A LIVING HISTORY OF THE ATLANTIC COMMUNITY

      See below for September 26, 2012 update of chronology and links

 

FYI:  

NEW!! Recent articles by Stanley R. Sloan published on www.warontherocks.com:

Differing Perspectives on Ukraine, Russia, NATO and US Policy, March 31, 2014  http://warontherocks.com/2014/03/differing-perspectives-on-ukraine-russia-nato-and-us-policy/

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/

NEW!! Securing the 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

NEW!! Beyond 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.

NEW!!“Transatlantic Confessions” by Stanley R. Sloan, New Atlanticist Policy and Analysis Blog, March 14, 2013.

NEW!! “America’s Euro Fatigue” by Stanley R. Sloan, New Atlanticist Policy and Analysis Blog, September 2012.

NEW!! “NATO Chicago Summit:  A New Beginning?” by Stanley R. Sloan.

NEW!! Interview with Stanley R. Sloan anticipating the Chicago NATO  Summit, video produced by the US Embassy, Prague, the Czech Republic. (Please right click and “open link in new tab.”)

“Will We Need NATO after Afghanistan? by Stanley R. Sloan, New Atlanticist Policy and Analysis Blog, April 2012.

The 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 2012.   

“Fiddling While Rome Burns?”, Stanley R. Sloan, in Strategic Insights, Winter 2011 (link to entire issue).

“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).

“NATO and 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.  

“Counterpoint:  In Defense of NATO,” Stanley R. Sloan, International Herald Tribune, New York Times Global, 28 June 2011.

Permanent Alliance? NATO and the Transatlantic Bargain from Truman to Obama (Press Release from the Atlantic Community Initiative) July 15, 2010

 

Now Available!!!!

Sloan FINAL cover.jpg

 

Permanent Alliance?

NATO and the Transatlantic Bargain from Truman to Obama

 

Stanley R. Sloan

 

Pre-publication Reviews

 

"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 Association

 

"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

 

From Continuum:

 

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 Initiative (www.AtlanticCommunity.org) and a Visiting Scholar at the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs at Middlebury College.

 

 

Contents

 

Foreword by 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 Factors

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 Bargain

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 Bibliography
Index


 Click to order:  Continuum Books

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Living History: 1993-2012

(FOR 1941-1992, GO HERE)

2012

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 near term.

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 Euro-Atlantic area.”

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 families.

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 province.

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.

2011

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 in 2013.

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 Gaddafi.

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 enough."

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 Libyan crisis.

2010

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.

2009

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.

     – The 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 presence there.

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 Afghanistan.

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.

     – In 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 more troops.

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 commander.

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 tanker.

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.  

     – The 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.

     – The 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 institutions.

March 11 – French President Sarkozy announced that his government would return France to membership in NATO’s Integrated Command Structure.

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 threat.

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.

2008

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 completed.

December 9 – The European Union deployed its UN-mandated European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) to help develop Kosovo’s police and legal system.

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 launchers there.

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 territory.

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 Union.

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 defense plans. 

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 Summit Declaration.

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 address.

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.

2007 

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, 2004.

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 border.

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 transfers.

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 States.

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 “indivisible security.”

February 4 – US Army General Dan K. McNeill assumed command of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

2006

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.

December 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.

November 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.

 

November 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.

 

November 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.

 

October 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 operations.

      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.

July 1 -- Finland took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

 

June 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 challenges.

 

June 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.

 

June 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.

 

May 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 strategy       against Iran should negotiations fail to dissuade the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons capabilities.

 

May 24 – The African Union accepted NATO’s offer to extend its assistance in Sudan’s Darfur region.

 

May 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.

 

May 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.

 

May 7 – Vice President Cheney endorsed the NATO membership aspirations of Croatia, Albania and Macedonia.

 

May 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 leaders.

           - 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 tribunal.

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 Soviet bunkers.

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.

2005

December 22 – The government of The Netherlands said it planned to send up to 1,400 additional troops to Afghanistan for expanded NATO peace operations.

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 communiqué]

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 member states. 

- EU foreign ministers authorized the opening of cooperation agreement negotiations with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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 alliance.

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 anti-terrorist campaign.

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 necessary conditions.

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 enrich uranium.

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 The Netherlands.

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 required reforms.

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 invasison 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.

 

2004

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 United States.

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 urgent basis.

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 Middle East.

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 attacks.

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 Russian Federation.

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 airlift

June 1 – NATO assumed control of Kabul International Airport

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.”

April 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.

April 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.

March 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.

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 of Gibraltar.

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

March 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 sides."

February 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 one”

 

February 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.

 

– According 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.

 

February 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 23 February.

 

February 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.

 

January 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

 

January 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.

 

January 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.

 

January 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.

 

January 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 13 January.

 

January 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 Federation.

 

January 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.

 

January 9 – 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.

 

 

2003

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, Opinion from the Atlantic Community Initiative, December 11, 2003.

December 13 – 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 transatlantic alliance.

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 multinational operations,” 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 Thessaloniki, Greece.

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 final communiqué.

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, Transformation.

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 Council (NRC).

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 unknown.

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 Concordia:  http://ue.eu.int/pressdata/EN/declarations/75300.pdf

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 everything..."

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 international monitors.

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 information: http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2003/01-january/e0116a.htm

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.

2002

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

     During the 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 2004.

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.

     During the summit NATO leaders also agreed that NATO and the EU will hold their first joint military exercise next year.

     Click here 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 summit: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/2002/0211-prague/index.htm

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 treaties.

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 and planning.

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 Court.

 

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:

http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2002/p02-099e.html 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 base.

 

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 Guido Venturoni.

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:

http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2002/p02-072e.htm .  Click here for a statement the ministers issued on NATO military capabilities:  http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2002/p02-074e.htm

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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 economy. 

 

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: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b020528e.htm.

 

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 S.1572:  http://www.expandnato.org/senact2001.html 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 permanently dismantled.

 

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 defenses. 

 

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 2002.

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 office.

                The 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":
http://www.expandnato.org/dec.html

 

                – 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 command.

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 the Taliban.

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.

2001

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.

 

October 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 aircraft.

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: http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2001/s011002a.htm

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 and http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2001/s010926b.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 regime."

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 terrorism:  http://www.eurunion.org/news/press/2001/2001068.htm.

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 "irreversible."

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 NATO.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/06/200106151.html.

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 Robertson:  http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2001/s010613d.htm .

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 meeting:  http://www.nato.int/docu/ims/2001/i010612e.htm

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 meeting:  http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2001/s010530a.htm.

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 process.

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 Euro-Atlantic area.

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.

2000

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 response capability.

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 approved.

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 SACEUR.

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 Chechnya.

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.

1999

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 under $1.00.

September 23 - The EU welcomed the completion of the disarmament of the Kosovo Liberation Army and the formation of a multi-ethnic Kosovo Protection Corps.

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 disputes.

June 20 - NATO announced that all Yugoslav military and police forces had left Kosovo.

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 Declaration:  http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1999/p99-063e.htm 

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 Paris.

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 NATO membership.

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 community.

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.

 

1998

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 crises."

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 authorities.

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 Euro.

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, USA.

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 rate mechanism.

 

1997

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 WEU presidencies.

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 of Amsterdam.

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 NATO.

September 10 - Representatives from Hungary began accession talks with NATO.

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 Union.

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 Market.

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 communique:  http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1997/p97-065e.htm .

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 29.

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 enlargement.

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 five years.

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 Russia's borders.

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 Russia-NATO brigade.

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 European Union.

1996

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 Washington, DC.

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 Bosnia-Herzegovina:  http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1996/p96-166e.htm

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 Europe":  http://www.osce.org/docs/english/1990-1999/summits/lisbo96e.htm

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 military structure.

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 anti-personnel mines.

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 Union.

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 crimes.

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 Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

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 13.

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 Union.

A customs union between the EU and Turkey entered into force.

1995

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 1, 1999.

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 communique:   http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c951205a.htm

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 for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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 Secretary General.

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 partners.

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 UNPROFOR ultimatum.

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 embargo.

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 cooperation.

July 12 - The EU and UN demanded that Bosnia Serbs withdraw from Srebrenica.

July 11 - NATO aircraft attacked targets in the Srebrenica area of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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 peacekeepers.

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 conference.

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 minority rights.

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 Union.

Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the European Union.

The World Trade Organization came into being.

1994

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 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

November 15 - The European Monetary Institute met for the first time in Frankfurt, Germany.

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 Federation.

October 17 - November 8 - NATO's Rapid Reaction Corps held exercises in Denmark.

October 17 - Willy Claes, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium became NATO Secretary General.

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 in Poland.

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 position.

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 German constitution.

July 11 - The North Atlantic Council issued a statement reiterating NATO's willingness to participate in implementation of a peace agreement in Bosnia-Herzegovina: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c940711a.htm

July 1 - Germany assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

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 statement: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c940610b.htm

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 former Yugoslavia.

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 document: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c940110b.htm 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 Union.

Stage II of EMU began and the European Monetary Institute was inaugurated.

1993

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 EU.

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 other areas.

The UK ratified the Treaty on European Union.

July 1- Belgium assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

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 humanitarian law.

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 Bosnia-Herzegovina began.

April 5 - Negotiations opened in Luxembourg on the accession of Norway to the EU.

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 for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

February 25 - March 4 - NATO conducted CMX 93, a crisis management exercise.

February 24 - NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner issued a statement supporting the US decision to undertake air drops of humanitarian aid in eastern Bosnia.

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 independent states.

Denmark assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

The Single European Market entered into force.

 

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