration "has never underestimated the importance of our
relationship with Germany, and has worked hard to contain and repair any
damage to our mutual friendship"
All 19 NATO member countries have now ratified the accession protocols, which
will permit seven new countries to become parties to the North Atlantic
Treaty and members of NATO. The seven countries – Bulgaria, Estonia,
Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia – were invited to
join the Alliance at the NATO Summit in Prague in November 2002. They are expected to join NATO by the
time of the next Summit in May 2004. This is the second wave of NATO
enlargement towards former communist states. The Czech Republic, Hungary and
Poland joined the Alliance in March 1999.
9 – Canadian Lt. Gen Rick Hillier assumed command of the NATO-led
peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan from German Lt Gen Götz
F.E. Gliemeroth in a ceremony held in Kabul.
Finnish General Gustav Hagglund, Chairman of the
European Union Military Committee, told a seminar in Brussels that, in his
personal view, the European Union, not NATO, should run Europe’s
defense. Hagglund reportedly said “If 280 million Americans can
take care of the defense of their homeland without European involvement,
isn’t it fair to ask the 450 million Europeans to arrange the defense
of their area without the Americans?” According to Hagglund’s
concept, the EU would manage defense of the continent while NATO coordinated
US and European military activities beyond Europe.
US Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld urges for a better intelligence cooperation
within NATO and thinks that this would increase mutual understanding between
NATO-states: “"One thing NATO might do,” Rumsfeld said,
“would be to do a better job of seeing that the intelligence
capabilities of the respective countries are brought together and that the
people in NATO and the capitals of NATO countries are kept tuned into those
threats and the kinds of capabilities that we as free people face. We're much
more likely to get a faster common understanding to the extent we have a
reasonably similar perspective with respect to what the facts are.”
The European Commission adopted a Communication on EU-Russia relations that proposes
measures to improve the effectiveness of EU-Russia relations, in particular
in light of increased EU and Russian interdependence, the EU's historic
enlargement on 1 May and the unresolved conflicts in the Newly Independent
States (NIS). It underlines that the EU and Russia should be ready, as
strategic partners, to discuss frankly all issues of concern, including human
rights, media freedom and events in Chechnya in addition to strengthening
co-operation on concrete issues, on the basis of common interests. The
Communication offers a basis for discussions on a review and strengthening of
EU-Russia relations at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on
6 – NATO Defence Ministers met in Munich on 6 February for informal
talks on the Alliance’s operations and transformation, including the
expansion of NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.
29-30 – During a two-day visit to the United States, NATO Secretary
General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called on Europe and the United States to set
their differences aside and address key security threats. The new Secretary
General defined his primary objectives for the Alliance as bringing stability
to Afghanistan, preparing NATO for a greater role in Iraq, and improving
force capability and restoring cooperation among member states
27 – An attack against soldiers of the International Security
Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF) killed a Canadian soldier and injured
several other soldiers and civilians.
22 – NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer addressed the 2004
World Economic Forum, underscoring the importance of the strategic
partnership between NATO and the European Union.
21 – After a meeting with NATO Secretary General, The new
chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE), Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy pledged closer cooperation
between NATO and the OSCE, particularly in the fight against terrorism and in
resolving regional conflicts and building democracy in the Balkans, the
Caucasus and Central Asia.
13 – Within the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace, a
UK-led training initiative promoting conflict prevention and long-term
stability throughout Central and Eastern Europe was launched in Slovakia on
12 – The new NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, made the
first call on a new, secure NATO-Russia hotline as part of his round of
courtesy calls to NATO and partner countries. This hotline was established in
December 2003 and is one aspect of relations between NATO and the Russian
10-12 – From 10 to 12 January, NATO-led peacekeepers in Bosnia and Herzegovina
conducted a short notice operation in Pale to search for indicted war
criminal Radovan Karadzic and others.
– US Secretary of State, Colin Powell said that the United States would
do more to reach out and show our European colleagues that America
appreciates the partnerships they have with their European colleagues, either
through NATO or the EU or in other bilateral arrangements
January 6 --A
ceremony held in Kunduz marked the transfer of command of the Kunduz
Provincial Reconstruction Team to NATO and a first step in the expansion of
the Alliance’s mission in the country.
January 5 –
Former Dutch Foreign Minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer took office as NATO
Secretary General, succeeding Britain’s Lord Robertson. De Hoop
Scheffer said that NATO’s first priority should be to succeed in the
mission that it had taken on in Afghanistan: “The world community and
NATO cannot afford to lose there,” he observed.
December 18 – The Kremlin announced that Russia would join
negotiations on reducing Iraq’s foreign debt as urged by the United
States. Moscow made it clear that its involvement would require consideration
for the interests of Russian companies that had signed contracts with the
former Iraqi government. The Russian statement followed agreement by the
governments of France, Germany, Italy and Britain to participate in the debt
reduction process. The Bush administration had upset Russia, France and
Germany by declaring that companies from those countries (which did not
support the Iraq war effort) would not be eligible as prime contractors for
US-funded Iraqi construction projects. For the ACI’s view of this
affair, see A Policy of Reward and
Retribution: The Bush administration shoots itself and transatlantic
relations in the foot,
from the Atlantic Community Initiative, December 11, 2003.
– A Brussels summit meeting of 15 EU member and 10 applicant countries
failed to reach agreement on a constitution for the union. Differences over
power sharing in the enlarged EU were cited as the main obstacle to accord.
For official accounts and documents of the meeting go to http://www.ueitalia2003.it/EN/LaPresidenzaInforma/Calendario/12/12/ev_12dicCIG.htm
December 12 – EU leaders, meeting in Brussels, agreed to create a
small EU military planning cell. The accord was reached in spite of earlier
Bush administration worries that such a cell could undermine NATO
cooperation. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the final accord fully
met London's requirements not to do harm to NATO: "This gives us the
opportunity to keep the transatlantic American alliance very strong, but making
sure that in circumstances where America is not engaged in an operation, and
where vital European interests are involved, that Europe can act," Blair
told reporters. "That's exactly what we wanted, and doing it in a way
that's completely consistent with NATO as the cornerstone of our
alliance," he said. The unit will be co-located with the EU's military
staff in Brussels. A separate EU unit attached to SHAPE, NATO’s
military headquarters in Mons, Belgium, would also be made permanent.
December 4-5 – NATO foreign ministers met in
Brussels to discuss NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, the alliance’s
possible future role in Iraq, and preparations for the summit meeting planned
for Istanbul, Turkey in 2004. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania,
whose representatives joined in the session, are scheduled to be welcomed
into NATO at the Istanbul meeting. Click here
for the NATO update on the meeting.
December 1-2 – NATO defense ministers, meeting in Brussels, agreed
in principle to begin expanding the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in
Afghanistan beyond Kabul. Alliance members pledged to deliver the troops and
capabilities required. With regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was agreed
that the Alliance would reduce its presence to a deterrent force of 7,000
troops by June 2004, in light of the improving security situation. The
ministers also agreed that NATO would examine options for a possible
termination of the mission and handover to the EU by the end of 2004. In
Kosovo, a small reduction in force levels to 17,500 troops will be carried
out. The ministers also took special note of the activation as of 1 December
of the NATO multinational Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear
Defence Battalion. Click here for the
communiqué of the ministers meeting as the Defense Planning Committee
and Nuclear Planning Group (without France) and here for the
communiqué of the ministers meeting as the North Atlantic Council
(with France). Click here
for the ministerial assessment of progress to date in transforming
NATO’s military capabilities.
November 21 – President Bush concluded a state visit
to the United Kingdom punctuated by massive street protests against
US-British policies toward Iraq. In a major foreign policy speech during the
visit, Bush acknowledged that opinions
differed about how postwar Iraq should be rebuilt, but said: "Whatever
has come before, we now have only two options: To keep our word or to break
our word….Failure of democracy in Iraq would throw its people back into
misery and turn that country over to terrorists who wish to destroy
us." President Bush
underlined the importance of transatlantic cooperation and European unity, saying
“For 54 years, America
has stood with our partners in NATO, the most effective multilateral
institution in history. We're committed to this great democratic alliance,
and we believe it must have the will and the capacity to act beyond Europe
where threats emerge…. My nation welcomes the growing unity of Europe,
and the world needs America and the European Union to work in common purpose
for the advance of security and justice.”
November 19 – The European Union and NATO initiated their first
joint crisis management exercise based on standing arrangements for NATO/EU
consultations and cooperation based on the “Berlin Plus”
agreements. The exercise, based on a fictitious scenario, focused on how the
EU strategic politico-military planning for an EU-led operation supported by
NATO assets and capabilities.
November 18 – Following a meeting with US Secretary of State Colin
Powell, Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel said that the discussion had
smoothed over a series of US-Belgian disputes that had brought Belgian-US
relations to an all-time low. The relationship has been troubled by US decision to go to war against Iraq,
Belgium’s initiatives aimed at intensifying defense cooperation among a
small group of European countries, and a Belgian genocide law, now modified
to take US concerns into account, that had permitted politically motivated
war crimes charges against President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and
Powell, among others.
November 12 – A suicide bomb attack against the Italian Carabinieri barracks in Nasiriyah,
Iraq killed 33, including 19 Italians (2 Caribinieri,
five army soldiers and two civilians) and 14 non-Italians.
October 17 – The European Union concluded its fall 2003 summit in
Brussels amidst controversy over the future of European defense cooperation.
British Prime Minister Blair focused on reassuring the United States that
nothing would be done to undermine NATO. Although other EU leaders agreed
that the EU should avoid harming NATO, there were obvious differences about
how far EU defense consolidation could go before it became a threat to the
October 16 – Press reports
indicated that in the course of a contentious meeting of the North Atlantic
Council the US Permanent Representative Nicholas Burns told fellow
ambassadors that the European Union’s pursuit of greater military
autonomy posed "one of the greatest dangers to the transatlantic
relationship." The Bush administration was reportedly upset that the UK
had agreed with France and Germany on the question of establishing a separate
European Union operational headquarters and moving ahead with
“structured cooperation” among willing EU members.
October 15 – The NATO Response Force (NRF) was inaugurated when NATO
Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General James L. Jones, handed over the
NRF-flag to the Joint Operational Commander, General Sir Jack Deverell. According to NATO, “The NRF is designed
to be robust, at high readiness, fully trained and certified and prepared to
tackle the full spectrum of missions, including force. When NATO decides to
employ it, the NRF will be ready to deploy in five days and will be able to
sustain itself for 30 days.” The force is expected to reach Full
Operational Capability by fall 2006.
October 8-9 – NATO
Ministers of Defense, joined by those of the 7 invited countries expected to
join NATO next year, reviewed NATO’s process of transformation at an
informal meeting held in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The minister focused
particularly on the need to increase the deployability and usability of
NATO's forces. Speaking at press conference Secretary General Lord Robertson
stressed that “if
operations such as ISAF in Afghanistan are to succeed, we must generate more
usable soldiers and have the political will to deploy more of them on
a theme frequently echoed in Robertson’s speeches as he made his
farewell tour of Alliance capitals.
September 22 – The North Atlantic Council appointed Mr. Jaap de Hoop
Scheffer, currently Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, as Secretary General
of NATO and Chairman of the North Atlantic Council, in succession to Lord
Robertson. Mr. de Hoop Scheffer will assume his functions as Secretary
General on 1 January 2004.
September 20 – British Prime Minister Tony Blair, France’s
President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder met in
Berlin to attempt to smooth over differences over Iraq policy. The leaders
also agreed in principle on developing more “structured” defense
cooperation among a core group of European Union members.
September 1 – The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General
James L. Jones, announced that Allied Command Europe (ACE) will officially be
renamed, Allied Command Operations (ACO). The change was mandated in
decisions taken by NATO leaders at the 2002 Prague Summit to revitalize NATO
and its military command structure with the creation of two new headquarters,
ACO and Allied Command Transformation (ACT). ACO will continue to embrace all
the NATO commands in Europe and add to its Area of Responsibility those
operational elements that formerly came under the Supreme Allied Command
Atlantic (SACLANT). SACLANT was decommissioned and ACT was established in its
place on June 19, 2003 at an historic ceremony held in Norfolk, Virginia.
Gen. Jones retains the title of SACEUR and assumes strategic command for the
preparation and conduct of all joint (sea, land and air) NATO operations.
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) retains its name.
August 11 – NATO formally assumed leadership of the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a UN-mandated force
responsible for providing security in and around Kabul in Afghanistan. The
ISAF command became NATO’s first mission beyond the Euro-Atlantic area.
July 29 – The EU and NATO released a new pact laying
out a concerted approach to security and stability in the Western Balkans.
The two organizations agreed to cooperate in a wide variety of areas
including crisis prevention and management, defense reform, strengthening the
rule of law, preventing terrorism, border security and arms control.
July 16 – The North Atlantic Council agreed to extend the
availability of NATO assets to the European Union’s Operation Concordia
in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia until 15 December 2003.
July 11 – Poland suffered its first combat death since the aftermath
of World War II when a Polish major assigned to the multi-national division
led by Poland was fatally wounded in an ambush south of Baghdad.
July 2 – A ceremony in Pristina, Kosovo, marked the withdrawal of
the Russian military contingent from the NATO-led peacekeeping force in
Kosovo after four years of service.
June 21 – The European Union held a Western Balkans Summit in
June 19 – In a ceremony in Norfolk, Virginia, US, NATO’s
former Allied Command Atlantic was decommissioned and Allied Command
Transformation established in its place.
June 13-14 – The Czech people vote to
join the EU by 77.3 per cent to 23.7 per cent on a 55.2 per cent turnout.
June 12-13 – NATO defense minister, meeting in Brussels, approved
plans for a major reorganization of NATO’s command structure. Instead
of NATO’s operations being run by either the Supreme Allied Commander
Europe (SACEUR) or Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT), all
operational commands will be under the control of the new Allied Command
Operations, based at SHAPE in Mons, Belgium, while SACLANT will cease to
exist. Instead, a new command, Allied Command Transformation, will be
established to oversee the transformation of NATO's military capabilities. It
will be based in Norfolk, United States, the same location as the former
SACLANT. The ministers also approved a concept for the NATO Response Force
designed as a robust rapid reaction fighting force that could be quickly
deployed anywhere in the world. Click here for the final communiqué.
Click here for
the Defense Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group communiqué
and here for the
North Atlantic Council meeting as defense ministers communiqué.
June 7-8 – The Polish people voted to join the EU by
77.5 per cent to 22.5 per cent on a 58.8 per cent turnout.
June 3-4 – NATO foreign ministers, meeting in Madrid, Spain, said
the Alliance’s taking on of new missions in Afghanistan and in support
of Poland in Iraq showed NATO’s transformation was well underway. In
spite of on-going transatlantic and intra-European disputes about Iraq, the
Ministers agreed that NATO’s continuing relevance was demonstrated by
the recent agreements on cooperation with the European Union, the decision to
take over of the command of the ISAF peacekeeping force in Afghanistan in
August 2003, and to assist Poland in its Iraq mission. Click here for the NAC
June 3 – The North Atlantic Council approved providing the support
requested by Poland in relation to its planned role in the stabilization
force in Iraq.
May 23 – NATO’s Defence Planning Committee announced its
agreement to a request from President Bush to appoint Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr., US Navy, as Supreme Allied Commander,
May 17 – The Slovak people
voted to join the EU by 92.5 per cent to 6.2 per cent on a 52.1 per cent turnout.
May 13 – For the first time ever, all nineteen NATO Ambassadors
joined their Russian counterpart for a meeting in Moscow of the NATO-Russia
May 2-3 - EU foreign ministers held an informal meeting on a cruise ship
near the Greek island of Rhodes. They discussed the defense proposals issued
on April 29 by Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxembourg, how to heal the
rifts over the Iraq war within Europe and between Europe and the United
States, and how the Union can participate in the building of postwar Iraq,
among other issues.
May 1 - In an address to the American nation, US President Bush announced
that "major combat operations" in the Iraq war were over. To date
no conclusive evidence of weapons of mass destruction has been found, and the
fate of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his two sons remains
April 30 - The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 19-0 in favor
of enlarging NATO to include seven new members. The new members are Bulgaria,
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
April 29 - The leaders of Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxembourg held a
meeting in Brussels to discuss developing an European defense union that
would be independent of NATO. The four European heads of state and government
said that they were not trying to weaken NATO but to strengthen the European
pillar with NATO and to give the EU the ability to become a strong partner of
the US. Many of the proposals they issued built on existing plans for an EU
defense force and proposals for strengthening European defense cooperation
being developed by the European constitutional convention. Their four page
declaration also included plans for their own rapid-reaction force centered
on the Franco-German brigade and two new European military institutions:
"a multinational deployable force headquarters" for operations that
do not involve NATO and a "nucleus of collective capability for planning
and conducting operations for the European Union." Reactions to these
proposals from the US, NATO, and EU countries that did not attend the meeting
questioned the wisdom of creating additional European military institutions
rather than enhancing military capabilities. They also warned against the
risks of "unnecessary duplication" of NATO's existing planning
facilities. The four leaders said that all current and future EU members were
welcome to join them in this endeavor.
NATO naval forces operating in the Mediterranean conducted for the first
time a boarding operation in support of the fight against international
terrorism. Click here for more information: http://www.afsouth.nato.int/releases/2003releases/PR_11_03.htm
The Quartet, which consists of the United States, the European Union, the
Russian Federation, and the United Nations launched a performance-based road
map for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Click here for
the text of the road map: http://ue.eu.int/pressdata/EN/declarations/75591.pdf
April 24 - NATO SACEUR US Marine General James L. Jones said the Alliance
intends to launch in October the NATO Reaction Force (NRF) that the US
proposed last year. The NRF will have the capability to deploy at "a
moment's notice" and be sustained in the field for fifteen to thirty
days. General Jones said he wants the NRF to be "a vehicle for the
transformation of NATO" into an alliance that is mobile, flexible, and
has global reach.
Former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, who is leading the EU's
constitutional convention, released a first draft of Europe's future
constitution. The European Commission said the document was "a useful
working basis," while critics said the plan did not go far enough to
address the EU's democracy deficit and favored larger member-states over
smaller ones, among other criticisms expressed about the draft. Click here
for the web site of European Convention that includes various preliminary
drafts of the future European constitution: http://european-convention.eu.int/sessplen.asp?lang=EN
April 16 - At a meeting in Athens, Greece, the birthplace of democracy,
the leaders of ten mostly former communist countries signed the 4,900 page
Treaty of Accession of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,
Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia to the European
Union. These countries are expected to formally enter the Union on May 1,
2004. The accession negotiations began on March 31, 1998. The biggest
enlargement in EU history will create a block of 450 million citizens.
The North Atlantic Council approved having NATO assume command of the
UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan.
This will be the first NATO mission outside Europe. The Alliance will provide
strategic command, control, communications, and planning for the ISAF
mission, but the operation will not be under a NATO flag. NATO is already
providing logistical support to the Dutch and German troops currently
commanding the force. NATO spokesman Yves Brodeur
said the move "puts an end to the out-of-area debate once and for
all." The increased NATO support for ISAF was requested by Canada,
Germany, and the Netherlands. Click here for more information: http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2003/04-april/e0416a.htm
and here for the ISAF web site: http://www.isafkabul.org
The North Atlantic Council also agreed to conclude formal consultations on
Turkey's security under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty because
"Operation Display Deterrence," NATO's defensive deployments to
southeast Turkey, had met its objectives. Click here for more information on
the conclusion of this mission: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2003/p03-040e.htm
and here for more on NATO's defensive support to Turkey: http://www.nato.int/issues/turkey/index.htm
April 15 - A US military official said he anticipated that "major
combat operations are over" in Iraq and that he expected military
operations there to shift to "smaller but sharp fights."
April 12 - A majority of Hungarian citizens voted in favor of joining the
European Union in a referendum.
April 10 - A Russian military official announced that within two months
Russia would withdraw its peacekeepers from Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Kosovo
because the region now requires an international police force rather than a
peacekeeping presence, in the Russian government's view. The international
police force in the region includes Russia.
April 9 - The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of
ratifying the accession of ten new EU member-states (Cyprus, the Czech
Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak
Republic, and Slovenia). The new members are expected to accede on May 1,
2004. Prior to that the parliaments of all current members must approve the
enlargement of the EU and the new members must hold public referenda to
approve the expansion.
April 3 - At a press conference that followed a meeting in Brussels of the
North Atlantic Council, US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell discussed US
proposals to deploy a NATO peacekeeping and stabilization force in Iraq. He
also said that US and coalition forces would undertake the initial postwar
stabilization of the country. SACEUR US Marine General James L. Jones said on
April 24 that NATO was ready to deploy in Iraq but that it not yet been
formally asked to do so. The North Atlantic Council has held discussions on
this issue but no decisions have yet been made. France has dropped its
opposition to a NATO role in Iraq with the proviso that the force receives UN
Security Council authorization. Click here for more information: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/2003/04-natohq/0304-hq.htm
March 31 - The European Union launched its first-ever military operation
in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), dubbed "Operation
Concordia" (Concordia was the Greek goddess of peace). The mission
consists of 350 soldiers from twenty seven countries (from EU member-states,
EU candidate countries, and non-EU members of NATO) who are providing
security for monitors overseeing the implementation of a peace accord between
the ethnic Macedonian majority and the ethnic Albanian minority. The force
commander is French Major-General Pierre Maral, and
the operational commander is German Admiral Rainer Feist, who is the Deputy
SACEUR. The mission is based in Skopje, the Macedonian capital and will draw
on NATO assets. This French-led peacekeeping mission is the first in which
the EU flag appears on the lapels of soldiers. Click here for remarks made by
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on the launch of Operation
As the mission was handed over to the European Union, NATO marked the end
of its peacekeeping mission in FYROM, which began in August 2001. Click here
for more information: http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2003/03-march/e0331a.htm
March 26 - At a meeting in Brussels representatives of the nineteen NATO
member-states with the participation of the seven countries invited to join
the Alliance in November 2002 signed Protocols of Accession, which are
amendments to NATO's founding treaty (the Washington Treaty). Once ratified
by the existing member-states the protocols will allow the seven countries to
enter NATO. The new members are Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Click here for more information, including
the protocols: http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2003/03-march/e0326a.htm
March 23 - A majority of Slovenian citizens voted in favor of joining the
European Union in a referendum.
March 19 - US offensive military operations in Iraq began with air strikes
against Iraqi leadership targets.
March 17 - US President Bush issued an ultimatum that said the United
States would go to war against the Iraqi regime unless Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein and his two sons left Iraq within forty-eight hours.
March 14 - NATO and EU leaders signed the NATO-EU Security of Information
Agreement in Athens. The document is an agreement between the two
organizations on exchanging classified information.
March 8 - A majority of Maltese citizens voted in favor of joining the
European Union in a referendum.
March 3 - SACEUR General James Jones, in a briefing at the US-European
command in Stuttgart, Germany, said he favors moving some US forces from
expensive West European bases to new, less costly NATO bases in Eastern and
Central Europe as a way of making them "more flexible, more agile."
Jones suggested his support for such moves had nothing to do with US dismay
over German positions on Iraq but acknowledged that "Timing is
February 27 - NATO Secretary General George Robertson said that foreign
ministers of the seven NATO candidate countries (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia) will sign protocols of accession
on March 26.
February 20 - During a visit to the US to meet with US President George W.
Bush and other US officials, NATO Secretary General Robertson gave a speech
at the European Institute in Washington, DC in which he argued that NATO came
out of its recent crisis in better shape than is generally understood. Click
here for the text of his speech: http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2003/s030220b.htm
NATO SACEUR James Jones ordered the NATO AWACS early warning and
surveillance fleet to deploy to Turkey. The planes and crews arrived in
Turkey on February 26. German Patriot missiles that will be manned by Dutch
troops were sent to Turkey the previous week. The biochemical defense units
will be deployed after Turkey provides more details on what it requires.
February 19 - NATO's Defense Planning Committee formally authorized NATO
military authorities to provide defensive aid for Turkey, which includes the
deployment of Patriot missiles, AWACS radar aircraft, and chemical and
biological weapons response teams to Turkey. Click here for more information
on the NATO crisis between February 6-19 over protecting Turkey: http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2003/02-february/e0210a.htm
February 16 - In order to break the stalemate within NATO's North Atlantic
Council over providing defensive aid to Turkey, NATO Secretary General
Robertson and some member-states suggested bringing the issue before the
Defense Planning Committee, in which France chooses not to participate. The
NAC had held six emergency meetings in the preceding eleven days to break the
deadlock. Later that day agreement was reached by the 18 allies meeting in
the DPC when Belgium and Germany dropped their opposition to beginning
planning for providing military aid to Turkey.
February 10 - Following several weeks of discussion within the North
Atlantic Council over providing defensive aid to Turkey, Belgium, France, and
Germany publicly announced their opposition to allowing NATO to begin
planning to provide military assistance to Turkey. Turkey then formally
invoked Article IV of the Washington treaty for the first time in NATO's
history. Article IV says the allies "will consult together whenever, in
the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence
or security of any of the Parties is threatened." Belgium, France, and
Germany said they were not opposed to aiding Turkey but believed that
planning for such action was premature while UN arms inspectors sought to
disarm Iraq peacefully. Officials and commentators widely described this as
the worst crisis in NATO's history because it called into question the sense
of solidarity on which the alliance is based.
Germany and the Netherlands took over command of the International
Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan from Turkey. NATO is providing
logistics and communications assistance for the international peacekeeping
force. A number of Alliance leaders, including German Defense Minister Peter
Struck and others, have proposed that NATO take over the ISAF mission to
provide greater continuity in the command arrangements for the force, but
France is reportedly against such a move, which it sees as going beyond
NATO's mandate to protect Europe.
February 5 - Britain formally agreed to help the US build a national
missile defense system, which will require upgrading the early-warning system
in Flyingdales and other facilities in the UK.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac met
in Le Touquet, France for a summit focused on
defense issues. The leaders agreed to pool their military resources, set up
an intergovernmental EU capabilities agency to coordinate national arms
procurement, and to cooperate in building a battle-ready aircraft carrier
naval group, among other proposals. The Le Touquet
summit built on a meeting the leaders held in 1998 in St. Malo, France which
launched the EU's drive for an autonomous defense force.
January 29 - Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and
Slovenia formally began accession talks with NATO. They are expected to join
the Alliance at a summit in May 2004. Click here for more information: http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2003/01-january/e0129a.htm
January 22 - NATO Secretary General George Robertson announced that he
plans to step down in December rather than extend his term for a year, as he
had been expected to do.
SFOR, the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia-Herzegovina completed the
process of restructuring itself into a smaller but more capable force that
was started in May 2002. Click here for more information: http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2003/01-january/e0122a.htm
January 21 - EU finance ministers voted to penalize Germany for violating
the Stability Pact, which limits the size of budget deficits, and warned
France that its deficit was approaching the limit imposed by the pact.
January 20 - The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
formally requested that the EU take over NATO's peacekeeping force in
Macedonia, which has been deployed since September 2001 to protect
January 17 - US Marine Corps General James L. Jones became NATO's SACEUR.
Click here for more information: http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2003/01-january/e0117a.htm
January 16 - NATO Secretary General George Robertson met in Athens with
the Greek government, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency. The
leaders discussed implementation of the accord reached in December 2002 on
allowing the EU to borrow NATO military assets. Click here for more
January 15 - US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz formally asked
NATO to consider what supporting roles it might play in a US-led war on Iraq.
Six areas of assistance were discussed, including: sending Patriot missiles
and AWACS surveillance planes to defend Turkey, the only NATO member that
borders Iraq; sending naval forces to help protect ships in the eastern
Mediterranean; providing personnel to help protect US military bases in
Europe; access to airspace, ports, bases, and refueling facilities in Europe;
backfilling US forces that are sent to the Gulf; and deploying NATO troops to
Iraq after a possible war to help rebuild and govern the country.
French and German leaders proposed a dual presidency for the EU that would
consist of a President of the European Commission elected by the European
Parliament and a President of the European Council elected by a qualified majority
of EU member-states. The proposal represents a compromise between France's
desire to strengthen the role of member-states, and Germany's interest in
enhancing the powers of the European Commission, whose president is currently
elected by member governments rather than the European Parliament.
January 1 - The EU took over command of a 500-member international police
force in Bosnia-Herzegovina from the United Nations, which had run the
mission for seven years. The EU-led police force will train and supervise
Bosnian police and consist of officers from EU and non-EU countries. The
mission, which will operate under an EU flag, is the first operational test
of the EU's Common European Security and Defense Policy.
December 18 - US President George W. Bush announced plans to begin
developing a rudimentary missile defense system to protect the United States.
The first stage will include construction of land-based interceptors in
Alaska and California.
December 16 - NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson and EU foreign
policy chief Javier Solana issued the "EU-NATO Declaration on
ESDP," which is a statement on the principles that underlie the NATO-EU
strategic partnership in crisis management. This partnership is founded on
assured EU access to NATO planning facilities and military assets, including
logistics and was made possible by the resolution at the EU's recent summit
in Copenhagen of a dispute between Greece and Turkey regarding EU use of NATO
military assets. Click here for the text of the EU-NATO declaration: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2002/p02-142e.htm
December 12-13 - EU leaders held an historic summit in Copenhagen, Denmark
where they issued membership invitations to ten countries that are expected
to accede in 2004 (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,
Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia). Current EU member-states
will pay about $42 billion in farm subsidies and other payments to the
incoming member-states over the next couple years. EU officials also agreed
to review Turkey's progress in meeting the criteria for EU membership in
December 2004. Click here for the presidency conclusions of the Copenhagen
European Council: http://www.europa.eu.int/council/off/conclu/index.htm
Copenhagen meeting, EU officials endorsed an agreement reached in October
that ended a more than two year-long dispute regarding EU use of NATO
military assets and planning capabilities. The agreement, which had been held
up by a disagreement between Greece and Turkey, formalizes NATO-EU relations
and gives the EU assured access to critical military capabilities that the
planned EU rapid-reaction force will require. With this agreement in place EU
leaders said that they planned to take command of the peacekeeping mission in
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia "as soon as possible."
The EU will also assume command of a police task force in Bosnia beginning in
January and hopes to replace the NATO peacekeeping force in Bosnia (SFOR) in
December 9 - The defense working group of the Convention on the Future of
Europe, which is rewriting the treaties that underpin the EU, was unable to
reach agreement on a proposal to give the EU a collective defense clause
similar to NATO's Article V. There is greater agreement over establishing
instead an EU solidarity and mutual protection clause, which would not have the
legal force of NATO's Article V.
December 3 - NATO's Military Committee met in Brussels to review the
decisions made by NATO leaders at the recent Prague summit.
November 29 - The North Atlantic Council agreed to extend its peacekeeping
mission in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia after the mandate for
its current mission there, Amber Fox, expires on December 15.
November 27 - The Norfolk, Virginia-based Supreme Allied Command Atlantic
(SACLANT), which is the only NATO headquarters on US soil, was renamed Allied
Command for Transformation (ACT). The new command will focus on narrowing the
capability gap between the United States and its NATO allies and will not be
an operational command.
NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium
hosted a force generation conference for the UN-mandated International
Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Representatives from NATO and PfP countries met to discuss critical shortfalls and make
offers of contribution.
France and Germany made a joint defense proposal to the Convention on the
Future of Europe that included proposals for a European armaments agency, an
EU integrated command capability, a unified system of military training, and
a shared strategic doctrine.
November 21-22 - NATO leaders met for an historic summit in Prague, the
Czech Republic - the first-ever NATO summit in a former Warsaw Pact country.
Alliance officials issued membership invitations to seven countries that are
expected to accede in 2004 (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania,
Slovakia, and Slovenia); launched the Prague Capabilities Commitment, an
initiative to reduce the transatlantic military capabilities gap; and
endorsed the US proposal for a NATO response force.
summit NATO leaders also agreed that NATO and the EU will hold their first
joint military exercise next year.
for the Prague Summit Declaration: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2002/p02-127e.htm;
here for the NATO statement of support for enforcing UN resolutions that seek
to disarm Iraq: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2002/p02-133e.htm
; and here for NATO's Prague summit web site with extensive coverage of the
November 20 - US President George W. Bush delivered a speech in Prague to
the Atlantic Student Summit. Click here for the text of this speech: http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2002/s021120f.htm
November 19 - The European Commission launched formal disciplinary action
against France and Germany over their increasing budget deficits. Germany's
deficit is currently greater than the 3% limit imposed by the stability pact,
and France's deficit is nearing the 3% mark.
October 17 - The North Atlantic Council approved a request from Germany
and the Netherlands for NATO support in helping them prepare to assume
command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan early
next year. In particular, they requested assistance in the areas of force
generation, intelligence, information sharing, and communications.
October 24 - French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder reached a landmark agreement on reducing EU agricultural spending
which opened the way for the final stage of EU negotiations on admitting ten
new members in 2004. Under the agreement farm subsidies will be phased in to
acceding members from 2004 to 2006 and then capped from 2007 through 2013 at
a rate not to exceed the rate of inflation.
October 22 - NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson delivered a
speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, "A Transformed
NATO: Delivering Security in a Dangerous World," in which he outlined
the issues on the agenda of NATO's forthcoming summit in Prague, the Czech
Republic on November 21-22. Click here for the text of the speech: http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2002/s021022a.htm
and here for NATO's Prague summit web site: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/2002/0211-prague/index.htm
October 20 - Irish voters overwhelming approved a referendum endorsing The
Treaty of Nice, paving the way for EU enlargement. 63% of those who voted
approved the measure. In June 2001 Irish voters rejected the treaty- a result
that many attributed to low turnout. Turnout was 48.5% of the electorate in
this year's referendum and 34.8% in last year's referendum. Ireland is the
only EU country in which voters, rather than parliaments, have to approve
October 17 - Germany said it would join Portugal this year in exceeding
the budget deficit ceiling of 3% set by the EU's Stability and Growth Pact.
France and Italy are also running deficits that are close to the pact's ceiling.
Oct. 15 - Press reports stated that France is raising defense spending by
6.1% in 2003 and by 14% for the 2003-2008 period. This will increase its
defense spending from 1.7 % to 2.1% of GDP. The increase in French defense
spending has contributed to France's budget woes.
October 11 - The North Atlantic Council decided to extend Operation Amber
Fox, which protects international monitors in the Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia, from October 27 until December 15. The EU plans to take over
command of the mission but has not been able to reach an agreement with NATO
that has been delayed by a dispute between Greece and Turkey. Most EU
member-states believe the EU should not assume command of the mission in
Macedonia until the agreement with NATO is reached. However, according to
press reports France and Belgium favor the EU taking over the Macedonia
mission immediately. The agreement provides guaranteed access to NATO assets
October 9 - The European Commission said that the Czech Republic, Cyprus,
Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia
are ready for EU membership and should be admitted into the EU in 2004.
Sept. 30 - The EU said its member-states are allowed to reach bilateral
deals with the United States giving American troops limited immunity from
prosecution by the International Criminal Court if three conditions are met.
First, the agreements apply only to U.S. soldiers or government officials
send abroad. Second, the United States has to guarantee that Americans
accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity will be tried in US courts.
Third, the agreements are not reciprocal. Citizens of EU member-states
signing such agreements would not receive similar immunity.
Sept. 24-25 - NATO defense ministers met in Warsaw, Poland to assess
efforts at NATO transformation ahead of the summit in Prague, the Czech
Republic on November 21-22. Click here for more information on the meeting: http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2002/09-september/e0924a.htm
During the meeting US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld proposed the
creation of a NATO Response Force of 21,000 US and European troops that could
deploy within seven to thirty days and be capable of high-intensity combat
anywhere in the world.
Sept. 23 - Four European headquarters were officially designated as NATO
international rapidly deployable headquarters. They are: the Rapid Deployable
German/Netherlands Corps HQ in Munster, Germany; the Rapid Deployable Italian
Corps HQ in Milan, Italy; the Rapid Deployable Spanish Corps HQ in Valencia,
Spain; and the Rapid Deployable Turkish Corps HQ in Istanbul, Turkey. NATO
has a fifth corps-size rapidly deployable headquarters, which is the Allied
Command Europe Rapid Reaction Force (ARRC).
Sept. 22 - The Eurocorps headquarters passed a
series of tests conducted by a NATO evaluation team that demonstrated it is
qualified as a High Readiness Forces Headquarters. The team will recommend to
NATO's SACEUR that the force has attained full operational capability.
Sept. 11 - On the first anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against
the United States, official services, vigils, and commemorations were held throughout
Europe. NATO and the EU held separate ceremonies in Brussels to remember the
victims of the attacks.
Sept. 3 - Greece, Poland, and Turkey signed an agreement to join the Eurocorps by detaching staff members to the Eurocorps headquarters in Strasbourg. Similar agreements
will be signed soon by Austria and Finland. Italy, the Netherlands, and the
UK each contribute a liaison officer. The five original Eurocorps
members are Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Spain. The Eurocorps is an autonomous European rapid-reaction
formation designed for NATO and EU deployment.
August 27 ‑ Press reports stated that according to
the European Commission's legal service, if a country were to sign a
bilateral accord with the US exempting Americans from prosecution by the
International Criminal Court, they would be in violation of the treaty
establishing the court. EU member‑states have not agreed on a common
position on this issue, which was expected to be discussed at a meeting of EU
foreign ministers in Denmark at the end of August.
August 26 ‑ According to press reports, Bush
administration officials warned the EU that the U.S. role in NATO and
transatlantic military cooperation could change if EU nations refuse to sign
agreements to grant American forces immunity from the International Criminal
According to a survey of support for EU membership in 13
EU candidate countries, opposition to EU membership has increased in the
Czech Republic, Latvia, and Slovenia, while support for EU membership has
increased in Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. The three latter countries are
not among the 10 European countries expected to finalize EU membership
negotiations by the end of this year.
August 23 ‑ According to press accounts, Bush
administration officials said that if NATO applicants refuse to sign
bilateral agreements with the US giving US forces immunity from the
International Criminal Court, the US could not avoid raising the issue within
NATO ‑ most likely at the NATO summit schedule to be held in Prague
November 21‑22. US officials have denied that they are pressuring NATO
applicants to sign such accords. So far only Romania among the NATO
applicants has signed an accord with the US. Countries that refuse to sign
these agreements with the US would be denied US military aid under the terms
of the US law, the American Service Members Protection Act.
August 21 ‑ The Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov signed a protocol with Afghanistan regarding
arms and ammunition Bulgaria agreed to provide to the Afghan Army. This was
the second contribution from Bulgaria to Afghanistan following a May 2002
delivery of weapons and ammunition to support the interim Afghan government.
Bulgaria is considering making a third donation of military supplies as well
as humanitarian aid.
August 16 ‑ NATO Secretary General Robertson
expressed his sympathy for the citizens and governments of countries hit by
the worst flooding in 150 years. The countries are: Austria, the Czech
Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. He said that NATO's Euro‑Atlantic
Disaster Response Coordination Center was facilitating assistance or offers
of assistance from 13 NATO and PfP countries. Click
here for Secretary General Robertson's statement:
and here for information on the EARCC and the latest situation reports on the
floods in Europe: http://www.nato.int/eadrcc/home.htm.
Countries affected by these floods will have to spend
billions of euros to repair damaged areas. This financial pressure has led
Austria to reduce a planned purchase of fighter jets and may lead the Czech
Republic and Germany to cancel or reduce some its pending military orders
that are considered crucial to the development of Europe's defense industrial
July 25 ‑ NATO Secretary General Robertson gave a
speech in London in which he said that closer transatlantic defense
industrial cooperation is a key to improving NATO's defense capabilities.
Click here for the text of his remarks: http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2002/s020725a.htm.
July 19 ‑ NATO's Defense Planning Committee approved
the disbandment Allied Command Europe Mobile Force Land, NATO's premier rapid
reaction force. According to NATO, disbanding the ACE Mobile Force reflects
progress in adapting NATO's force structure concept to the strategic
environment, but press reports stated that the force was disbanded because
Britain removed its 1,500 troop contingent to make it available for possible
military action against Iraq. Britain provided a quarter of the force's
troops, and seventeen other countries contributed troops to the force. Click
here for a NATO statement on this issue: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2002/p02-098e.html
July 23 – On the day that marked its 50th anniversary,
the treaty that established the European Coal and Steel Community, which
paved the way for the development of the European Union, expired. Click here
for more information: http://www.europa.eu.int/ecsc/index_en.htm
July 19 – NATO appointed US Marine Corps Commandant General James
Jones to replace General Joseph Ralston as SACEUR.
July 18 – Former NATO Secretary General and Dutch Foreign Minister
Joseph Luns died in Brussels at the age of 90. Dr. Luns served as NATO Secretary General from 1971 to 1984
– the longest anyone has held the position.
July 5-6 – Ten Central and East European countries that seek to join
NATO held a summit in Riga, Latvia to reaffirm their common vision of a
united Europe and assess their progress toward meeting their goal of NATO
membership since they met in Vilnius, Lithuania two years ago. Click here for
the summit's web site: http://www.rigasummit.lv/en/?id=34.
July 3 – German General Harald Kujat
became Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, replacing Italian Admiral
July 2 – In response to a US request, NATO announced it had asked US
Army General William Kernan to step down as
SACLANT. The position will remain
unfilled pending a review of the NATO command structure that is scheduled to
be approved at the Prague summit in November 2002.
July 1 – The International Criminal Court (ICC),
which was created in 1998, officially came into being. This court was set up
to prosecute cases of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The
US government does not recognize the authority of this court. In the days
immediately following the ICC's formal establishment, the United States
threatened to block approval of all UN peacekeeping missions unless its
troops were given total immunity from prosecution by the ICC. See http://www.un.org/law/icc/index.html.
June 29 – The Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary,
Poland, and Slovakia, whose countries constitute what is known as the Visegrad group, said they had decided to coordinate their
efforts to join the EU. All four countries are expected to join the EU in
2004. The Visegrad group was established by
then-Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland in 1991 and later developed into an
informal regional cooperation group after all its members applied to enter
the EU. The group's statement also supported Slovakia's efforts to join NATO.
June 26 – Russia became a full-fledged member of the G-8 economic
club. In 2006 Russia will hold the G-8 presidency, and the G-8 summit will be
held in Moscow.
June 21-22 – EU leaders held a European Council in Seville, Spain.
This summit was principally focused on enlarging the EU and combating illegal
immigration. During the meeting EU leaders were not able to resolve a dispute
involving Greece and Turkey that stands in the way of a final NATO-EU
agreement on EU access to NATO military assets.
June 20 – On a visit to the United States, NATO Secretary General
Lord Robertson delivered a speech at the American Enterprise Institute called
"Tackling Terror: NATO's New Mission": http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2002/s020620a.htm.
June 17 – EU defense
ministers reached an agreement on how to fund military missions carried out
under the Common European Security and Defense Policy. Non-military costs
will be financed through a common budget, while military costs will be paid
by the individual nations participating in an operation. The cost of
headquarters for EU-led operations will be included in the common budget.
June 13 – The US formally withdrew from the 1972
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Some US Members of Congress, including Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio),
filed a lawsuit the previous day to prevent the US administration from
withdrawing from the treaty without the approval of the US Congress. The suit is not expected to succeed in
light of legal precedents for this case.
June 10 – US President George W. Bush signed into a
law the Gerald B.H. Solomon Freedom Consolidation Act of 2001. The legislation endorses further
enlargement of NATO and authorizes $55.5 million in security assistance for
seven candidate countries (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania,
Slovakia, and Slovenia).
During a visit to Estonia, former US President Bill
Clinton said that in his view the three former Soviet Baltic states (Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania) are ready for NATO membership.
June 6-7 – The North Atlantic Council in Defense
Ministers Session met in Brussels to discuss the Alliance’s
post-September 11 agenda, which is focused on enlargement, enhancing military
capabilities, and a new relationship with Russia. During the meeting NATO defense
ministers launched a review of the Alliance’s forces, capabilities, and
military strategy. US Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested during the meeting that European NATO
allies spend between 2 and 2.5 percent of their Gross Domestic Product on
defense. According to NATO
figures, spending among these countries averaged 2 percent in 2001. Click here for the final communique:
. Click here for a statement the
ministers issued on NATO military capabilities: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2002/p02-074e.htm
May 31 – French President Jacques Chirac issued a
directive to his Council of Ministers (or cabinet) asking them to revise the
law that governs French military spending for 2003-2008. He asked that they increase French
defense spending and realign French defense priorities to take account of
September 11, French deployments in Afghanistan and the Balkans, and other
factors. These moves are expected
to result in the first significant real increase in defense spending of a
major European ally in recent years.
May 29 – EU officials declared that Russia is a
market economy. This action paves
the way for increased EU-Russia trade and Russian entry into the World Trade
Organization by making a broad range of Russia goods exempt from EU tariffs
and through other measures. The
EU is Russia’s largest trading partner. On June 6 US President Bush called
Russian President Putin to say the US also regards Russia as a market
May 28 – The first meeting of the recently created
NATO-Russia Council was held during a NATO-Russia summit. Click here for the text of the
document, “NATO‑Russia Relations: A New Quality,” which was
approved by Heads of State and Government of NATO and the Russian Federation:
May 23 – During his second visit to Europe (which
included stops in Germany, Russia, France, and Italy), US President George
Bush delivered a major address on transatlantic relations and the war on
terrorism before a special session of the German Bundestag. During the speech President Bush
endorsed the second round of NATO enlargement and called for further
adaptation of NATO to prepare it for the challenges of terrorism and weapons
of mass destruction. Click here
for the text of his speech: http://www.usembassy.de/bush2002/bundestag.htm
– Turkish officials announced that on June 20 Turkey will assume
command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, a
peacekeeping force involving 18 countries. In addition to the 261 Turkish troops
already deployed in Afghanistan, Turkey will send another 1,000 troops. At Turkey’s insistence, the force
will remain confined to the Kabul area as it has been since it was first
deployed in December 2001 under British command.
May 22 – NATO officials said the Alliance’s
peacekeeping mission in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM),
whose mandate ends on June 26, would be extended until October 26. This action was taken at the request
of the President of FYROM. Germany will hand over command of the NATO force to the
Netherlands. The NATO force is in
FYROM to protect international monitors overseeing a peace plan.
The EU is developing plans to take over command of this
force when the extended NATO mandate expires. However, for the EU to command this
force it will need access to NATO military assets. An agreement to allow the EU to use
NATO assets has not been approved by NATO and EU member Greece. EU officials are seeking to finalize
the agreement (which is known as “Berlin Plus” and dates to 1996)
by the end of June.
May 17 – The United States Senate passed the Gerald
B.H. Solomon Freedom Consolidation Act of 2001 by a vote of 85-6. The bill
endorses further enlargement of NATO and authorizes security assistance
grants for countries seeking to join the Alliance. The bill passed the House
on November 7 by a vote of 372-46. Click here for the text of Senate bill
and here for the full text of the Senate debate on the bill from May 16: http://www.expandnato.org/freemay16.htm.
May 14-15 – NATO Foreign Ministers held a meeting in
Reykjavik, Iceland that was “a vital stepping stone on the road to
NATO’s summit in Prague” scheduled for November 21-22. Ministers discussed adapting NATO to
meet the challenges of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, improving
European defense capabilities, enlarging NATO’s membership, and
developing a new NATO-Russia relationship, among other issues.
Reykjavik marked a “historic breakthrough in
NATO-Russia relations” with agreement to establish a NATO-Russia
Council to replace the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council. The NATO-Russia
Council will give Russia a voice within the Alliance but not a veto over its
decisions. It will operate on the
basis of consensus and will be formally inaugurated at a NATO-Russia summit
outside Rome on May 28. Ministers
also formally launched the second round of NATO enlargement and admitted
Croatia into the Membership Action Plan (MAP), which is a NATO program
designed to help prepare aspirant countries for admission into the
Alliance. Click here for the NATO
press releases issued at the Reykjavik meeting: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/2002/0205-ic;/0205-icl.htm
May 13 – US and Russian officials
agreed to reduce their strategic nuclear forces by two-thirds over ten
years. The agreement expires in
2012 and gives both parties the right to pull out with 90 days
notice. The agreement is
expected to be only three pages long and calls for warheads to be
de-activated (or removed from the platforms used to launch them), not
May 9 – The North
Atlantic Council approved reductions in NATO troop levels in Southeast
Europe. By the middle of 2003
NATO peacekeeping forces in Bosnia will be reduced from 19,000 to 12,000 and
those in Kosovo will be reduced from 38,000 to 33,200. There are currently about 2,000 US
troops serving in Bosnia and about 6,300 serving in Kosovo.
May 3 – Ministers for
Foreign Affairs and Representatives of 36 member-states of the Council of
Europe signed an amendment to the Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights that abolished the death penalty. The amendment will become effective after at least 10 member-states
ratify it; 8 member-states chose not to sign the amendment.
May 2 – Against a
backdrop of deteriorating transatlantic relations, US and EU officials met in
Washington for the semi-annual US-EU summit. The officials discussed a wide range
of issues from trade to terrorism, the Middle East, and Russia but failed to
achieve any significant breakthroughs.
May 1 – US Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that NATO patrols of US air space using AWACS
planes, dubbed “Operation Eagle Assist,” would end on May
16. The AWACS patrols began on
October 19, 2001 and marked the first time NATO assets were used to protect
the continental US. NATO
officials said the patrols were no longer needed due to improved US air
April 30 – A report
published in the German newspaper Die Welt said the German Navy will
command operations in the war on terrorism off the Horn of Africa beginning
in May. On April 24 German
Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping said the German
Navy has eight combat units, support ships, and other forces operating in the
Gulf of Aden in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
April 29 – The Turkish
cabinet issued a statement saying Turkey would assume command of the
International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan for six months. Britain has led the ISAF since it was
created in January 2002. The date
of the command transfer has not yet been determined. This will mark the first time Turkey
has assumed full command of a multinational force. NATO’s SHAPE facility will
provide planning assistance for the Turkish-led force.
April 22 ‑ The EU and Algeria signed an association
agreement in Valencia, Spain.
April 11 – US
government officials said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld plans to
recommend that President Bush nominate Marine Corps commandant General James
Jones to succeed General Joseph Ralston as NATO's SACEUR. If approved by
Congress and allied countries, General Jones would be the first US Marine
General to hold the SACEUR position.
April 10 – NATO
Secretary General Lord George Robertson said the Alliance had offered to
conduct the military planning for a Turkish-led peacekeeping force in
Afghanistan, even though it would not be a NATO-led mission. Turkey was
considering whether to take over command of this force from Britain in June
April 9 – US
President George W. Bush met with NATO Secretary General Lord George
Robertson at the White House to discuss the war on terrorism and other
issues. During the meeting President Bush thanked Lord Robertson for his
leadership and "the help of our NATO friends" in the war on terror.
According to US Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns, President Bush also told
Lord Robertson how much NATO's decision to invoke Article 5 on September 12
meant to him. Article 5 of the Washington Treaty says that an attack on one NATO
ally is considered an attack on all NATO allies. Click here for the text of
remarks by President Bush and Lord Robertson: http://www.expandnato.org/lordbush.html
March 26 – Press reports suggested
that Romania and Bulgaria’s contributions to the war on terrorism had
enhanced their chances of receiving an invitation to join NATO at the NATO
summit scheduled to take place in Prague in November. It is widely
anticipated that Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will be invited to
begin accession negotiations as well as Slovakia, unless fall elections there
return authoritarian leader Vladimir Meciar to
Prime Ministers of ten new European democracies known as the "Vilnius
Group" that seek membership in NATO and the EU issued a joint statement
confirming their commitment to "the building of a free, indivisible, and
secure Europe", the values of democracy, a market economy, and human
rights, and support for the international coalition against terrorism. The
Vilnius Group includes Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Click here for the
text of the "Bucharest Vilnius-10 Declaration":
– EU transportation ministers approved the launching of Galileo,
Europe’s satellite navigation and positioning system. Recent reports in the US media have
described Galileo as a competitor to the US-developed Global Positioning
System (GPS). US and EU officials have worked together to try to ensure that
the two systems are compatible.
March 22-23 – EU
Defense Ministers held an informal meeting in Saragoza,
Spain, which NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson also attended. The
leaders discussed, among other issues, the proposal issued by EU Heads of
State and Government on March 15-16 at a summit in Barcelona to have the EU
assume command of NATO's Task Force Fox, a peacekeeping mission in the Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The change of command would only take
place after elections are held in FYROM and after conclusion of EU-NATO
negotiations on giving the EU assured access to NATO capabilities. This
operation would be the first joint European military action under full EU
March 18 – The British
government announced that it would send some 1700 Royal Marines to join US
forces in front line fighting against al Qaeda and Taliban forces.
March 6 –
Five European soldiers (two Germans and three Danes) attached to the
international peacekeeping force were killed and seven wounded by an
explosion as they were trying to defuse anti-aircraft missiles left behind by
March 5 – It was reported that several NATO allies were
contributing forces to the US-led “Operation Anaconda,” intended
to trap and defeat residual Taliban and al Qaeda forces in the mountains of
eastern Afghanistan. US forces
suffered eight killed and 40 wounded in the early stages of the
campaign. French fighter
aircraft, bombers and troops, forces from Canada, Germany, Denmark and Norway
as well as non-NATO member Australia reportedly were involved in the
fighting. The news followed
several months of complaints from European allies that their offers of
assistance had largely been ignored by the Bush administration.
March 1-15 – A major NATO military exercise called "Strong
Resolve 2002" took place in Norway and Poland. The exercise tested
NATO's ability to conduct two simultaneous operations: a NATO Article 5
collective defense operation and a crisis response operation. It involved
naval, ground, and air forces from the Alliance's two strategic commands: the
Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces Europe (SHAPE) and the Headquarters
Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (HQ SACLANT).
February 28 –
A “Convention on the Future of Europe” opened in Brussels under
the leadership of Valery Giscard d’Estaing, former president of France,
seeking to chart a course for the European Union’s future institutional
and political development.
February 18 - European Union leaders decided that the EU will take command
of a police task force in Bosnia-Herzegovenia from
the United Nations beginning on January 1, 2003. The 500-person team will
train and supervise police in Bosnia-Herzegovina in what would be the EU's
first crisis management mission.
February 3 –
The annual Munich conference on international security (formerly know as the “Wehrkunde
Conference”) concluded after two days of transatlantic exchanges on the
growing gap between US and European defense efforts. One German defense official reportedly
observed that, with large projected increases in US defense spending, “At this rate, we won’t
even be able to communicate with you, much less fight alongside
you.” NATO Secretary
General Lord Robertson warned against Europe settling for the status of
“a military pygmy,” creating a militarily two-tiered alliance.
January 19 –
US Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind), in a speech to
the US-NATO Missions Annual Conference in Brussels, warned that NATO would
become “increasingly marginal” if the alliance did not take a
more active role in the war on terrorism and in efforts to deal with threats
from weapons of mass destruction. Lugar cautioned “…the Alliance must
fundamentally rethink its role in the world in the wake of September 11th.”
For the text of Lugar’s speech go to http://www.senate.gov/~lugar/011702.html
January 1 –
The euro became the common currency for twelve of the fifteen European Union
members. The new currency unit
replaces national currencies in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. EU members Britain, Sweden and Denmark
have so far chosen not to adopt the new currency.
December 18 – NATO defense ministers discussed ways in which the
Alliance should adapt to the requirements of the war on terrorism, in
particular by acquiring more forces that can be deployed far from alliance
territory. NATO Secretary General Robertson and US Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld said this meant NATO allies needed to devote more resources to
defense. Rumsfeld also called for reducing the NATO peacekeeping presence in Bosnia
"by at least 6,000" troops no later than next year, which would
reduce the US presence in Bosnia from about 3,100 to about 2,100 troops. For
the defense ministers statement on NATO’s response to terrorism see http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2001/p01-173e.htm
December 14-15 – At a summit in Laeken,
Belgium, EU leaders appointed former French President Valery Giscard
d'Estaing to head a Convention on the Future of Europe to review institutional
changes needed in advance of the EU's planned enlargement. The EU expects to
complete accession negotiations with 10 candidate countries (Cyprus, Estonia,
Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic, the Czech
Republic and Slovenia) by the end of 2002. They said the EU rapid reaction
force "is now capable of conducting some crisis management
operations." They were not able to reach final agreement on the EU/NATO
relationship because of objections from Greece about a pre-summit deal between
the EU and Turkey that would give Turkey a consultative role in the EU force.
EU leaders also reached agreement on a European arrest warrant and a common
definition of terrorist offenses.
December 13 – US President Bush gave Russia formal notice that the
US will withdraw from the 1972 ABM treaty in six months in order to pursue
unrestricted testing of US missile defense systems. Russian President Putin
called the move a "mistake" but said it was not a threat to
Russia's security interests.
December 6 – NATO foreign ministers announced they
had decided to create, with Russia, “a new NATO-Russia Council, to
identify and pursue opportunities for joint action at 20.” They said that “...new, effective
mechanisms for consultation, cooperation, joint decision, and
coordinated/joint action” should be in place by the time of their next
meeting in Reykjavik in May 2002. The ministers made it clear that the new council would not give Russia
a veto over NATO decisions. Click
here for the NAC communiqué: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2001/p01-158e.htm
November 25 – U.S. Marines moved into southern Afghanistan. As many
as 2,000 U.S. conventional ground troops may eventually be deployed. The
US-led international coalition includes troops from many nations including,
for example, Australia, Canada, Japan, and Turkey as well as many European
nations. The European countries contributing military forces include: the
Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and
the UK. Germany's deployment marked its first military deployments outside
Europe since World War II.
November 22 – NATO Secretary General Robertson proposed the creation
of a Russia-North Atlantic Council in which Russia would have status equal to
NATO's 19 member-states and would have veto power on certain subjects.
British Prime Minister Blair made a similar proposal the previous week.
November 19-20 – EU foreign and defense ministers held a
Capabilities Improvement Conference in Brussels to assess progress made since
their meeting a year ago to acquire the capabilities their planned
rapid-reaction force would require. They said they had acquired two-thirds of
the necessary capabilities.
November 14 – British marines and U.S. special operations troops
arrived at an airfield north of Kabul as preparations began for an
international security force to maintain order and facilitate the delivery of
humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. The force is expected to include troops from
Canada, France, and the UK as well as a number of Muslim countries such as
Jordan and Turkey.
October 19 – The ground phase of the war in
Afghanistan officially began with public disclosure of the introduction of
special military forces.
EU member states held a summit in Ghent, Belgium that was
dominated by discussion of the war in Afghanistan. EU leaders conveyed their “total
solidarity” with the US-led military campaign and said they supported
the objective of eliminating the al Qaeda organization. However, they did not call for
overthrowing the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, as an early draft of their
communique had stated. The
leaders of Britain, France, and Germany held a mini-summit to coordinate
their military role in the conflict, an event that upset the Italian
government and other EU governments not invited to participate.
8 – French General Marcel Valentin became the first French military
official to head the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force in Kosovo, which
consists of 42,000 troops most of which are European.
During the second day of US-led strikes on Afghanistan, EU foreign
ministers offered unanimous support for US actions and pledged a $292 million
aid package for refugees.
Canada said it would send 2,000 troops, including a commando unit, six
warships, and six airplanes. France offered the US use of its naval forces in
the Indian Ocean and said it had intelligence agents in Afghanistan working
with opposition forces. Italy and Spain pledged to send troops if requested
by the US. Japan made plans to provide non-combat logistical support.
NATO deployed its Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED) to the
Eastern part of the Mediterranean and announced it would deploy five AWACS
(airborne warning and control system) reconnaissance and surveillance planes
to the US to assist with domestic counter-terrorism operations. This marked
the first time NATO assets were used to protect the continental United
States. France said it would send planes from its AWACS fleet to Bosnia to
replace the NATO AWACS to be deployed over the US. Australia offered Special
Air Services troops in addition to other troops already committed to the
mission (for a total of 1,000 troops) plus refueling and surveillance
October 7 – The United States and the United Kingdom launched the
first wave of strikes against targets in Afghanistan associated with the
al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban regime. Australia, Canada, France,
and Germany contributed to the US-led military effort.
October 6-9 – During the forty-seventh annual meeting of the NATO
Parliamentary Assembly, NATO legislators and security experts from NATO
countries met in Ottawa, Canada to discuss possible NATO responses to the
threat of terrorism and the current state of the Alliance. The head of the
delegation of the Russian Federal Assembly, Lubov Sliska and NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Rafael
Estrella signed a document outlining a framework of cooperation between the
Russian Federal Assembly and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly: http://www.nato-pa.int/publications/special/rus-framework.html
Click here for the plenary speech by President Estrella: http://www.naa.be/publications/speeches/estrella011009.html
and here for the Declaration on the Fight Against Terrorism adopted at the
Ottawa meeting: http://www.naa.be/plenary/01ottawa/au-262-en.html
October 4 – Following a US request, NATO agreed to provide eight
measures, individually and collectively, to support the US-led campaign
against terrorism. In a statement to the press, NATO Secretary General
Robertson outlined the measures to be taken: http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2001/s011004b.htm
October 3 – Following meetings in Brussels with EU officials and
NATO Secretary General George Robertson, Russian President Vladimir Putin
pledged Russian cooperation in the struggle against terrorism. Putin said
that the fight against terrorism was leading Russia to take "an entirely
new look" at NATO's plans for enlargement. Putin declared "If NATO
takes on a different shade and is becoming a political organization, of
course we would reconsider our position with regard to such expansion, if we
are to feel involved in such processes." During a Russia-EU summit held
in Brussels, Russia and the EU agreed to hold monthly discussions on foreign
and defense policy issues.
French General Marcel Valentin became the first French military officer to
head the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force in Kosovo, which consists of 42,000
troops, most of which are European.
October 2 – US Ambassador at Large and State Department Coordinator
for Counter-terrorism Francis Taylor gave a classified briefing to NATO's
North Atlantic Council on evidence the US had gathered to date regarding the
perpetrators of the September 11 terrorist attacks against the US. NATO
Secretary General Robertson said at a press conference that since it had been
determined that the September 11 terrorist attacks were directed from abroad,
they were considered an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty:
The North Atlantic Council agreed to issue the Execution Directive
authorizing the SACEUR to issue the activation order for "Operation
Amber Fox." This new NATO mission had a specific mandate to protect
international monitors overseeing implementation of a peace plan in the
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The mission will be led by Germany
with the participation of 700 troops from NATO nations. Click here for a NATO
press briefing on this mission: http://www.nato.int/fyrom/tff/2001/t011002a.htm
September 27 – US President George W. Bush met with
President of the European Commission Romano Prodi and Belgian Prime Minister
and President of the European Council Guy Verhofstadt
at the White House to discuss the September 21 emergency EU meeting on the
terrorist attacks against the US.
September 26 – NATO defense ministers met in Brussels to discuss the
Alliance's response to the terrorist attacks against the United States. US
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz indicated that the United States
did not anticipate a collective NATO response to the attacks despite the
invocation on September 12 of Article 5. Click here for statements issued by
NATO Secretary General Robertson at this meeting: http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2001/s010926a.htm
September 21 – EU leaders held an emergency European Council in
Brussels to express their solidarity with the US in the aftermath of the September
11 terrorist attacks and endorse a counter-terrorism proposal which included
authorizing Europol (the EU police agency) to work closely with US law
enforcement agencies. German Chancellor Schroeder called for the summit.
September 20 – In an historic address before a joint session of the
US Congress, US President George W. Bush proclaimed the Bush doctrine, which
says that "From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or
support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile
US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage briefed NATO Secretary
General Robertson and the North Atlantic Council on information the US had
obtained to date on the September 11 terrorist attacks.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, EU external relations commissioner
Chris Patten, and Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel (on behalf of the
Belgian Presidency of the European Council) met with US Secretary of State
Colin Powell in Washington to discuss the recent terrorist attacks on the US.
These leaders issued a US-EU ministerial statement on combating
EU justice and home affairs ministers held a meeting in Brussels and
issued a series of counter-terrorism proposals aimed at eliminating legal
loopholes in the EU.
September 19 – The United States launched the first phase of its
response to the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington,
DC. Over 100 fighter planes, bombers, and other aircraft left the US for
bases in the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf, and the former Soviet Republics of
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
September 12 – NATO's North Atlantic Council agreed that if it is
determined that the terrorist attacks carried out against the World Trade
Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington on September 11 were
directed from abroad against the United States, they will be regarded as an
action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which states that an
armed attack against one or more of the Allies in Europe or North America
shall be considered an attack against them all. This is the first time in
NATO's history that Article 5 has been invoked.
According to the NATO statement, "The commitment to collective self-defence embodied in the Washington Treaty was first
entered into in circumstances very different from those that exist now, but
it remains no less valid and no less essential today, in a world subject to
the scourge of international terrorism. When the Heads of State and
Government of NATO met in Washington in 1999, they paid tribute to the
success of the Alliance in ensuring the freedom of its members during the
Cold War and in making possible a Europe that was whole and free. But they
also recognised the existence of a wide variety of
risks to security, some of them quite unlike those that had called NATO into
existence. More specifically, they condemned terrorism as a serious threat to
peace and stability and reaffirmed their determination to combat it in
accordance with their commitments to one another, their international
commitments and national legislation.
Article 5 of the Washington Treaty stipulates that in the event of attacks
falling within its purview, each Ally will assist the Party that has been
attacked by taking such action as it deems necessary. Accordingly, the United
States' NATO Allies stand ready to provide the assistance that may be
required as a consequence of these acts of barbarism."
In addition, EU foreign ministers met to discuss the terrorist attacks and
expressed their solidarity with the United States in the wake of the attacks.
They also declared that September 14 would be a day of mourning in honor of
the victims of the attack and asked that all Europeans observe three minutes
of silence on September 14. NATO Secretary General Robertson held a rare
joint meeting with EU foreign ministers.
September 11 – In the worst terrorist incident in US and world
history, terrorists destroyed the World Trade Centers in New York and a wing
of the Pentagon in Washington, DC, killing over 3,000 people and injuring
many more. Final casualty figures have not yet been determined.
August 22 – The North Atlantic Council authorized NATO's SACEUR to
issue the activation order for "Operation Essential Harvest," a
NATO mission to collect and destroy the weapons of ethnic Albanian insurgents
in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). (On June 20 the North
Atlantic Council approved a plan for this mission which laid out four
pre-conditions for the thirty-day deployment: a political agreement signed by
the main parliamentary leaders; a status of forces agreement with FYROM; an
agreed plan for weapons collection, including an explicit agreement by the
ethnic Albanian armed groups to disarm; an enduring cease-fire.)
June 15-16 – The EU summit in Gothenburg, Sweden was marred by the
most violent street protests in Swedish history. All 12 EU candidate
countries attended the summit, and EU leaders agreed to plan to complete
entry negotiations with these countries by the end of 2002. Some of these
countries are expected to accede to the EU by 2004. The statement issued by
the Swedish presidency said the process of EU enlargement was
June 15 – In a speech in Warsaw US President Bush outlined his
vision of a Europe "whole, free, and at peace" and said all new
European democracies "from the Baltic to the Black Sea and all that lie
between" should be able to join European institutions, especially
June 13-14 – During his first official visit to Europe, US President
George Bush attended a NATO summit in Brussels and a summit with EU leaders
in Gothenburg, Sweden. The key issues discussed at the NATO meeting included
missile defense, the conflict in Macedonia, NATO's Defense Capabilities
Initiative, the EU defense force, and NATO enlargement. The principal topics
discussed at the US-EU meeting were global warming, trade, the Middle East,
and the Balkans. This meeting marked the first time a US president was
invited to meet with the entire European Council. Click here for statements
issued at the NATO meeting by President Bush: http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2001/s010613g.htm and NATO Secretary General
June 12 – NATO's Military Committee met for the first time with the
EU's Military Committee at NATO headquarters in Brussels. They discussed
NATO-EU security cooperation. Click here for a NATO press release on this
June 7-8 – NATO defense ministers met in Brussels. Discussions
centered on US missile defense proposals, NATO-EU relations, the situation in
the Balkans, and NATO's Defense Capabilities Initiative. Click here for the
final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2001/p01-086e.htm
; here for a statement issued on the DCI: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2001/p01-089e.htm
; and here for a statement issued on the Balkans: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2001/p01-088e.htm.
The NATO/Russia Permanent Joint Council and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership
Council also met.
May 29-30 – NATO foreign ministers met in Budapest, Hungary where
they held the first ever NATO meeting in a former Warsaw Pact country. US
Secretary of State Powell attempted to persuade his European colleagues that
the Alliance faces a common missile threat. Reportedly, some European allies,
including France and Germany, disagreed with the US assessment of the threat
of ballistic missiles. In a departure from past practice, the communique did
not mention the ABM treaty. Ministers also discussed tensions in the Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the NATO-led Stabilization Force in
Bosnia-Herzegovina, NATO-EU cooperation, the planned EU defense force, and
other security issues. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2001/p01077e.htm.
On May 30 the first formal NATO-EU ministerial meeting was held. Click
here for NATO Secretary General Robertson's opening statement at the EU-NATO
May 24 – NATO Secretary General Robertson condemned attacks by
ethnic Albanian insurgents on government forces of the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia.
May 14 – The North Atlantic
Council today authorized the Commander of KFOR to allow the controlled return
of Yugoslav and Serbian security forces into Sector B of the Ground Safety
Zone (GSZ) beginning on May 24 as the final step in a phased and conditioned
April 4 – The Atlantic Community Initiative was established to
promote dialogue on Euro-Atlantic issues and to strengthen the community of
shared values and common interests among democratic nations in the
March 26 – During a visit to Skopje, NATO Secretary General
Robertson and EU High Representative Solana urged ethnic Albanian insurgents
and government forces in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to show
restraint. NATO and the EU coordinated their efforts to resolve the conflict
between these parties.
March 21 – The North Atlantic Council approved further measures to
enhance stability in the southern Balkans and to demonstrate its support for
the government in Skopje in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
March 8 – The North Atlantic Council announced measures relating to
southern Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, including a
phased reduction of the Ground Safety Zone (GSZ). The GSZ was created to
provide a buffer zone between KFOR and Yugoslav forces in southern Serbia.
February 26 – Following the December 2000 European Council meeting held
in Nice, France, EU foreign ministers signed a new Treaty amending the Treaty
on European Union and the Treaties establishing the European Communities (the
Treaty of Nice).
February 15 - 21 – NATO conducted its annual crisis management
exercise (CMX 2001) involving, for the first time, the participation of 14 PfP countries.
January 31 – The North Atlantic Council and EU Political and
Security Committee held their first-ever meeting at Ambassadorial level.
December 14 – NATO foreign ministers met to discuss NATO-EU defense
cooperation. They reached agreement on NATO's approach to permanent
arrangements between the Alliance and the EU, but work remained in the area
of modalities for EU access to NATO assets and planning. Ministers also
welcomed proposals made by EU ministers at their Nice summit to work toward a
NATO-EU strategic partnership in crisis management.
December 7-9 – A European Council was held in Nice, France during
which EU leaders welcomed progress of accession candidates in meeting the conditions
for membership in the EU. The Intergovernmental Conference concluded with a
political agreement on the Treaty of Nice. The lengthy, protracted
negotiations that preceded this agreement were marked by struggles between
larger and smaller EU member-states and the continuing precedence of national
over European interests in EU decision-making.
On the margins of the Nice European Council, the Presidents of European
Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission formally
proclaimed the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The
Charter deals with political rights of EU citizens regarding workers' rights,
the right to good administration, bioethics, and protection of personal data.
December 5 – NATO defense ministers met for their regular
end-of-year meetings. Key items of discussion included: progress on
implementing the Defense Capabilities Initiative (DCI) and on developing
arrangements with the European Union to allow NATO to support EU-led crisis
management operations with assets and capabilities in circumstances where the
Alliance as a whole is not engaged.
November 23-24 – The European Union held a Balkans summit in Zagreb,
Croatia bringing all the countries of the Balkans region together for the
first time. Summit leaders issued a declaration saying that progress toward
regional cooperation and reconciliation is directly related to rapprochement
between the region and the EU, which is governed by the stabilization and
association process. Click here for the text of the Zagreb declaration: http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/see/sum_11_00/statement.htm
November 20-21 – During the EU Capabilities Commitment Conference,
EU member-states pledged contributions to a planned corps-sized rapid
reaction defense force. Candidate countries Norway and Iceland also agreed to
contribute to the force.
November 8 – The European Commission delivered to the European
Council a report on enlargement, consisting of progress reports assessing the
preparation of the candidate countries and an "Accession
Partnership" proposal identifying key issues Turkey needed to address
before starting accession negotiations.
October 16 – General Carlo Cabigiosu of
Italy assumed command of the NATO-led KFOR, replacing General Ortuño of Spain who had held the position since
April 18, 2000.
October 10 – At an informal NATO defense ministers meeting, Lord
Robertson emphasized the importance of increasing European defense spending
and reforming the armed forces of NATO's European allies, if disparities
between North American and European military capabilities are to be reduced.
October 9-10 – In response to dramatic developments in Serbia,
including the removal from office of Serb President Slobodan Milosevic, the
EU lifted sanctions Serbia and proposed extending the Stabilization and
Association Process for Southeastern Europe that was launched in 1999.
September 28 – In a referendum a majority of Danish
citizens voted against their country participating in the EMU.
September 19 – The first-ever meeting of NATO and the European Union
at ambassadorial level was held at the EU Council of Ministers building.
September 12 – EU sanctions against Austria issued in February were
lifted following the release of a positive EU review of Austria's human
rights record. EU leaders said the sanctions were lifted because they had
been effective in sending a warning to other far-right parties in Europe.
July 24 – The first meetings of the NATO-EU Ad Hoc Working Groups
took place Brussels, as a consequence of decisions taken by both
organizations to work together on the development of an EU military crisis
June 19-20 – At a two-day summit in Feira, Portugal, The EU leaders
identified mechanisms to allow non-EU European Allies to contribute to EU
military crisis management and principles for consultation with NATO on
military issues in four areas: security issues; capability goals; the
modalities for EU access to NATO assets; and the definition of permanent
consultation arrangements. In addition, Greece's entry in the EMU was
May 31 – The last EU-US summit in which US President Bill Clinton
participated was held in Lisbon, Portugal. Discussions centered on US plans
to develop a National Missile Defense (NMD) system.
May 3 – US General Joseph W. Ralston became NATO's
April 18 – The Eurocorps assumed command of
KFOR. It replaced LANDCENT forces in this rotational function at KFOR
headquarters and assumed command of all KFOR troops for the next six months.
March 23-24 – A special European Council was held in Lisbon, Portugal,
to decide on a new Union strategy to strengthen employment, economic reform
and social cohesion as part of a knowledge-based economy.
February 23 – The first-ever joint crisis management exercise between
NATO and the WEU ended. For a week participants from both organizations
tested crisis management mechanisms and consultation arrangements they had
put together over the last few years. The scenario of the exercise was based
on a peace support mission in which the WEU led an operation using NATO
assets and capabilities.
February 14 – The EU Intergovernmental Conference on institutional
reform opened in Brussels, Belgium.
February 3-4 – The European Parliament passed a resolution
condemning the xenophobic and racist statements of Joerg
Haider, leader of Austria's Freedom party.
January 31 – EU member-states downgraded their bilateral relations
with Austria to protest the inclusion of the far-right and populist Freedom
party in the new Austrian coalition government. This action did not affect
Austrian ties to the EU itself.
January 24 – EU foreign ministers agreed on limited sanctions
against Russia because of its renewed campaign against separatists in
January 15 – The opening session of the EU Intergovernmental
Conferences for accession negotiations of Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,
Romania, and Slovakia to the EU was held in Brussels, Belgium. Candidate
countries were reminded of the qualifications for EU membership, including
especially putting into practice the acquis communitaire (the body
of rights and obligations EU member-states derive from EU treaties, laws, and
regulations), following EU policies, especially in the areas of agriculture,
justice and home affairs, and the environment, and aligning with the EU in
relations with third countries and international organizations.
December 10-11 - At European Council held in Helsinki, Finland, EU leaders
decided to open accession negotiations with Bulgaria, Malta, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia and to recognize Turkey as an applicant
country. They agreed to call an Intergovernmental Conference to revise the
Treaties establishing the European Communities in February 2000. Key
decisions were taken toward the development of an EU rapid-reaction defense
force, specifically, a plan to create by 2003 a 60,000 person corps-sized
force for humanitarian, peacekeeping, and crisis management missions as well
as political and military institutions to provide political guidance and
strategic direction for the force.
December 3 - For the first time since its launch on January 1, the Euro
was valued at less than $1.00. Since that time the Euro's value has remained
September 23 - The EU welcomed the completion of the disarmament of the
Kosovo Liberation Army and the formation of a multi-ethnic Kosovo Protection
July 30 - A Stability pact for southeastern Europe was agreed at a meeting
of the European Union Council of Ministers in Koln, Germany.
June 21 - At an EU-US summit in Bonn, Germany, the EU and the United
States issued a joint statement to strengthen their partnership under the New
Transatlantic Agenda and, in particular, to work together to prevent and
resolve international crises. They also agreed to set up an early warning
system to enable both sides to detect the warning signs of potential
conflicts soon enough to defuse a situation before it leads to damaging trade
June 20 - NATO announced that all Yugoslav military and police forces had
June 11 - Russian troops entered Pristina, Kosovo in advance of KFOR
troops. NATO's first KFOR troops arrived three hours later.
June 10 - NATO announced the suspension of air operations following
Yugoslav President Milosevic's agreement to withdraw his troops from Kosovo
after 78 days of air strikes. The UN Security Council authorized the
deployment of an international peace enforcement force to Kosovo (KFOR) with
NATO at its core.
June 3-4 - At a European Council meeting in Cologne, Germany, EU leaders
adopted a common European Union strategy toward Russia and issued
declarations on Kosovo and the strengthening of European Common Foreign and
Security Policy. They also designated former NATO Secretary General Javier
Solana High Representative for the CFSP and Secretary-General of the Council.
April 23-25 - NATO heads of state and government held a 50th anniversary
summit in Washington. Alliance officials approved a new strategic concept (http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1999/p99-065e.htm
) to guide the Alliance in the
21st century and a Defense Capabilities Initiative (http://www.nato.int./docu/pr/1999/p99s069e.htm
) designed to address
shortcomings in the military capabilities of NATO members. They also
addressed the risks of weapons of mass destruction, welcomed progress toward
a European Security and Defense Identity within NATO, and vowed to continue
the NATO air campaign against Yugoslav forces in Kosovo until the conditions
of the international community were met. The summit was the first in which
new members the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland and partner nation
Ukraine participated. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council also met at
summit level. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1999/p99-064e.htm Click here for the Washington
Although the new strategic concept did not explicitly extend NATO's
Article 5 commitment to include responding to these threats, summit leaders
said that "alliance security interests can be affected by other risks of
a wider nature, including acts of terrorism, sabotage, and organized crime,
and by the disruption of the flow of vital interests."
April 12 - The North Atlantic Council specified the five conditions the
Serb leadership had to fulfill regarding Kosovo: an end to military action
and repression of Kosovar Albanians; withdrawal of all Serb forces;
acceptance of an international military presence; the return of refugees; and
willingness to enter into negotiations for a political settlement based on
the Rambouillet formula.
March 24-25 - At a special European Council in Berlin, Germany, an overall
agreement on Agenda 2000, a plan to deepen and widen the EU, was reached.
March 24 - NATO Secretary General Solana announced NATO's intention to
take military action against the Federal republic of Yugoslavia. He said the
objectives of NATO actions were to prevent further human suffering and
violence and the spread of instability in the region and were directed
against the repressive policies of the Serb leadership toward Kosovo. NATO
initiated air operations against military targets.
March 22 - The North Atlantic Council authorized the NATO Secretary
General to decide on a broad range of air operations to end the Serb
repression of Kosovo.
March 19 - The Paris negotiations on an Interim Peace Agreement for Kosovo
were suspended when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia announced it would not
sign the agreement.
March 15 - In the wake of a damaging report by the EU's Committee of
Independent Experts on allegations regarding fraud, mismanagement and
nepotism in the European Commission, the entire Commission resigned.
The negotiations on an Interim Peace Agreement for Kosovo resumed in
March 12 - The Czech, Hungarian, and Polish Foreign Ministers deposited
their instruments of accession to the Washington Treaty at the Truman Library
in Independence, Missouri in accordance with Article 14 of the North Atlantic
Treaty. With this action, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland officially
become members of NATO.
February 9 - The Hungarian parliament votes overwhelmingly in favor of
February 7 - Kosovo Peace talks began between Serb and Kosovo Albanian
representatives in Rambouillet, France.
January 30 - NATO announced it was prepared to support the Contact Group's
Kosovo peace efforts with military force, if necessary, including the use of
airstrikes against targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia should both
parties refuse to comply with the conditions set out by the international
January 28 - NATO Secretary General Solana issued a statement in support
of the six-nation Contact Group's proposals to mediate the conclusion of an
interim political settlement in Kosovo within a specified time frame. NATO
decided to increase its military preparedness to ensure the demands of the
international community were met. The Contact Group included France, Germany,
Italy, Russia, the US, and the UK).
January 1 - The Euro was officially launched. Austria, Belgium, Finland,
France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal and
Spain adopted the Euro as their official currency for banking and financial
transactions. On the first day of trading, the Euro's value climbed to $1.19.
December 31 - The European Council adopted fixed and irrevocable
conversion rates between the national currencies of the 11 participating
member-states and the euro.
December 11-12 - At a European Council held
in Vienna, Austria, EU leaders decided to strengthen the process of
convergence of member-state employment policies with a view to a European
employment pact, laid down arrangements for external representation of the
euro, and approved an action plan for the establishment of an EU area of
freedom, security and justice.
December 4 - Meeting in the French resort
town of Saint Malo, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President
Jacques Chirac, and French prime Minister Lionel Jospin issued a joint statement
calling for the European Union to develop an autonomous military capability.
The Saint Malo declaration,
which is considered by analysts as the event that launched the drive for an
EU military force, said the EU should have "the capacity for autonomous
action, backed up by credible military forces, the means to decide to use
them, and a readiness to do so, in order to respond to international
December 2 - The Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia agreed to allow a NATO force to be stationed on its territory. The
NATO force was designed to evacuate OSCE verification personnel from Kosovo.
November 16-17 - At a WEU ministerial
meeting, ministers adopted the Rome Declaration on relations between the
European Union and NATO that reaffirmed the WEU's desire for close
cooperation with NATO. Ministers also called for debate on developing a
European security and defense identity in advance of implementation of the
Treaty of Amsterdam and said it should focus on strengthening European
military capacities to handle crises, especially so-called
"Petersberg" missions, which include humanitarian and rescue
operations, crisis management, and peacekeeping.
October 27 - NATO Secretary General Javier Solana noted improvement of the
security and humanitarian situation in Kosovo and also reaffirmed NATO's
readiness to begin an air campaign in Yugoslavia subject to an assessment of
the North Atlantic Council.
October 13 - In light of the non-compliance of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia with UN resolutions, the North Atlantic Council issued activation
orders for limited air strikes and a phased air campaign in Yugoslavia.
October 9 - NATO and Russia expressed full support for diplomatic efforts
aimed at securing a political solution to the crisis in Kosovo and stressed
the need for compliance with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. The UN
resolutions required the cessation of hostilities between Yugoslavia and
Kosovo and initiation of a dialogue between the Serb and Kosovar Albanian
September 24 - The North Atlantic Council approved the issuing of an
“activation on warning” for both a limited air option and a
phased air campaign in Kosovo. An activation on warning allows NATO commanders
to identify assets required for a NATO air operation.
July 15 - The Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the
United States issued a report which said "rogue states" would be
able to launch ballistic missile attacks on the US homeland within five years
or less. The commission was headed by Donald Rumsfeld who had served as
Secretary of Defense during the Ford administration. (In 1995 the CIA issued
a national intelligence estimate which said that it would take fifteen years
for such nations to develop this capability.) Click here for an unclassified summary
of the classified report: http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/bm-threat.htm
June 12 - At a meeting of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, NATO
and Russian defense ministers agreed to continue NATO-Russia cooperation in
SFOR and condemned the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's use of force in the
Serb province of Kosovo as well as attacks by Kosovar extremists.
May 28 - At a meeting of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint
Council, NATO and Russia condemned nuclear tests conducted by India and
Pakistan. The Indian testes were conducted on May
11 and 30 and those of Pakistan on May 28 and 30.
May 26 - The Governments of EU member-states that planned to adopt the
Euro appointed by common agreement the president, vice-president, and other
members of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB
was established on June 1.
May 3 - At a special European Council EU leaders decided that 11
member-states satisfied the conditions for adoption of the single currency on
1 January 1999. The European Commission and the European Monetary Institute
set out conditions for determination of irrevocable conversion rates for the
April 30 - In an 80-19 vote approving the Resolution of Ratification, the
US Senate gave its advice and consent to NATO enlargement. The Senate debate
leading to passage of the resolution stressed the costs of enlargement, how
Russia would be affected by it, potential security threats, and the
possibility of further enlargement.
April 29 - The Kyoto Protocol on climate change was signed in New York,
March 30 - An EU Ministerial meeting launched the accession process for
the 10 Central and Eastern European applicant countries and Cyprus.
March 25 - The European Commission adopted the monetary convergence report
and recommended that 11member-states adopt the Euro on 1 January 1999.
Denmark, Great Britain, and Sweden decided not to adopt the Euro, and Greece
did not yet meet the convergence criteria necessary to adopt it.
March 16 - The Drachma entered the European Monetary System (EMS) exchange
December 18-19 - An OSCE General Assembly meeting concluded with an
agreement on guidelines to work out a European Security Charter.
December 16-17 - NATO foreign ministers signed Protocols of Accession for
the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in the presence of their respective
foreign ministers. Click here for the Final Communiqué of the
Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1997/p97-155e.htm and here for the Chairman's Summary of
the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1997/p97-157e.htm.
December 12-13 - The European Council met in Luxembourg and launched EU
enlargement process by endorsing the European Commission's recommendation to
begin accession negotiations in March 1998 with Cyprus, the Czech Republic,
Estonia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia.
December 8 - The European Union and Mexico signed an agreement on economic
partnership and political cooperation.
December 2-3 - The first meeting of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint
Council at Defense Ministers level was held. Military chiefs of staff from 44
countries also met in the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.
Defense Ministers of 15 NATO member countries met within the Nuclear Planning
Group and Defense Planning Committee. The 16 members of the Alliance met
shortly afterwards in the North Atlantic Council. Click here for the Final
Communiqué of the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Defense
Ministers Session: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1997/p97-149e.htm; here for the Final Communiqué
of the Ministerial Meeting of the Defence Planning Committee and the Nuclear
Planning Group: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1997/p97-150e.htm;
and here for the Chairman's Summary of the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic
Partnership Council in Defence Ministers Session: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1997/p97-151e.htm .
December 1-10 - An international conference on climatic change was held in
Kyoto, Japan and concluded with a commitment by industrialized countries to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
November 18 - WEU foreign and
defense ministers met in Erfurt, Germany and agreed on harmonizing the EU and
November 16 - Hungarians voted overwhelmingly (85 percent) to join NATO in
a national referendum.
October 9 - Ukraine and Hungary became the first non-NATO countries to
open diplomatic missions to the Alliance
October 2 - Foreign ministers of the EU's member-states signed the Treaty
September 30 - NATO defense ministers held two days of informal meetings
in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The planned opening up of NATO to new
members, the continuation of NATO's mandate in Bosnia, and the adaptation of
Alliance's command structure were discussed.
September 26 - NATO and Russian Foreign Ministers met for the first time
as the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council. A work plan was approved that
provided for consultations on confidence building measures in arms control,
joint peacekeeping in Bosnia, and the stationing of Russian military
representatives at NATO.
September 23 -- Representatives from the Czech Republic began accession
talks with NATO.
September 16 -- Representatives from Poland began accession talks with
September 10 - Representatives from Hungary began accession talks with
July 23-24 - The third international donors' conference for reconstruction
of Bosnia-Herzegovina was held in Brussels.
July 22 - A WEU Extraordinary Council adopted a declaration, to be annexed
to the final Act of the Amsterdam Treaty, on its role and its relations with
the EU and NATO.
July 16 - The European Commission proposed a comprehensive strategy to
reform EU policies, funding activities, and enlargement known as "Agenda
2000 - for a Stronger and Wider Europe". The Commission also issued its
views on the EU membership applications of 10 Central European countries.
July 11 - US General Wesley K. Clark became NATO's SACEUR.
July 9 - Heads of State and Government of NATO and Cooperation Partners
held a meeting under the aegis of the Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Council
(EAPC). The meeting focused on how the EAPC could most effectively be used to
contribute to security and stability.
July 8 - At a North Atlantic Council meeting in Madrid, NATO Heads of
State and Government agreed to invite the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland
to begin accession talks with NATO with a view to becoming members of the
Alliance, after completion of the ratification process, in April 1999. They
reaffirmed that NATO remains open to new members under Article 10 of the
North Atlantic Treaty and agreed to review the process at their next meeting
in 1999. Leaders also signed the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between
NATO and Ukraine and issued a special declaration on Bosnia and Herzegovina
reaffirming their commitment to the full implementation of the Peace
Agreement and to the establishment of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a single,
democratic and multiethnic state. Click here for the Madrid Declaration: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1997/p97-081e.htm and
here for the declaration on Bosnia and Herzegovina: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1997/p97-082e.htm .
July 1 - Luxembourg assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European
June 20-22 - The "G7" economic grouping became the
"G8" with Russia's inclusion at a summit in Denver, Colorado.
June 16-17 - The European Council met in Amsterdam and reached consensus
on a draft Amsterdam Treaty to revise the Maastricht Treaty on European
Union. It approved various proposals to facilitate the third phase of
Economic and Monetary Union and adopted a resolution on growth and
employment. EU leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to the Stability and
Growth pact and adopted a resolution on growth and employment. During the
Amsterdam summit, EU leaders made no significant progress on assuming
responsibility for their own defense.
June 12-13 - NATO defense ministers met in Portugal and were unable to
resolve intra-Alliance differences over a new integrated command structure.
Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1997/p97-071e.htm
and here for the final communiques of the Defense Planning Committee and
Nuclear Planning Group ministerials: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1997/p97-070e.htm
June 9 - At a meeting in Luxembourg of EU finance ministers, the new
French socialist government said it believed the German-inspired Stability
and Growth Pact could become a fiscal straitjacket.
June 4 - The European Commission adopted an action plan for the Single
May 30 - The final meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council
(NACC) and inaugural meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC)
were held in Sintra, Portugal. NATO and Cooperation Partner Foreign Ministers
approved the EAPC Basic Document: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1997/p97-066e.htm
May 29 - On the margins of a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Sintra,
Portugal, NATO Secretary General Solana and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Udovenko initialed a "Charter for a Distinctive
Partnership Between NATO and Ukraine". Click here for the final
May 27 - A NATO-Russia summit was held in Paris during which leaders
signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between
NATO and the Russian Federation.
May 14 - NATO Secretary General Javier Solana and Russian Foreign Minister
Yevgeni Primakov reached agreement on the
"Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO
and the Russian Federation".
May 6 - The new Labour government in the UK, which was led by pro-European
Prime Minister Tony Blair, said it planned to sign the EU Social Chapter at
the Amsterdam Treaty in June. The Social Chapter is a provision of the
Maastricht Treaty that deals with employment and workers' rights.
April 29 - The EU signed co-operation agreements with Cambodia and Laos.
April 24 - The US Senate approved the Chemical Weapons Convention, a
global treaty banning chemical weapons. The convention entered into force on
April 15 - The first of 6000 Italian-led multinational security landing
forces arrived at the Tirana airport in Albania. Operation Alba was designed
to protect humanitarian aid deliveries to Albania. WEU members agreed that
non-members Turkey and Norway would have the option of playing a full role in
any WEU operations launched with NATO equipment.
March 20-21 - US President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris
Yeltsin met in Helsinki to talk about future NATO-Russia relations. The
parties did not issue a joint statement on NATO plans to expand eastwards but
signed a general statement about European security.
March 16 - EU foreign ministers met in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands to
discuss EU enlargement among other issues.
March 11 - A WEU conference was
held in Athens to discuss security problems in light of NATO and EU
March 7 - US Secretary of Defense William Cohen confirmed the US'
intention to withdraw US forces from Bosnia-Herzegovina when the SFOR mandate
expired in June 1998.
February 24 - The European Commission and the Palestine Liberation
Organization adopted a joint statement establishing regular political
dialogue and signed a Euro-Mediterranean interim association agreement for
February 20 - NATO allies proposed
major changes to the CFE Treaty, which limits conventional forces in Europe.
NATO now accepted the principle of limits on the arsenals of individual
countries as opposed to regions. The Alliance also accepted Russia's desire
to have territorial rather than national limits on troops deployments, which
effectively prevents NATO from massing troops in one particular area near
February 18 - Newly-appointed US
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright attended her first NATO foreign
ministers meeting in Brussels and proposed the creation of a permanent
February 4 - In his State of the
Union address US President Bill Clinton vowed to enlarge NATO's membership by
1999 and to establish a "stable partnership" with Russia.
January 21 - Negotiations on a
revision of the 1990 CFE treaty started in Vienna.
January 1 - The Netherlands assumed the Presidency of the Council of the
December 20 - SFOR, with an eighteen-month mandate, took over from IFOR in
Bosnia-Herzegovina as the NATO-led peace enforcement force.
December 17-18 - NATO defense ministers met in Brussels to review progress
on reform of NATO command structures, creation of CJTF headquarters, and
plans for transition from the Implementation Force (IFOR) to the
Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1996/p96-172e.htm
December 17 - Kofi Annan became UN Secretary General.
December 16 - A transatlantic summit between the EU and US was held in
December 10 - At a meeting in Brussels, NATO foreign ministers agreed to
convene a NATO summit in July 1997 to invite "one or more"
candidate countries to join NATO. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1996/p96-165e.htm
Ministers also agreed that IFOR forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina should remain
fully operational until the end of December after which a follow-up force with
a new mandate would be necessary. Click here for the statement issued on
The Euro-Mediterranean interim agreement with the PLO was initialed.
December 9 - German Chancellor Kohl and French President Chirac signed an
agreement on mutual security and defense.
December 4-5 - At a European Council in Dublin, EU leaders agreed on
various elements necessary for introduction of the single European currency
(including a legal framework, the stability and growth pact, and a new
exchange rate mechanism) and approved the Irish government's draft treaty for
the IGC to revise the Maastricht treaty.
December 2-3 - At a meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, the Heads of State and
Government of the fifty-five members of the OSCE signed the "Lisbon
Declaration on a Common and Comprehensive Security Model for
November 25 - The Italian Lira re-entered the EMS exchange rate mechanism.
November 14 - The Spanish Parliament endorsed the decision of the Spanish
government to take the steps necessary to integrate Spain into NATO's
November 5 - US President Bill Clinton was elected to a second term.
October 28 - A cooperation agreement was signed between the EU and the
Republic of Korea.
October 14 - The Finnish Mark joined the EMS exchange rate mechanism.
October 5 - At a special European Council held in Dublin, EU leaders
confirmed the timetable for the IGC to revise the Maastricht treaty, which
was planned to end in June 1997.
October 2 - The WEU Council decided to end the Danube embargo enforcement
operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
October 1 - The European Council agreed on EC action for a total ban on
September 27 - EU member-states signed a convention on extradition and a
protocol on protection of the EU's financial interests.
September 24 - China, France, the UK, the US, and Russia signed a
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
August 27 - Russian special envoy for the Chechnya conflict Alexander
Lebed brokered an agreement on ending the conflict that began at the end of
1995 in Chechnya.
July 19 - The North Atlantic Council endorsed an overall NATO
standardization program involving fifty standardization objectives.
July 3 - Boris Yeltsin was re-elected President of the Russian Federation.
July 1 - Ireland assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European
June 21-22 - At a European Council in Florence, EU leaders laid out the
objectives of the IGC to revise the Maastricht treaty, endorsed a plan
proposed by the European Commission to eradicate BSE, and resolved the issue
of the Court of Justice's authority to interpret the Europol convention.
June 12 - The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joined the PfP program.
June 10 - Slovenia applied to join the EU.
June 3 - NATO foreign ministers, meeting in Berlin, took decisions which
helped shape the post-Cold War internal adaptation of the Alliance. In
particular, they agreed that a European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI)
would be built within NATO allowing European officers in the NATO structure
to occupy command positions in a parallel WEU structure. They agreed that
NATO structures and assets could be made available for future WEU-led
military missions. In addition, they agreed to implement the Combined Joint
Task Force concept. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1996/p96-063e.htm
May 9 - SHAPE and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia concluded a memorandum of understanding which codified practical
arrangements for the detention and transfer of persons indicted for war
May 2 - NATO Secretary General Javier Solana and WEU Secretary General
Jose Cutileiro signed a security agreement which
established procedures for protecting and safeguarding classified information
provided by either organization.
April 29 - The North Atlantic Council stated that IFOR had produced a
secure environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina during its first four months.
March 29 - The EU's intergovernmental conference (IGC) to revise the
Maastricht Treaty opened in Turin, Italy. The European Council defined the
IGC's agenda. (This IGC concluded in June 1997 in Amsterdam).
March 27 - The European Commission imposed a worldwide export ban on
British beef and beef products- due to the British government's announcement
of a possible connection between BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), a
disease which affects cattle, and a human brain condition called
January 26 - The US Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification of
the START II Treaty.
January 17 - The Czech Republic applied to join the EU.
January 15 - The UN Security council authorized a 5,000-strong force
backed by NATO air power for Eastern Slavonia.
January 5 - The Russian Parliament voted in favor of deployment of Russian
forces to Bosnia to join the NATO-led peacekeeping mission. Russian forces in
IFOR had special command and control arrangements. The deployment began on
January 4 - Negotiations opened in Vienna under OSCE auspices on
confidence building and arms control measures in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
January 1 - Italy assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European
A customs union between the EU and Turkey entered into force.
December 19 - Twenty-eight countries signed the Wassenaar
Arrangement on armament and technology export controls. The Wassenaar Arrangement was the successor to COCOM.
December 18 - The first US troops arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and command
of the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina was transferred from
UNPROFOR to the NATO-led IFOR.
December 15-16 - At a European Council in Madrid, EU leaders set March 29,
1996 as the start date for the planned intergovernmental conference and confirmed
that the single European currency, the euro, would be introduced on January
December 16 - Bulgaria applied to join the European Union.
December 14 - President Alva Izetbegovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia, and President Slobodan
Milosevic of Serbia signed the Bosnian Peace Agreement in Paris.
The Hungarian Parliament approved the temporary stationing of NATO troops
in Hungary in support of the IFOR mission.
December 12 - Lithuania applied to join the European Union.
December 5 - At a meeting in Brussels, NATO foreign and defense ministers
approved the SACEUR's operation plan "Joint Endeavor" for the
implementation of the Dayton peace agreement, including the deployment of
60,000 troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The German Parliament voted to
contribute 4,000 troops to this mission. Click here for the final
France returned to the non-integrated military bodies of NATO for the
first time since 1966. French leaders said they would take part regularly in
NATO's Military Committee and Defense Planning Committee and in other NATO
bodies except for the Nuclear Planning Group.
NATO foreign ministers appointed former Spanish foreign minister Javier
Solana as NATO Secretary General.
December 3 - US President Bill Clinton, European Commission President
Jacques Santer, and European Council President
Felipe Gonzalez signed the New Transatlantic Agenda (NTA) in Madrid, Spain.
The NTA is a comprehensive statement on areas of US-EU cooperation: http://www.useu.be/TransAtlantic/nta1295.html#iv2
November 28 - NATO defense ministers and Russian Defense Minister General
Pavel Grachev agreed on an arrangement providing
for Russian participation in the Implementation Force (IFOR) in
Bosnia-Herzegovina under US as opposed to NATO command.
November 27-28 - At a Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona, Spain,
EU member-states and twelve Mediterranean countries ("the Med 12")
signed the Barcelona Declaration, a plan for long-term partnership between
the EU and states in North Africa and the Middle East. One goal of the declaration
was to create a Europe-Mediterranean free-trade area by 2010.
November 27 - Estonia applied to join the European Union.
November 21 - Officials from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia who
were holding US-brokered negotiations in Dayton, OH agreed on a peace plan
November 14 - At a meeting in Madrid, Spain, WEU foreign and defense
ministers affirmed the objective of developing the WEU as a means to
strengthen the European pillar of NATO.
November 13 - The US Senate's Foreign Relations and Armed Services
Committees blocked ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
November 7 - US and EU officials signed a Euratom-US
agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
November 1 - Bosnian peace talks began in Dayton, Ohio. An agreement on
the reintegration of Eastern Slavonia into Croatia was signed at Dayton.
October 27 - NATO and WEU officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding
to enable direct communication between the two organizations.
Latvia applied to join the European Union.
October 21 - Willy Claes resigned as NATO
September 21 - NATO's North Atlantic Council approved a Study on NATO
Enlargement outlining the membership requirements for countries wanting to
join NATO. On September 28 NATO officials presented the conclusions of this
study to the governments of its NACC and PfP
September 2 - NATO military commanders were authorized to resume strikes
against Bosnian Serb military targets at any time to deter further aggression
against UN-designated safe areas. On September 5 NATO resumed attacking
Bosnian Serb military targets following further Serb violations of the
August 30 - NATO launched "Operation Deliberate Force," a series
of air strikes on Bosnian Serb targets across Bosnia. NATO Secretary General Claes indicated the attacks were designed to bring the
Bosnian Serbs to the negotiating table. On September 1 the strikes were
temporarily suspended after Bosnian Serbs agreed to withdraw heavy weapons
from the 20 kilometer-exclusion zone around Sarajevo.
August 1 - The US House of Representatives voted to end the Bosnian arms
NATO launched "Operation Deliberate Force," during which they
attacked Bosnian Serb positions with aircraft and artillery in response to
the shelling of Sarajevo.
July 26 - EU member-states signed the Europol Convention on police
July 12 - The EU and UN demanded that Bosnia Serbs withdraw from
July 11 - NATO aircraft attacked targets in the Srebrenica area of
July 2 - Srebrenica came under the heaviest shelling it received since
being declared a UN safe area. The UN War Crimes Tribunal formally indicted
Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic with charges of
genocide and crimes against humanity.
July 1 - Spain assumed the Presidency of the European Union.
June 27 - Slovakia applied to join the European Union.
June 22 - Romania applied to join the European Union.
June 15 - Slovenia signed a Europe Agreement.
June 12 - Europe Agreements were signed by the three Baltic states,
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
May 30-31 - Russia formally accepted the Russian Individual Partnership
Program under the Partnership for Peace and approved the document,
"Areas for Pursuance of a Broad, Enhanced NATO-Russia Dialogue and
Cooperation." Click here for the NATO-Russia cooperation document: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c950531a.htm
and click here for a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c950531b.htm
May 27 - The North Atlantic Council demanded that the Bosnian Serbs stop
their attacks on UN safe area and comply with the UNPROFOR ultimatum to
remove all heavy weapons from the Sarajevo exclusion zone or place them under
UN control. NATO officials condemned the killing and detention of UN
May 11 - In a joint EU action under the Common Foreign and Security
Policy, the Treaty on Non-proliferation on Nuclear Weapons (NPT treaty) was
extended for an unlimited period.
May 3-10 - The European Commission adopted a white paper on preparing the
associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe for integration into the
EU's internal market.
April 28 - Austria signed the Schengen agreement.
April 10 - The European Council adopted a report on the functioning of the
Treaty on European Union in preparation of the 1996 EU intergovernmental
March 26 - The Schengen agreement on removing border and passport controls
between Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and
Spain entered into force.
March 20-21 - The Stability Pact for Central and Eastern Europe was signed
and adopted in Paris.
March 16 - Slovakia and Hungary reached an agreement on a treaty on
March 6 - Croatia formed a military alliance with the Bosnian Muslim-Croat
Federation. UNPROFOR remained in Croatia.
March 1 - The governments of France, Germany, Italy, and the US agreed to
develop on a cooperative basis a Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS).
January 31 - The US government announced a one-year extension of its
unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing.
January 24 - The North Atlantic Council agreed to establish a NATO
standardization program to improve the coordination of allied policies and
programs for technical and operational standardization.
January 1 - France assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European
Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the European Union.
The World Trade Organization came into being.
December 20 - The Council of the EU concluded Europe Agreements with
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Slovakia.
December 9-10 - At a European Council in Essen, Germany, EU leaders agreed
on an overall strategy to bring the associated countries of Central and
Eastern Europe closer to the EU and reiterated their determination to
establish a Euro-Mediterranean partnership, among other actions taken.
December 5-6 - CSCE participating states re-named the Conference on
Security and Cooperation in Europe as the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) at a summit in Budapest, Hungary. This change
took effect January 1, 1995. Summit leaders issued a declaration called
"Toward a Genuine Partnership in a New Era": http://www.osce.org/docs/english/1990-1999/summits/buda94e.htm
December 1 - The North Atlantic Council held a ministerial in Brussels.
Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c941201a.htm
November 28 - In a referendum a slim majority of Norwegian citizens voted
against accession to the EU.
November 24 - The North Atlantic Council issued a statement condemning
recent attacks on the UN safe area of Bihac by Bosnian Serb and Krajinan Serb forces and announcing measures to support
UN negotiation efforts: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c941124a.htm
November 23 - Following attacks against NATO aircraft, NATO forces carried
out an air strike on a surface-to-air missile site south of Otoka in former Yugoslavia.
November 21 - NATO aircraft attacked the Ubdina
airfield in Serb-held Croatia in response to attacks launched from Ubdina against targets in the Bihac area of
November 15 - The European Monetary Institute met for the first time in
November 14 - At a meeting of the WEU Council of Ministers with the
participation of Associate Partner countries, WEU ministers issued the Noordwijk Declaration, which endorsed preliminary policy
conclusions on the formulation of a Common European Defense Policy: http://www.weu.int/eng/comm/94-noordwijk-b.htm
November 13 - In a referendum a majority of Swedish citizens voted in
favor of accession to the EU.
November 11 - The US government announced that it would stop enforcing the
arms embargo on the Bosnian government and Bosniac/Croat
October 17 - November 8 - NATO's Rapid Reaction Corps held exercises in
October 17 - Willy Claes, former Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium became NATO Secretary
October 16 - In a referendum a majority of Finnish citizens voted in favor
of accession to the EU.
September 29 - 30 - NATO defense ministers met in Seville, Spain for
discussions on the situation in former Yugoslavia, peacekeeping and the
concept of Combined Joint Task Forces, defense cooperation with Central and
Eastern Europe, and other issues.
September 22 - Following an attack on an UNPROFOR vehicle near Sarajevo,
NATO aircraft launched an air strike on a Bosnian Serb tank.
September 13 - Lt. General John Sheehan was appointed Supreme Allied
Commander Atlantic (SACLANT).
September 12-16 - Thirteen NATO and Partner nations participated in the
first joint PfP training exercise, which was held
September 8 - France, the United States, and the UK removed their
remaining troops from Berlin.
September 2-10 - The first joint US-Russian peacekeeping exercises were
held on Russian territory.
September 1 - The last Russian troops left Berlin, completing Russian
withdrawal from Germany.
August 31 - The last Russian troops left Estonia, completing Russian
withdrawal from the three Baltic states.
August 13 - NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner died in Brussels.
Deputy Secretary General Sergio Balanzino of Italy
was appointed Acting Secretary General.
August 5 - NATO aircraft attacked a target within the Sarajevo Exclusion
Zone after Bosnian Serbs seized weapons from a UN collection site.
July 21 - Jacques Santer was formally appointed
President of the European Commission during a meeting of the European
Parliament. This was the first time the European Parliament used its
recently-acquired authority to approve the Council's nominee for the
July 18 - Free-trade agreements between the EU and Estonia, Lithuania, and
Latvia were signed in Brussels.
July 15 - During an extraordinary meeting of the European Council, Jacques
Santer of Luxembourg was chosen to succeed Jacques Delors as President of the European Commission.
July 12 - The German Federal Constitutional Court rules that German
participation in UN, NATO, or WEU peacekeeping missions would not violate the
July 11 - The North Atlantic Council issued a statement reiterating NATO's
willingness to participate in implementation of a peace agreement in
July 1 - Germany assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European
Spain joined the Eurocorps.
June 24-25 - At a European Council in Corfu, Greece, EU leaders signed
acts of accession with Austria, Finland, Norway, and Sweden and a partnership
and cooperation agreement between the EC, EU member-states, and Russia.
June 14 - A partnership and cooperation agreement between the EU and
Ukraine was signed in Luxembourg.
June 12 - In a referendum a majority of Austrian citizens voted in favor
of accession to the EU.
June 10 - At a NACC meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, foreign ministers issued
a third Report on Peacekeeping: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c940610a.htm Click here for the Istanbul
June 9 - At a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, NATO foreign ministers reviewed
progress on implementing decisions taken at the January Brussels summit and
noted that twenty countries had already joined the PfP.
Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c940609b.htm
The ministers also adopted a policy framework on the Alliance's approach
to weapons of mass destruction (WMD): http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c940609a.htm
May 26-27 - An inaugural conference for a Stability Pact for Central and
Eastern Europe was held in Paris. The Stability Pact was designed to help
avert conflicts over borders and minority rights and strengthen regional
cooperation and democratic institutions in Central and Eastern Europe.
May 9 - During a meeting of the WEU Council of Ministers in Kirchberg, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic,
Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia became
Associate Partners of the WEU.
April 26 - The first meeting of the "Contact Group" was held in
London. This group consisted of representatives from France, Germany, Russia,
the US, and the UK who attempted to craft a political settlement in the
April 22 - The North Atlantic Council authorized air strikes unless all
Bosnian Serb heavy weapons were withdrawn from an area within twenty
kilometers of Gorazde or any other UN-designated safe area if they were
attacked by heavy weapons by April 27. On that date NATO authorities
determined that there was general compliance with the deadline. Click here
for a summary of the decisions taken on April 22: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c940422b.htm
April 19 - The Council of the EU decided to take joint action under the
CFSP in support of the Middle East peace process.
April 15 - The Final Act of the GATT Uruguay round was signed in
Marrakech, Morocco. Click here for an official summary of the Final Act of
the Uruguay Round: http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/ursum_e.htm
April 10 - NATO aircraft provided close air support to UN personnel in Gorazde,
a UN-designated safe area in Bosnia-Herzegovina following a request from the
UN Force Commander.
April 5 - Poland applied to join the EU.
March 31 - Hungary applied to join the EU.
March 30 - Accession negotiations between the EU and Austria, Finland,
Norway, and Sweden were completed in Brussels.
March 29 - At an informal meeting on the Greek island of Ioannina, EU
foreign ministers reached a compromise agreement on qualified majority voting
in the European Council, which paved the way for EU enlargement.
February 28 - Four warplanes that violated the UN-mandated no-fly zone
over Bosnia-Herzegovina were shot down by NATO jets.
February 21 - NATO Secretary-General Woerner announced that NATO officials
had decided not to use air power because all heavy weapons had been withdrawn
from the Sarajevo exclusion zone.
February 9 - The North Atlantic Council condemned the continuing siege of
Sarajevo and said that any heavy weapons remaining in an area within twenty
kilometers of the city after February 20 would be subject to NATO air
strikes. Click here for the NAC statement: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c940209a.htm
February 7 - EU foreign ministers endorsed the need for NATO air strikes
if necessary to lift the Bosnian Serb siege of Sarejevo.
February 6 - UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali asked NATO to prepare for
possible air strikes against artillery positions in and around Sarajevo in
the aftermath of a mortar attack on a crowded market in the city.
February 5 - Bosnian Serbs launched a mortar attack on a crowded Sarajevo
marketplace which resulted in numerous deaths and casualties of civilians.
January 27 - Russian and NATO officials signed a military cooperation
agreement in Moscow that provides for exchanges of visits by senior
commanders and military experts and for joint training and exercises.
January 14 - The US, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement on procedures
for the transfer of Ukranian nuclear weapons to
Russia, and the US and Russia signed an accord which ended their targeting of
long-range nuclear missiles at each other.
January 10-11 - NATO leaders held a summit in Brussels during which they
took a number of key decisions. They launched the Partnership for Peace and
invited all NACC partner countries and CSCE states capable and willing to
participate to join the PfP. They also endorsed the
concept of Combined Joint Task Forces to give NATO greater flexibility in
future deployments of allied forces and stated their support for the
development of a European Security and Defense Identity, or greater Europe
role, in NATO. Click her for the PfP framework
and here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c940111a.htm
January 1 - Greece assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European
Stage II of EMU began and the European Monetary Institute was inaugurated.
December 16 - The UK and other EU countries established diplomatic
relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
December 15 - Delegations from states participating in the GATT Uruguay
Round negotiations signed an agreement in Geneva which opened the way for the
most extensive liberalization of world trade in history.
December 10-11 - At a European Council in Brussels, EU leaders decided to
convene a conference to conclude a stability pact with Central and Eastern
Europe (CEE). The stability pact, also known as the Balladur Plan, was
designed to normalize intra- CEE relations. It was proposed in April 1993 by
French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur.
December 9 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin, President of the European
Commission Jacques Delors, and President of the
European Council Jean Luc Dehaene signed a
declaration strengthening relations between the Russian Federation and the
December 8-9 - NATO defense ministers met to discuss NATO's new defense
roles, including support for UN and OSCE peacekeeping and the Combined Joint
Task Forces concept. Ministers also expressed their strong support for the
Partnership for Peace. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c931209a.htm
December 7 - Eurogroup ministers announced that
several of their subgroups would be transferred to NATO or the WEU and that
the organization would cease to exist as of January 1. Eurogroup
was an informal group of European NATO defense ministers.
December 6 - The European Commission and the Council of Ministers reached
agreement on a code of conduct governing public access to official documents.
December 3 - At a North Atlantic Cooperation Council ministerial, NATO and
NACC foreign ministers approved a report on Cooperation in Peacekeeping as
well as a work plan for 1994. Click here for a progress report on Cooperation
in Peacekeeping: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c931203b.htm
; here for the 1994 work plan: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c931203f.htm
; and here for a NACC statement from the meeting: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c931203a.htm
December 2 - At a North Atlantic Council ministerial, NATO foreign
ministers discussed the concept of the Partnership for Peace, a program to
build confidence and cooperation between NATO and former Warsaw Pact
countries, and related proposals in preparation for the January 1994 NATO
summit. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c931202a.htm
November 1 - The Treaty on European Union entered into force, and the
European Union came into being.
October 29 - At a European Council in Brussels, EU leaders confirmed that
the second stage of EMU would begin on January 1 and identified several areas
for joint action under the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
October 22 - US General George A. Joulwan became NATO's SACEUR.
October 12 - The German Constitutional Court said the Treaty on European
Union was compatible with the German constitution, which paved the way for
ratification of the TEU.
October 4 - Troops loyal to Russian President Yeltsin stormed the
headquarters of the Russian Parliament with tanks and machine guns. This
ended the occupation of the headquarters by Russian parliamentarians who
opposed Yeltsin's reform program.
October 1 - Lt. General Helmut Willmann became
the first commanding general of the Eurocorps.
September 21 - Russian President Yeltsin suspended parliament and called
for new elections on December 11-12. Russian Vice President Rutskoi and Parliamentary Chairman Khasbulatov urged the
armed forces to resist the suspension. They and other hardliners occupied the
headquarters of the Russian Parliament.
August 9 - The North Atlantic Council approved operational plans for air
strikes in Bosnia-Herzegovina to be implemented under the authority of the UN
Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
August 2 - The North Atlantic Council announced immediate preparations to
undertake stronger action in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including launching air
strikes against those responsible for committing atrocities in Sarajevo and
The UK ratified the Treaty on European Union.
July 1- Belgium assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European
June 25 - Belgium joined the Eurocorps.
June 21-22 - At a European Council in Copenhagen, Denmark, EU leaders
confirmed that the accession of Austria, Finland, Norway, and Sweden would be
completed by 1995 and assured the associated countries of Central and Eastern
Europe they would become full members once they satisfy the requisite
economic, political, and legal conditions.
June 18 - The UN Security Council approved deployment of 300 US troops to
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to join the 700 UN troops already
there to help prevent the Bosnian conflict from spreading.
June 11 - North Atlantic Cooperation Council foreign ministers approved a
program of cooperation for joint peacekeeping activities in support of the UN
and CSCE and published a report on Cooperation in Peacekeeping: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c930611b.htm
June 8 - NATO and the WEU ministers approved a single command and control
arrangement for the combined NATO/WEU naval operation in the Adriatic to
enforce the UN embargoes against Serbia and Montenegro.
May 25 - The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia was
created under UN Security Council Resolution 836. The tribunal was tasked to
prosecute people accused of serious criminal violations of international and
May 22 - The UN Security Council issued a joint action program to stop the
fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including provisions for safe areas.
May 19 - WEU member-states decided to make the Eurocorps
available to the WEU.
May 18 - In a second referendum, a majority of Danish citizens voted in
favor of the Treaty on European Union.
May 17 - Bosnian Serbs rejected the Vance-Owen plan.
May 6 - Under UN Security Council Resolution 824 the Bosnian capital,
Sarajevo, and five other Bosnian cities and their surrounding areas were
declared safe areas.
April 12 - The NATO operation to enforce the no-fly zone over
April 5 - Negotiations opened in Luxembourg on the accession of Norway to
April 2 - The North Atlantic Council directed the SACEUR to take
preparatory steps to implement UN Resolution 816, authorizing enforcement of
the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
March 10 - The North Atlantic Council directed NATO military authorities
to develop contingency plans for possible implementation of a UN peace plan
February 25 - March 4 - NATO conducted CMX 93, a crisis management
February 24 - NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner issued a statement
supporting the US decision to undertake air drops of humanitarian aid in
February 1 - Negotiations opened in Brussels on the accession of Austria,
Finland, and Sweden to the EU.
January 21 - The French and German Chiefs of Defense and NATO's SACEUR
signed an agreement defining the relationship between NATO and the Eurocorps. The agreement specifies possible Eurocorps missions within NATO and discusses other issues
related to NATO command of Eurocorps missions.
January 15 - US President Bush transmitted, for the advice and consent of
the US Senate, the Treaty Between the United States of America and the
Russian Federation on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive
Arms (the START III Treaty).
January 14 - NATO allies agreed on plans for enforcement of a no-fly zone
over Bosnia-Herzegovina, if requested to do so by the UN.
January 11-12 - UN envoy Cyrus Vance and EU envoy Lord David Owen proposed
what came to be known as the "Vance-Owen peace plan," which sought
to establish ten autonomous republics in the former Yugoslavia.
January 3 - US President George Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin
signed the START II Treaty in Moscow. The treaty reduced US and Russian
nuclear stockpiles by one-third and eliminated multiple warhead
Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. Click here for the text of the treaty: http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/starthtm/start2/st2intal.html and here for a message on the
treaty from President Bush to the US Congress: http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/start2/text/start2a_a.htm
January 1 - The Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovakia became
Denmark assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.
The Single European Market entered into force.