Atlantic Community News

1941-1992

1992

December 18 - Germany ratified the Treaty on European Union.

Members of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council met to develop a work plan for 1993. Click here for the text of the work plan: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c921218b.htm and here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c921218a.htm

December 17 - North Atlantic Council foreign ministers announced their readiness to back further action by the UN in former Yugoslavia and agreed to strengthen NATO coordination on peacekeeping. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c921217a.htm and here for a statement the NAC issued on the situation in former Yugoslavia: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c921217b.htm

December 15 - The Netherlands assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali requested access to NATO contingency plans for possible military action in former Yugoslavia, including enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina, creating safe havens for civilians in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and ways to prevent the conflict from spreading to Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

December 11-12 - At a European Council in Edinburgh, UK, EC leaders offered Denmark special arrangements to enable it to have a second referendum on ratification of the Treaty on European Union. In addition, they endorsed the Delors II package (a five-year budget package) and agreed that accession negotiations with Austria, Finland, and Sweden would start January 1.

December 11 - Portugal ratified the Treaty on European Union.

Members of NATO's Defense Planning Committee said that support for UN and CSCE peacekeeping should be part of the mission of NATO forces and headquarters. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c921211a.htm

December 6 - In a referendum a majority of Swiss citizens voted against ratification of the agreement establishing a European Economic Area.

December 4 - European NATO defense ministers decided to dissolve the Independent European Program Group and transferred its functions to the WEU.

November 25 - Norway applied to join the European Communities.

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

November 20 - NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner was invited for the first time to attend a WEU ministerial meeting, which was held in Rome. Greece was invited to become the tenth WEU member; Denmark and Ireland were granted WEU observer status; and Iceland, Norway, and Turkey were granted WEU associate member status.

November 9 - The CFE Treaty officially entered into force following ratification by all twenty-nine signatories.

November 6 - NATO supplied the UN Protection Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina with an operational headquarters, including a staff of about 100 personnel, equipment, supplies, and initial financial support.

November 4 - Belgium ratified the Treaty on European Union.

October 26 - Italy ratified the Treaty on European Union.

October 20-21 - At a meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, NATO defense ministers reviewed the implications for collective defense planning of NATO's role in peacekeeping. New guidelines reducing reliance on nuclear weapons were also adopted. Click here for the final communique issued by NATO's Nuclear Planning Group: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c921021a.htm

October 16 - At a special European Council in Birmingham, UK, EC leaders met to discuss the crises over ratification of the Treaty on European Union and the European Monetary System· They also adopted a declaration called "A Community Close to its Citizens."

October 14 - The North Atlantic Council authorized the use of a NATO airborne early warning unit and control force (AWACS) to monitor the UN-mandated no-fly zone in effect over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

October 7 - The European Commission granted additional emergency aid to victims of the war in former Yugoslavia.

October 2 - NATO inaugurated its Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps.

October 1 - The US Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification of the START Treaty, which cut US and Russian nuclear forces by one-third.

September 20 - In a referendum 51.05 % of French citizens voted in favor of ratification of the Treaty on European Union.

September 16 - During what came to be called "Black Wednesday," the UK suspended its participation in the exchange-rate mechanism of the European Monetary System due to one of the worst ever runs on the British pound. Italy withdrew its participation in the ERM the same day. These moves led to a major European currency crisis.

September 3 - The International Conference on Former Yugoslavia convened for the first time in Geneva, Switzerland. The ICFY formally succeed the European Community Conference on Yugoslavia. It had a small staff and was in permanent session.

September 2 - The North Atlantic Council agreed on measures to enable NATO resources to be made available to support EC, CSCE, and UN efforts to establish peace in the former Yugoslavia, including provisions for the protection of humanitarian relief and support for UN monitoring of heavy weapons.

August 26-27 - An international conference on the war in the former Yugoslavia was held in London. It was co-chaired by UK Prime Minister and then President of the European Council John Major and UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. During the conference Lord Peter Carrington resigned as EC Special Envoy for the former Yugoslavia and was replaced by Lord David Owen, a former UK Foreign Secretary.

August 7 - The European Council adopted a regulation on extending an economic aid program known as PHARE to Slovenia.

July 31 - Greece ratified the Treaty on European Union.

July 10 - Leaders of the fifty-one CSCE participating nations approved a final document, "The Challenges of Change," which addressed support by NATO and other international organizations for CSCE peacekeeping activities. Click here for the final document: http://www.osce.org/docs/english/1990-1999/summits/hels92e.htm

The North Atlantic Council agreed to form a NATO maritime operation in the Adriatic in coordination with the WEU to monitor compliance with UN sanctions imposed on Serbia and Montenegro. Click here the statement the NAC issued: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c920710a.htm

July 6-8 - At a Western economic summit (also known as a G7 summit), leaders welcomed the democratic revolution in Europe and proposed a new partnership with the rest of the world on the basis of cooperation, shared responsibilities, and common values. Click here for the official summit documents, including a statement expressing concern about the war in the former Yugoslavia and support for the EC peace conference on Yugoslavia: http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/g7/summit/1992munich/index.html

July 2 - The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg ratified the Treaty on European Union.

July 1 - The UK assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

June 26-27 - At a European Council in Lisbon, EC leaders underlined the importance of following the timetable for ratification of the Treaty on European Union. They also appointed President of the European Commission Jacques Delors to an unprecedented fifth two-year term but were unable to reach agreement on the Delors II budget package.

June 24 - US General John M. Shalikashvili became NATO's SACEUR.

June 19 - In an important milestone for European security cooperation, WEU foreign and defense ministers met in Petersberg, Germany and issued a declaration setting out guidelines for the WEU's future development. The declaration defined what came to be known as the “Petersberg tasks,” which include: "humanitarian and rescue tasks; peacekeeping tasks; tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking." Click here for the Petersberg Declaration: http://www.weu.int/eng/comm/92-petersberg.htm

June 18 - In a referendum a majority of Irish citizens voted in favor of ratification of the Treaty on European Union.

June 16 - US President George Bush and Russian president Boris Yeltsin reached an agreement to cut nuclear warheads on strategic missiles significantly beyond the limits of the START Treaty.

June 4 - At a meeting in Oslo NATO foreign ministers announced their readiness to support conditionally CSCE peacekeeping activities on a case-by-case basis. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c920604a.htm

June 2 - In a referendum 50.7% of Danish citizens voted against ratification of the Treaty on European Union.

May 30 - The United Nations imposed comprehensive economic and political sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro.

May 21 - EC agriculture ministers agreed to reform the Common Agricultural Policy by shifting from price supports to direct payments to farmers.

May 22 - The Republic of Slovenia joined the United Nations.

French President Francois Mitterrand and German Chancellor Kohl formally founded the Eurocorps, an autonomous European rapid reaction force that includes 50,000 troops from Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Spain. The Eurocorps is designed to carry out the full spectrum of military operations including both collective defense and crisis response missions. On July 1 an implementation team arrived in Strasbourg, France to build up the Eurocorps headquarters.

May 21 - The first formal meeting was held between NATO's North Atlantic Council and the Council of the WEU at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

May 20 - Switzerland applied to join the European Communities.

May 2 - Eighteen EC and EFTA states signed an agreement creating the European Economic Area in Porto, Portugal. This agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1994, extended the EC's single market to EFTA countries and created the largest integrated economic zone in the world.

April 30 - NATO's Naval On-Call Force for the Mediterranean was replaced by a Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED).

April 10 - The first meeting of the NATO Military Committee in Cooperation Session was held with Chiefs of Defense and Chiefs of General Staffs of Central and East European states.

April 7 - The EC officially recognized Bosnia-Herzegovina as independent.

April 4 - The Portuguese Escudo entered the exchange-rate mechanism of the European Monetary System·

April 2 - The UN Security Council recommended the full deployment of the UN Protection Force in Yugoslavia to be stationed in Serb populated areas in Croatia to patrol four UN protected Areas or buffer zones between Croatian and Serb forces.

March 25 - Norway applied to join the European Communities.

March 24 - The US, Canada, and 22 European countries signed the Open Skies Treaty, which gave signatories the ability to collect information about the military activities of each other through observation flights. The open skies concept was first proposed by US President George Bush in May 1989. Click here for the text of the treaty: http://www.osce.org/docs/english/misc/ostreate.htm

The fourth CSCE follow-up meeting was held in Helsinki, Finland. Croatia, Georgia, and Slovenia became CSCE participating states.

March 18 - Finland applied to join the European Communities.

March 3 - President Izetbegovic proclaimed Bosnia-Herzegovina's independence from Yugoslavia.

February 21 - The UN Security Council established the United Nations Protections Forces (UNPROFOR) to help end the conflict in former Yugoslavia.

February 3 - The European Council adopted measures to provide assistance to Croatia, Slovenia, the Yugoslav Republics of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

January 30-31 - The CSCE Council of Foreign Ministers, meeting in Prague, recognized the Russian Federation as the continuation of the legal personality of the former Soviet Union and admitted ten former Soviet Republics as CSCE participating states.

January 15 - The EC officially recognized the breakaway former Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Slovenia as independent states.

January 9 - Bosnian Serbs declared establishment of their own republic.

January 2 - UN envoy to Yugoslavia and former US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance achieved a durable cease-fire agreement on the war in Croatia.

January 1 - Portugal assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1991

December 25 - Mikhail Gorbachev announced his resignation as Soviet President and signed a decree relinquishing his function as Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Soviet Forces.

December 21 - Eleven of the constituent republics of the former Soviet Union met in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan and signed agreements creating a new Commonwealth of Independent States.

December 20 - The inaugural meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council was attended by foreign ministers and representatives of sixteen NATO countries and nine Central and East European countries. Click here for the "North Atlantic Cooperation Council Statement On Dialogue, Partnership And Cooperation": http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c911220a.htm

The USSR effectively ceased to exist.

December 19 - During a North Atlantic Council ministerial in Brussels, NATO foreign ministers condemned the violence in Yugoslavia and agreed to provide humanitarian aid to the Soviet Union. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c911219a.htm

The German government recognized the independence of Croatia and Slovenia. German President Richard von Weizsacker sent letters to the governments of the two former Yugoslav republics, which they received on December 23. However, formal recognition was only given on January 15 in a collective EC decision.

December 16 - Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland signed Europe Agreements with the EC-- association agreements between the EC and partner countries seeking to accede to it which provide the partners with certain trade concessions and other benefits normally reserved for member-states.

December 9-11 - At an historic European Council in Maastricht, the Netherlands, EC leaders reached agreement on a Treaty on European Union (TEU --often referred to as the Maastricht Treaty). EC foreign ministers signed the treaty on February 7, 1992, and it entered into force on November 1, 1993. The TEU included agreements on endorsing Economic and Monetary Union and creating European Political Union and a Common Foreign and Security Policy. The TEU amended the Treaties of Rome, which created the EC, and is generally considered the most far-reaching institutional reform in the history of European integration.

The monetary union part of the TEU involved agreeing on the strategy detailed in the April 1989 Delors Report. Giving the UK the ability to opt out of EMU in May helped make it possible to reach an overall agreement. At Maastricht, EC leaders agreed to give the UK an opt out of social policy provisions. Most importantly, they agreed on convergence criteria suggested by Germany which EC economies had to meet to qualify to enter EMU. The convergence criteria concern price stability, budget deficits, currency stability, and interest rates.

The political union part of the TEU created a new organization, the European Union, which subsumed the European Communities. The EC became the largest of three pillars that support the European Council; it includes the EEC, ECSC, and Euratom and is supranational. The other two pillars are the Common Foreign and Security Policy and Cooperation on Justice and Home Affairs, which are both intergovernmental. In addition, under the TEU more decisions can be made in the European Council on the basis of a qualified majority rather than unanimity, among other reforms.

The TEU gave the EU a security dimension for the first time by creating the Common Foreign and Security Policy. The CFSP replaced EPC; it is an intergovernmental framework for the development and implementation of common declarations and joint actions. It is intended, as was EPC, to enable the EU to speak with a single voice internationally.

WEU member-states held a meeting during which they invited members of the newly-created EU to accede to the WEU or become observers and other European members of NATO (that are not in the EU) to become associate members. Click here for a declaration issued by WEU member-states on December 10 on "The Role of the Western European Union and its Relations with the European Union and with the Atlantic Alliance": http://www.weu.int/eng/comm/91-maastricht.htm

The WEU's Maastricht Declaration says the "WEU will be developed as the defense component of the European Union and as the means to strengthen the European pillar of the Atlantic Alliance."

December 8 - Representatives of the three former Soviet Republics of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine met in Minsk, Belarus and agreed to establish as Commonwealth of Independent States to replace the Soviet Union.

November 14 - German and Polish leaders signed a treaty that confirmed their common border along the Oder-Neisse river as permanent.

November 7-8 - NATO leaders held a summit in Rome during which they issued a new strategic concept for the post-Cold War era and the Rome Declaration on Peace and Cooperation. They designed the new strategic concept to guide NATO military strategy in an era in which the need for crisis management and conflict prevention was likely to take precedence over that for collective defense because of the absence of the Soviet threat. Regarding accelerating European defense cooperation within the EC, US President George Bush told the West Europeans that if "your ultimate aim is to provide individually for your own defense, the time to tell is today." Click here for the text of the new strategic concept: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c911107a.htm and here for the Rome Declaration: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c911108a.htm

October 14 - German Chancellor Kohl and French President Mitterrand proposed that the existing Franco-German brigade be expanded into a European army corps that would include troops from other nations and be answerable to the WEU and the EC, rather than NATO.

October 8 - UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar appointed former US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance as his personal envoy to the former Yugoslavia.

October 6 - At a meeting in Cracow, Poland, the Foreign Ministers of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland stated that they wanted their countries to be included in NATO activities.

Soviet President Gorbachev announced the abolition of Soviet short-range nuclear weapons and the removal of all tactical nuclear weapons from ships, submarines, and land-based naval aircraft.

September 30 - At a meeting of EC foreign ministers, ten out of the twelve EC member-states rejected a draft treaty on political union that was proposed by the Dutch presidency during what is known as "Black Monday".

September 27 - US President Bush announced sweeping cuts in US nuclear weapons and called on the Soviet Union to take reciprocal action. The US cuts included destruction of all US ground-launched tactical nuclear missiles and the removal of nuclear-armed cruise missiles from submarines and warships.

September 26 - An advisory committee headed by French judge Robert Badinter began operations. Its task was to advise the Chairman of the EC peace conference on the war in former Yugoslavia on the issue of whether the recognize Croatia and Slovenia as independent states.

September 18 - German Chancellor Kohl told French President Mitterrand that Germany would not take any unilateral action on Yugoslavia.

September 7 - An EC-sponsored peace conference on the civil war in Yugoslavia opened in the Hague, the Netherlands. The conference was chaired by former NATO Secretary General Lord Peter Carrington. Talks proceeded on the basis of three principles: no unilateral changing of borders; protection of all minorities' right; and respect for all legitimate interests. September 5 - Before disbanding the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies agreed to hand over key powers to the republics.

August 29 - Soviet legislators voted to suspend all activities of the Communist party.

August 28 - Soviet President Gorbachev appointed Boris Pankin, former Soviet Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, as Soviet Foreign Minister. Gorbachev also stripped the KGB of its troops and ordered an investigation into its activities.

August 26 - Soviet President Gorbachev indicated that the demands of secession-minded republics for independence could no longer be resisted.

EC countries agreed to establish diplomatic relations with the three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

August 21 - NATO foreign ministers met to review the situation in the USSR and issued a statement condemning the unconstitutional removal of President Gorbachev and calling for a restoration of democratic reform. Click here for the text of the statement: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c910821a.htm

President Gorbachev returned to Moscow as the coup collapsed and its leaders were arrested. Western leaders praised President Yeltsin's role in resisting the coup and lifted a freeze on aid to the USSR.

August 19 - Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was removed from office in a coup and replaced by an "emergency committee". The North Atlantic Council met in emergency session and warned of "serious consequences" if the USSR abandoned reform efforts. Western aid programs were suspended. Russian President Boris Yeltsin called for a general strike while loyalist tanks flying Russian flags positioned themselves near the Russian Parliament building.

July 30-31 - US President George Bush and Soviet President Gorbachev signed the START Treaty in Moscow. The treaty provided for reductions in the strategic nuclear arsenals of both countries. Click here for the text of the treaty: http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/start2/text/treatyar.htm

July 15-17 - At a Western economic summit in London, participants agreed to hold annual meetings with the Soviet Union and to define a support plan for it. They also agree to open their markets to products and services from Central European countries.

July 7 - The EC reached the first successful accord on the war in former Yugoslavia. The "Brioni Agreement" between Croatian, Slovenian, and Federal Yugoslav authorities called for Croatian and Slovenian suspension of their declarations of independence for three months, withdrawal of Federal Yugoslav troops from Slovenia, demobilization of Slovenian troops, the dispatch of EC observers to Croatia and Slovenia, and future negotiations. Brioni is an island in the former Yugoslavia that used to be President Tito's retreat.

July 4 - Germany for the first time suggested to its EC partners that they collectively recognize the independence of Croatia and Slovenia. Germany shifted from opposing to supporting recognition because of support for recognition within Germany and the belief that recognition would make the war an international conflict, which would allegedly facilitate international intervention to end it.

July 1- The Warsaw Treaty Organization was formally disbanded in accordance with a protocol calling for "transition to all-European structures."

Sweden applied to join the European Communities.

The Netherlands assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

June 28-29 - At a European Council in Luxembourg, EC leaders decided that the intergovernmental conferences on EMU and political union should proceed on the basis of the draft treaty prepared by Luxembourg, which at the time held the rotating EC Presidency. In addition, they decided to send a troika of the past, current, and upcoming foreign ministers of the Presidency of the European Council of Ministers which were respectively at that time Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. On July 7 (with assistance from the CSCE) the troika succeeded in establishing peace in Slovenia.

On June 28 Jacques Poos, Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, who was speaking for the Luxembourg EC Presidency said: "If one problem can be solved by the Europeans, it's the Yugoslav problem. This is a European country and it's not up to the Americans and not up to anybody else." In June 1991 Poos famously declared that "the hour of Europe" had arrived and that Europe would resolve the Yugoslav conflict on its own.

June 26 - The German government reaffirmed that it did not recognize the independence of Croatia and Slovenia.

June 25 - Spain and Portugal signed the Schengen agreement on removing border controls.

The Croatian and Slovenian Parliaments proclaimed independence from Yugoslavia. Conflict resulted when the Yugoslav Federal army attempted to reestablish control over the breakaway republics.

June 23 - EC member-states decided not to recognize any eventual unilateral declaration of independence by Croatia and Slovenia.

June 20 - German legislators voted to reinstate Berlin as the country's capital.

A document prepared by German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher that supported the unity of Yugoslavia was approved by the CSCE Council of Ministers.

June 19 - The first session of the CSCE Council was held in Berlin. Albania became the thirty-fifth CSCE participating state.

June 18 - US Secretary of States James A. Baker III delivered a speech in Berlin, "The Euro-Atlantic Architecture: From West to East," in which he referred to the Atlantic community as a community of values. Click here for the text of the speech: http://www.useu.be/DOCS/baker.html

June 6-7 - At a North Atlantic Council meeting in Copenhagen, NATO foreign ministers issued statements on Partnership with the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe, NATO's Core Security Functions in the New Europe, and the Resolution of Problems Concerning the CFE Treaty. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c910607a.htm ; here for the text of the statement on Partnership with the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c910607d.htm ; here for the text of the statement on NATO's Core Security Functions in the New Europe: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c910607b.htm ; and here for the text of the statement on the Resolution of Problems Concerning the CFE Treaty: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c910607c.htm .

May 21 - The US House of Representatives called for a reduction of US troop strength in Europe from 250,000 to 100,000 by 1995.

May 12 - The USSR removed its remaining SS-20 intermediate-range nuclear missiles from European locations in accordance with the INF Treaty.

May 7 - The Yugoslav Defense Minister said his country was in a state of civil war.

April 16 - US Secretary of State James Baker sent a letter to EC leaders which articulated US policy toward European defense cooperation. The letter said in part that "NATO should remain the principal venue for consultation and the forum for agreement on all policies bearing on the security and defense commitments of its members under the North Atlantic Treaty wherever such policies originate." Secretary Baker was articulating US opposition to making the WEU the EC's defense arm.

April 14 - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development began operations in London. Although the US is the single largest shareholder in the EBRD, EC member-states' collectively have a 51 percent shareholder majority.

April 8 - An informal European Council meeting was held in Luxembourg to review problems in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War. EC leaders decided to grant humanitarian aid to Kurdish and other refugees.

March 13 and 26 - The United States completed withdrawal of its intermediate-range nuclear missiles from Europe in accordance with the INF Treaty.

March 13 - The European Commission adopted a framework for structural assistance to the five new German states and East Berlin.

March 4 - The Soviet legislature ratified the treaty permitting German unification, formally ending the authority of the quadripartite agreements on Germany reached after World War II.

February 28 - Coalition forces liberated Kuwait. Iraq accepted unconditionally all twelve UN Security Council resolutions regarding the withdrawal of its forces from Kuwait, and US President George Bush suspended allied combat operations.

February 25 - Representatives of the six Warsaw Pact countries, meeting in Budapest, Hungary, announced the dissolution of their military structure. The military structures of the Warsaw Pact were formally dissolved on March 21.

February 24 - Coalition forces began a ground offensive against Iraqi forces in Kuwait.

February 20 - US Undersecretary of State for International Security Affairs Reginald Bartholomew sent a telegram to US diplomatic missions in Europe voicing strong opposition to any efforts to establish a European caucus within NATO or create an autonomous European defense force under the EC, as opposed to strengthening the European pillar of NATO, which the United States favored. US diplomats conveyed the telegram to West European governments, who were working to develop a European Security and Defense Identity by strengthening the role of the WEU in European defense cooperation. The telegram read in part: "In our view, efforts to construct a European pillar by redefining and limiting NATO's role, by weakening its structure, or by creating a monolithic bloc of certain members would be misguided. We would hope such efforts would be resisted firmly."

January 17 - Following Iraq's refusal to withdraw from Kuwait in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions, US-led international coalition forces launched air attacks against Iraq, marking the start of the Persian Gulf War.

January 1 - The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1990

December 20 - Soviet Foreign Minister Edouard Shevardnadze resigned and warned of the risks of renewed dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

December 17-18 - The North Atlantic Council met to review progress made since the July summit in reaching the objectives of the London Declaration and issued a statement on the Gulf War. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/comm90.htm

December 14-15 - The European Council, meeting in Rome, launched intergovernmental conferences on European Political Union and Economic and Monetary Union.

December 11 - After forty-five years of one-party dictatorship, Albania legalized political opposition parties.

December 9 - Solidarity leader Leach Walesa was elected the President of Poland. (In 1995 Walesa failed to win reelection, losing to a former Communist politician, Aleksander Kwasniewski.)

December 6-7 - NATO's Defense Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group met in Brussels. NATO defense ministers supported UN Resolution 678 demanding that Iraqi forces withdraw from Kuwait by January 1991 and reviewed progress in developing a new NATO strategic concept. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c901207a.htm

November 27 - The Schengen Agreement on eliminating border controls was signed by Italy.

November 22 - US and EC officials signed the Declaration on US-EC Relations in which they developed an institutional framework for regular consultations, including US-EC summits to be held once every six months: http://www.useu.be/TransAtlantic/transdec.html

November 19-21 - At the end of a three-day CSCE summit held in Paris, the thirty-four participating states (the US, the USSR, Canada, and thirty-one European countries) signed the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. The Paris Charter recognized the importance of the CSCE for Europe's post-Cold War security architecture. The charter was the first multilateral instrument that took into account the end of the Cold War in Europe. Click here for the text of the charter: http://www.osce.org/docs/english/1990-1999/summits/paris90e.htm

In addition, during the CSCE summit 22 NATO and Warsaw Pact countries signed the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and Joint Declaration on Non-Aggression. Click here for the text of the CFE treaty: http://www.osce.org/docs/english/1990-1999/cfe/cfetreate.htm


November 17 - CSCE participants adopted the Vienna Document on Confidence and Security Building Measures: http://www.osce.org/docs/english/1973-1990/csbms1/vienn90e.htm

October 27-28 - At a special European Council in Rome, EC leaders agreed to begin stage II of EMU (creation of the European Monetary Institute) on January 1, 1994.

October 3 - The Federal Republic of Germany absorbed the German Democratic Republic in accordance with Article 23 of the Basic Law, creating a unified Germany. Five new Lander (German states) were created. The North Atlantic Council welcomed the unified country as a full member of NATO.

The UK joined the exchange-rate mechanism of the European Monetary System·

September 12 - In a statement issued on the occasion of the signing of the "Two Plus Four" Treaty in Moscow, NATO leaders welcomed this historic agreement that paved the way for the unification of Germany and its return to full sovereignty.

September 4 - The nine members of the Western European Union agreed on guidelines for the coordination of their naval operations in the Persian Gulf region to reinforce the international embargo against Iraq.

August 22 - The legislature of the German Democratic Republic voted in favor of the unification of the GDR and Federal Republic of Germany on October 3, 1990 and agreed to hold elections in the unified country on December 2, 1990.

August 21 - The European Commission adopted measures to integrate the GDR into the EC.

August 6 - The UN Security Council agreed unanimously on wide-ranging sanctions against Iraq and demanded Iraqi withdrawal from the occupied territory of Kuwait.

August 2 - Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait following a dispute between the two countries on exploration of oil rights in the Persian Gulf.

July 17 - The "Two Plus Four" conference on the unification of Germany concluded in Paris.

July 16 - West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Soviet President Gorbachev agreed on measures enabling Germany to regain full sovereignty and to exercise its right to remain a full member of NATO. Malta applied to join the European Communities.

July 6 - During a meeting in London, NATO heads of state and government issued the London Declaration on a Transformed North Atlantic Alliance, which was their first major assessment of the impact on NATO of the changing situation in Europe. The London Declaration outlined proposals for developing cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe across a wide spectrum of political and military activity, including the establishment of regular diplomatic liaison between those countries and NATO. Click here for the London Declaration: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c900706a.htm

July 4 - Cyprus applied to join the European Communities.

July 2 - Monetary union was established between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany on the basis of parity between Deutsche mark of the FRG and the Ostmark of the GDR.

July 1 - Italy assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. The first phase of EMU came into force with the removal of restrictions on the free movement of capital.

June 29 - A CSCE conference to review implementation of member-states' commitments on human rights (that had opened June 5) concluded and participating states issued the Copenhagen Declaration: http://www.osce.org/docs/english/1990-1999/hd/cope90e.htm

During the meeting East European countries committed themselves to multiparty parliamentary democracy and the rule of law.

June 25-26 - At a European Council in Dublin, EC leaders agreed on convening a second intergovernmental conference on European Political Union in addition to the planned IGC on EMU.

June 20 - The EEC and EFTA began formal negotiations for the creation of the European Economic Area.

June 19 - The Schengen Agreement on elimination of border checks was signed by the Benelux countries, France, and Germany.

June 7-8 - During a North Atlantic Council meeting in Turnberry, Scotland, NATO foreign ministers issued a "Message from Turnberry," in which they expressed their determination to seize the opportunities resulting from the changes in Europe and extended to the USSR and all other European countries the hand of friendship and cooperation. Click here for the final communique, which includes the "Message from Turnberry": http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c900608a.htm

May 30 - Boris Yeltsin was elected President of the Russian Republic.

May 29 - A charter creating the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was signed in Paris. The bank, which was the brainchild of French President Mitterrand, is a regional investment bank that promotes free-market reform in Central and East European countries and those of the Former Soviet Union. Click here for a brief chronology of the EBRD: http://www.ebrd.com/english/index.htm

May 22-23 - NATO defense ministers, meeting in the Defense Planning Committee, assessed the implications for NATO security policy of the historic changes in Europe and initiated a review of NATO military strategy. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c900523a.htm

Hungary's new premier, Josef Antall, announced his government's plan to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact following negotiations.

May 3 - US President George Bush announced the cancellation of modernization programs for nuclear artillery shells deployed in Europe and for a "follow-on" to the LANCE short-range nuclear missile. President Bush called for negotiations on US and Soviet short-range nuclear missiles to begin shortly after a CFE treaty is signed.

April 28 - At a special European Council in Dublin, EC leaders agreed on a common approach to German unification and EC relations with Central and Eastern Europe. EC foreign ministers were tasked with developing plans for European Political Union by the next European Council in June.

April 19 - In a letter to Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey, who was then president of the European Council, French President Mitterrand and West German Chancellor Kohl proposed that the EC establish both political union and Economic and Monetary Union by 1993.

During a meeting in Key Largo, FL, US President Bush and French President Mitterrand discussed how NATO should react to the changes in Europe. Regarding German unification, Mitterrand said Germans have a legitimate right to unify, that unification should take place in the "Two Plus Four" framework, and that the issue of borders should be resolved definitively. Click here for the transcript of the press conference that followed the meeting: http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/papers/1990/90041904.html

April 13 - US President Bush and British Prime Minister Thatcher met in Bermuda where they discussed issues facing NATO, including German unification.

April 12 - The coalition government of the German Democratic Republic declared itself in favor of unification with the Federal Republic of Germany on the basis of Article 23 of the Basic Law (of the FRG) and the membership of the unified country in NATO.

March 26 - The Czechoslovak government ordered that border installations along its frontiers with Austria and the Federal Republic of Germany be dismantled.

March 18 - In the first free elections in East Germany in forty years, an overwhelming majority of voters chose the conservative "Alliance for Germany".

March 17 - During a meeting in Prague, Warsaw Pact foreign ministers expressed support for the continuation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

March 11 - Mikhail Gorbachev was elected President of the USSR by the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies for a five-year term. (He served until December 25, 1991.)

February 27 - The US and EC decided to establish a formal relationship with each other by holding regular meetings between their respective presidents.

February 13 - On the margins of a meeting of the Open Skies conference in Ottawa, Canada, NATO and Warsaw pact foreign ministers reached agreement on holding discussions on the external aspects of German unification in a "Two Plus Four" framework, which would involve East and West Germany as well as France, the UK, the US, and the USSR.

January 1 - Ireland assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1989

December 31 - French President Francois Mitterrand proposed a European confederation which would associate existing EC member-states with EFTA countries and the new democracies of Eastern Europe, including the USSR.

December 29 - The Polish Parliament abolished the leading role of the Community party and restored the country's name as the Republic of Poland. Vaclav Havel was elected President of Czechoslovakia.

December 22 - Romanian dictator Nicolai Ceausescu was arrested and executed by the Romanian armed forces. The National Salvation Front headed by Ion Iliescu took control of Romania and promised free elections.

December 19 - EC and EFTA (European Free Trade Area) countries began negotiations on forming the European Economic Area (EEA).

December 18 - The Soviet Union and EC signed an economic and commercial agreement.

December 16 - At a meeting in St. Martin, French West Indies, US President George Bush and French President Francois Mitterrand discussed the changes in Europe, including the prospects for German reunification. Mitterrand said at a press conference that German unification will "be done in the respect of treaties and the principles of Helsinki." Click here for a transcript of the press conference: http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/papers/1989/89121600.html

December 14-15 - During a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, NATO leaders reviewed the rapidly changing situation in Central and Eastern Europe. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c891215a.htm

December 12 - US Secretary of State James A. Baker III gave a speech in Berlin, "A New Europe, A New Atlanticism: Architecture for a New Era," which laid out US goals for Europe's post-Cold War security architecture. The speech focused on the roles NATO, the EC, and the CSCE should play to realize President Bush's vision of "a Europe whole and free."

December 8-9 - At a European Council in Strasbourg, France, EC leaders decided to convene an intergovernmental conference before 1990 to amend the Treaties of Rome for the final stages of EMU. They also adopted the Charter of Fundamental Social Rights of Workers, or the Social Charter and reaffirmed the EC's international role, particularly with respect to events in Central and Eastern Europe.

Regarding the unification of Germany, EC leaders said "The German nation will recover its unity through free self-determination"; they also said German reunification should be done in harmony with the Helsinki Final Act and be embedded in European integration.

December 6 - At a meeting in Kiev, Ukraine Soviet leader Gorbachev and French President Mitterrand explored ways to slow down German unification. The two leaders issued a declaration which said it would be premature and destabilizing to change Europe's borders. According to recently released information, during the meeting Gorbachev was wary of opposing US policy by seeking to block German unification in concert with France. British Prime Minister Thatcher also allegedly wanted to slow down or stop the reunification of Germany and had meetings with Gorbachev regarding this issue. Thatcher was the first West European leader to develop a political dialogue with Gorbachev.

December 4 - At a NATO summit in Brussels, US President George Bush briefed NATO leaders on his talks with Soviet leader Gorbachev in Malta on December 2-3. During the Malta meeting, which was focused on German unification, Gorbachev said he wanted US troops to remain in Europe.

Warsaw Treaty Organization countries held a meeting during which they issued a statement denouncing the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces and repudiating the Brezhnev Doctrine of limited sovereignty.

November 28 - In an address before the Bundestag, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl proposed a ten-point plan for the peaceful reunification of Germany on the basis of free elections in the GDR and the merging of the economies of East and West Germany. Kohl said the reunified Germany would be fully integrated in the Western community and NATO. According to press reports, Kohl's European counterparts were not given advance notice of the speech and were unsettled by it. US President Bush in contrast pledged early support for Kohl's drive for rapid German unification. Click here for the text of Kohl's ten-point plan in German: http://www.glasnost.de/hist/verein/89zehnp.html

November 19 - A special European Council was held in Paris to discuss the historic events in Central and Eastern Europe, including the prospect of German unification.

November 14 - Portugal and Spain signed the Treaty of Accession to the Western European Union.

November 9-10 - East and West Berliners tore down the Berlin Wall that was erected in 1961 to prevent East Germans from fleeing to West Germany and celebrated the beginning of the reunification of Germany. Following widespread demonstrations and demands for political reform, the GDR government announced the lifting of travel restrictions to the West and set up new crossing points. Click here for remarks given by US President Bush on November 9 on the relaxation of East German border controls: http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/papers/1989/89110905.html

October 18 - Erich Honecker, who had been General Secretary of the German Democratic Republic's Communist party since 1971, was replaced by Egon Krenz as leader of the GDR. East Germans continued to demonstrate for political reform and flee through Prague and Budapest.

During a ministerial meeting French President Mitterrand said "After all, we can not declare war upon Germany in order to prevent her reunification." According to press reports Mitterrand was opposed to the reunification of Germany because it would greatly enhance Germany's political and economic power compared to that of France, which Mitterrand and other French officials and opinion makers believed would undermine France's leadership role in Europe. (After the reunification of Germany became inevitable over the course of 1989-90, Mitterrand changed his policy toward Germany and sought to harness the new Germany to the EC. Mitterrand and Kohl developed a partnership which shaped the evolution of European integration from 1990 to 1995 and the Treaty on European Union signed in 1991 in Maastricht, the Netherlands.)

British Prime Minister Thatcher shared Mitterrand's concerns about German unification. In October 1989 Thatcher told Gorbachev: "I explained to him that although NATO had traditionally made statements supporting Germany's aspiration to be reunited, in practice we were rather apprehensive...Mr. Gorbachev confirmed that the Soviet Union did not want German unification either."

October 3 - Following the exodus of 6,390 East Germans from Western embassies in Prague on October 1 under arrangements made by the East German government, 20,000 East German emigrants congregated in the Prague and Warsaw embassies of the FRG.

October 2 - French General Jean-Pierre Sengeisen assumed command of the first French and German units of the Franco-German brigade, which consisted of about 4,200 troops. Command alternated between France and West Germany.

September 19 - Poland and the EC signed a commercial and economic agreement.

September 10 - Hungary opened its Western border, enabling large numbers of East German refugees to flee to the West.

August 24 - Tadeusz Mazowiecki became Prime Minister of the first non-communist-led Polish government in forty years.

July 17 - Austria applied to join the European Community.

July 14-16 - During a G7 economic summit in Paris, US President George Bush asked the European Commission to coordinate Western economic assistance to Poland and Hungary.

July 10 - In remarks at a state dinner in Warsaw, Poland, US President George Bush for the first time discussed his goal of a "Europe whole and free," the centerpiece of his vision of a peaceful, inclusive, and democratic post- Cold War Europe. (He used this phrase frequently between 1989 and 1992.)

July 6 - Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev outlined his vision of Europe, a "common European home," which would include East and West Europe and the USSR, in a speech before the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly and in other remarks before and after this speech.

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

June 26-27 - At a European Council in Madrid, EC leaders adopted the Delors Committee's plan on Economic and Monetary Union. They agreed to convene an intergovernmental conference on EMU, which would be developed in three stages. The first stage would begin by July 1, 1990 by which time all restrictions on the free movement of capital between member-states should be removed; stage two would include the creation of the European Monetary Institute; and stage three would be achieved with the irrevocable fixing of exchange rates among EMU member-states' currencies and creation of the European Central Bank. EC leaders also emphasized the need to strike a balance between social and economic aspects of the single market and said the environment is a priority issue. They also adopted declarations on the Middle East and China.

June 19 - Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) re-opened in Geneva.

The Spanish peseta entered the European Monetary System exchange-rate mechanism.

May 31 - During a visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, US President George Bush outlined proposals for promoting free elections and pluralism in Eastern Europe and dismantling the Berlin Wall.

May 29-30 - During a NATO North Atlantic Council summit, US President George Bush announced new initiatives on conventional force reductions in Europe. NATO leaders also adopted the Alliance's Comprehensive Concept of Arms control and Disarmament: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b890529b.htm and issued a statement marking the fortieth anniversary of NATO: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b890529a.htm

April 12 - The Delors Committee (headed by Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission) presented its report on Economic and Monetary Union. The European Parliament adopted the Declaration of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.

April 5 - Polish government and opposition negotiators signed agreements on political reforms in Poland, including free elections and registration of the banned trade union movement Solidarity.

April 3 - US President George Bush issued National Security Review 14, which outlined the US approach to current arms control negotiations. This document has been declassified: http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/research/nsr/nsr14.pdf (Adobe Acrobat is required to download the report.)

March 6 - Foreign ministers of states participating in the CSCE (Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe) met in Vienna to mark the opening of new CFE (Conventional Armed Forces in Europe) negotiations between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries and CSBM (Confidence and Security Building Measures) negotiations involving all CSCE states.

February 15 - The USSR completed the withdrawal of its military forces from Afghanistan.

February 11 - The Central Committee of the Hungarian Communist Party endorsed "gradual and steady" transition to a multi-party political system.

February 2 - The final meeting of the Vienna negotiations on MBFR (Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions) was held.

January 1 - Spain assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1988

December 8 -9 - At a North Atlantic Council meeting, NATO leaders issued a statement on conventional arms control which outlined their proposals for upcoming CFE (Conventional Armed Forces in Europe) and CSBM (Confidence and Security Building Measures) negotiations with the Warsaw Pact: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b881209a.htm. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c881209a.htm

December 7 - Soviet President Gorbachev announced unilateral Soviet conventional force reductions in an address before the UN General Assembly.

November 14 - Portugal and Spain signed treaties of accession to the Western European Union. They formally entered the WEU on March 27, 1990.

September 26 - The EC and Hungary signed an economic cooperation agreement. The European Council adopted a declaration that said the 1974 U.S. Trade Act might be used as a protectionist measure.

September 20 - In a speech at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher strongly criticized the EC bureaucracy, plans for an Economic and Monetary Union, and the drive for a federal Europe. In a famous passage she said: "We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them reimposed at a European level, with a European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels." Click here for the text: http://www.dur.ac.uk/~dhi0jcf/public_html/Jo%20Fox's%20Webpages/Primary%20Documents/Thatcher's%20Bruges%20Speech.html

July 1 - Manfred Woerner, former West German Defense Minister, became NATO Secretary General. Greece assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

May 15 - Soviet troops started withdrawing from Afghanistan.

March 2-3 - NATO heads of state and government issued a declaration that reaffirmed the purposes and principles of the Alliance and reviewed the state of East-West relations: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b880302b.htm. At this meeting NATO leaders also issued a statement on their approach to conventional arms control negotiations: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b880302a.htm .

January 22 - On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the signing of the 1963 Elysee Treaty on Franco-German cooperation, France and Germany established a Defense and Security Council and an Economic and Financial Council. The French and German governments also signed an agreement on the formation of a joint Franco-German army brigade.

January 1 - Germany assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1987

December 11 - The US Secretary of State and the Foreign Ministers of Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK signed bilateral agreements on the implementation of the INF treaty and its on-site and inspection verification measures.

December 8-10 - US President Ronald Regan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met in Washington for a summit. They signed the Washington Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, reached agreement on measures for monitoring each other's nuclear tests, and pledged deep cuts in strategic nuclear arms. Click here http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/treaties/inf2.html for the text of the Washington Treaty:

November 13 - During the fiftieth Franco-German summit, West German Chancellor Kohl and French President Mitterrand proposed the creation of a Franco-German brigade of French and German forces. (This brigade was the nucleus for the Eurocorps, which was created in 1993 and is an autonomous multinational force that also includes units from Belgium, Luxembourg, and Spain.)

October 27 - WEU foreign and defense ministers adopted the Hague platform on European Security Interests. In this document WEU member-states underlined their commitment to the defense of the West under the modified Brussels Treaty and their desire to strengthen the European pillar of NATO. The statement also noted: “The construction of an integrated Europe will remain incomplete as long as it does not include security and defense." Click here for the Hague Platform: http://www.weu.int/eng/comm/87-hague.htm

August 20 - Western European Union military analysts held a meeting in The Hague to consider joint action in the Persian Gulf to ensure freedom of navigation in the oil shipping lanes of the region. (In their first-ever coordinated action, in 1987 and 1988 WEU member-states conducted "Operation Cleansweep." They sent minesweepers to help clear a three hundred mile sea-lane near the Straits of Hormuz. On August 21, 1990 WEU ministers decided that their actions in the Gulf should also be coordinated with outside forces, including those of the United States.)

July 23 - Soviet negotiators in Geneva presented a proposal to their American counterparts which accepted the principle of a "double-zero option" that would eliminate Soviet and US land-based intermediate-range nuclear weapons on a global basis.

July 22 - Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev announced the Soviet Union was prepared to eliminate all intermediate-range nuclear weapons in the context of a US-Soviet INF treaty.

July 20 - The Council of the European Communities amending its rules of procedure by establishing detailed rules on majority voting procedures.

July 1 - Denmark assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. The Single European Act entered into force.

June 26 - US General John R. Galvin became NATO's SACEUR.

June 19 - Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, proposed the creation of a Franco-German brigade.

June 4 - The parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany endorsed a proposal calling for the elimination of intermediate and shorter-range nuclear missiles in Europe.

May 26 - The Irish constitution was amended to allow Ireland to ratify the Single European Act following a referendum which found that seventy percent of voters approved of this change. This cleared the way for ratification of the Single European Act by the rest of the EC.

April 14 - The Turkish government formally applied to join the European Communities.

March 27 - NATO Secretary General Carrington offered to help resolve a dispute between Greece and Turkey over the Aegean Sea.

February 17 - Talks between NATO and Warsaw Treaty countries on a mandate for negotiations on conventional forces in Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals opened in Vienna

February 15 - The European Commission established the conditions for reaching the objectives of the Single European Act, including completing agricultural reform and doubling structural funds to poorer regions to promote cohesion in the EC.

January 26 - Spain resumed negotiations with its NATO partners on the future role of Spanish forces in the Alliance.

January 1 - Belgium assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. A European Political Cooperation secretariat was established in Brussels.

1986

December 11 - At a North Atlantic Council meeting, NATO foreign ministers issued the Brussels Declaration on Conventional Arms Control, which called for negotiations on conventional stability. Click here for the Brussels Declaration: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c861211a.htm and here http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c861212a.htm for the final communique.

October 11-12 - At a summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, US President Ronald Reagan proposed to Soviet leader Gorbachev the elimination of all offensive ballistic missiles within ten years and Gorbachev countered with an offer to eliminate all strategic weapons. An agreement was not reached because it would have required President Reagan to renounce his strategic defense program, which he was unwilling to do.

September 22 - The Stockholm Conference on Confidence and Security Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe ended. In a document signed on September 19, participating countries approved measures for notification, observation, and on-site inspection of their military maneuvers. Click here to see the document: http://www.osce.org/docs/english/1973-1990/csbms1/stock86e.htm . The conference began on January 17, 1984.

July 1 - The UK assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

May 29 - The European flag was flown for the first time in front of the Berlaymont building which houses the European Commission. The flag consists of a circle of gold stars - one for each member-state - with a blue background.

March 12 - In a referendum Spanish voters indicated they wanted to remain in NATO but not join its integrated military command.

February 17 and 28 - The twelve EC member-state governments signed the Single European Act, which entered into force July 1, 1987. This amendment to the founding treaty of the EC was necessary for passage of legislation to create a single European market. The SEA was designed both to complete the internal market and reform the EC. Trade liberalization reforms aimed to create "an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services, and capital is ensured" by eliminating non-tariff trade barriers. The reforms of EC institutions included the introduction of qualified majority voting in the European Council, a slight increase in the powers of the European Parliament to veto legislation or introduce amendments, and other measures. The European Commission remains the driving force in the EC legislative process, especially because it is the only body that can propose legislation. Click here for the text of the treaty: http://europa.eu.int/abc/obj/treaties/en/entr14a.htm

January 1 - Portugal and Spain acceded to the European Communities. The Netherlands assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1985

December 2-4 - At a European Council in Luxembourg, EC leaders agreed to amend the Treaty of Rome. The various treaty amendments would be brought together as the Single European Act. The purpose of the Single European Act was to complete the internal market, improve the efficiency of European institutions, extend the EC's areas of competence, and establish a legal framework for foreign policy cooperation.

November 19-21 - US President Reagan and Soviet leader Gorbachev agreed in principle on reducing their strategic nuclear forces by half and on an interim agreement on Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF).

July 1 - The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

June 28-29 - At a European Council in Milan, Italy, EC leaders approved the European Commission's white paper on the internal market and reached a majority decision to set up an intergovernmental conference on institutional reform that would amend the Treaty of Rome, which created the EEC.

June 14 - The European Commission published its white paper on completing the internal market. This was a plan to remove all physical, technical, and fiscal barriers between EC member-states by 1992. In addition, The Schengen agreement on the elimination of border controls was signed in Schengen, Luxembourg by Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

June 12 - Spain and Portugal signed treaties of accession to the EC.

April 26 - The 1955 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance, which established the Warsaw Treaty Organization, was extended for twenty years by its seven members.

March 29-30 - At a European Council in Brussels, EC leaders agreed on an integrated Mediterranean program, which removed the last obstacle to Spanish and Portuguese accession to the EC. Some of the earlier obstacles were French concern about competition from Spanish agricultural products and a demand that Spain also join NATO (which it did in 1982). Accession negotiations with Spain started in 1979 and those with Portugal in 1978.

March 12 - The US and USSR opened new arms control talks in Geneva that covered defense and space systems, strategic nuclear forces, and intermediate-range nuclear forces.

March 11 - Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR following the death of Konstantin Chernenko.

March 9 - The Dooge Committee recommended that EC member-states convene an intergovernmental conference to reform the Treaty of Rome.

January 7 - Jacques Delors of France became President of the European Commission.

January 1 - Italy assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. The first European passports were issued in most EC member-states.

1984

October 26-27 - Foreign ministers of the Western European Union issued the Rome Declaration on increasing their defense cooperation within the WEU. Click here for the Rome Declaration: http://www.weu.int/eng/comm/84-rome.htm and here for an annex to the Rome Declaration on institutional reform of the WEU: http://www.weu.int/eng/comm/84-rome-a.htm

September 26 - A commercial and economic agreement was signed by China and the EC.

July 13 - France and Germany reached agreement on gradual abolition of border checks between their countries.

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

June 25-26 - At a European Council in Fontainebleau, France, EC leaders reach agreement on the amount of compensation due to the UK for its contribution to the EC budget. After five years of difficult negotiations which delayed progress in European integration, the UK secured a permanent budget rebate at this meeting. EC leaders also agreed to reform the CAP and to set up a committee to consider amending the Treaty of Rome.

June 25 - Lord Carrington of the UK became NATO Secretary General.

June 12 - Foreign ministers of the Western European Union (WEU) met in Paris where they decided to reactivate the WEU.

June 7-9 - Heads of state and government of the seven major industrialized countries (G-7) met in London and issued a declaration on East-West relations and arms control. Click here for the London declaration: http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/g7/summit/1984london/east.html

May 31 - NATO foreign ministers issued the Washington statement on East-West relations. Click here for the final communique from this meeting: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c840531a.htm

March 19-20 - Agreements reached at a European Council in Brussels could not be finalized because of disagreements on the amount of compensation due to the UK for its contribution to the EC budget.

January 17 - The Stockholm conference on security and confidence building measures (CDE) opened.

January 1 - France assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1983

December 8-9 - The North Atlantic Council held a ministerial during which it issued the Brussels declaration expressing the determination of NATO's members to seek a balanced and constructive relationship with the East and calling on the countries of the East to respond. Click here for the final communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c831209a.htm

December 8 - START talks between the United States and the Soviet Union ended without a date being set by the Soviet side for their resumption.

November 23 - NATO's INF deployments began with deliveries of ground-launched cruise missile components to the UK. The USSR decided to discontinue INF negotiations in Geneva.

October 27 - At a meeting in Montebello, Canada, members of NATO's Nuclear Planning Group decided to remove 1,400 nuclear warheads from Europe.

September 14 - European Parliament Deputy Altiero Spinelli of Italy presented the European Parliament a draft treaty establishing the European Union.

July 22 - Martial law was lifted in Poland.

July 1 - For the first time Greece assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

June 17-19 - At a European Council in Stuttgart, Germany, EC leaders issued a Solemn Declaration on European Union. (This document, which helped lead to the creation of the European Union, confirmed the 1966 Luxembourg compromise. The latter shifted the balance of power within the EEC from the supranational European Commission to the intergovernmental European Council. The Solemn Declaration defines the duties of the European Council as: “defining approaches to further the construction of Europe; issuing guidelines for Community action and political cooperation; initiating cooperation in new areas; and expressing the common position in questions of external relations.”)

March 23 - US President Reagan announced his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a comprehensive research program aimed at eliminating the threat of strategic nuclear missiles.

March 22 - Intense speculation by international currency traders against the French franc led to the third devaluation of the franc in relation to the Deutsche mark since the arrival in office of the Socialist government in May 1981. The French government also adopted a deflationary economic package which, coupled with the devaluation, allowed France to stay in the European Monetary System·

January 19 - In an historic speech before the West German Bundestag (or lower house of parliament), French President Francois Mitterrand strongly supported the US and NATO plan to deploy Pershing II and Cruise missiles in response to Soviet SS-20 deployments. During the speech Mitterrand said "the missiles are in the East, the pacifists are in the West."

January 1 - Germany assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1982

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

June 30 - Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) talks opened in Geneva between the United States and the Soviet Union.

June 4-6 - During a Western economic summit in Versailles, US and EC leaders were unable to reach agreement on East-West trade and credit issues. EC leaders were opposed to sanctions put in place in December 1981 by the Reagan administration in the aftermath of the imposition of martial law in Poland. The US sanctions were directed against US and foreign companies, many of which were European, that were producing materials for a natural gas pipeline from Siberia to Western Europe. The US also asked the Europeans to reduce economic credits to the USSR. On June 18 the US government announced an embargo on exports of high technology material for the Siberian pipeline by US companies and their foreign affiliates. The European governments, which viewed the US sanctions as interference in their internal affairs, instructed the companies in their countries to honor their contracts with the Soviet Union.

May 30 - Spain became the sixteenth member of NATO.

February 23 - Greenland, which became part of the EC when Denmark became a member-state, opted to withdraw from the Community in a referendum. Greenland formally left the EC on February 1, 1985 but remained associated with it as an overseas territory.

January 4 - EC Foreign Ministers condemned the imposition of martial law in Poland.

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

1981

December 13 - Martial law was imposed in Poland.

December 10-11 - Spain signed a protocol of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty.

November 30 - The United State and the Soviet Union opened negotiations on INF in Geneva.

November 18 - US President Ronald Reagan announced new arms control initiatives regarding Intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) and strategic arms reduction talks (START).

November 7 - The German and Italian governments submitted the Draft European Act, an institutional reform proposal developed by Italian Foreign Minister Emilio Colombo and German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher.

October 13 - At a European Council in London, EC leaders approved the London report on procedural improvements to EPC.

July 1 - The UK assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

January 20 - Gaston Thorn of Luxembourg became President of the European Commission.

January 6 and 20 - Italian Foreign Minister Emilio Colombo and German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher proposed strengthening European Political Cooperation (EPC).

January 1 - The Netherlands assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. Greece became the tenth member of the European Community.

1980

December 1-2 - At a European Council in Luxembourg, EC leaders took decisions on East-West relations, the Middle East, aid to Poland, and aid to Italy for reconstruction following an earthquake.

October 20 - Greek forces were reintegrated into NATO's military command system.

August 31 - The Gdansk agreements were signed in Poland, leading to the creation and official recognition of the independent Polish trade union, Solidarity.

July 1 - The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

June 12-13 - At a European Council in Venice, EC leaders issued and released four foreign policy declarations. The declarations concerned the Middle East, the Euro-Arab Dialogue, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.

May 30 - The European Council reached a compromise agreement regarding the UK contribution to the EC budget.

May 4 - Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito died.

April 27-28 - At a European Council in Luxembourg, EC leaders discussed the British contribution to the Community budget.

January 24 - NATO established the Special Consultative Group on theater nuclear force arms control.

January 1 - Italy assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1979

December 29 - A special meeting of the North Atlantic Council was held following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan on December 25-26.

December 12 - A special meeting of NATO foreign and defense ministers was held in Brussels that resulted in the "double-track" decision. This was a plan to modernize theater nuclear forces in Europe by deploying US ground-launched Cruise and Pershing II missiles and a parallel arms control effort to obviate the need for such deployments. Click here for the communique from this meeting: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c791212a.htm

NATO's "double-track decision" contributed to the development of broad-based anti-nuclear peace movements in West Germany, the UK, and throughout Western Europe that transformed the West European political and cultural landscape during the 1980's.

November 29-30 - At a European Council in Dublin, the new Conservative government in Britain asked for a resolution of the issue of Britain's contribution to the EC budget. The UK government's position was that its contribution to the budget was excessive. This issue came to dominate relations between Britain and the EC during Margaret Thatcher’s first term in office and was only resolved in 1984 at the Fontainebleau European Council when Britain was given a permanent annual budget.

July 31 - The European Commission sent the European Council a directive on the right of member-states' nationals to reside permanently in the territory of other member-states.

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

June 29 - US General Bernard W. Rogers became NATO's SACEUR.

June 28 - The Greek Parliament ratified the treaty of accession to the EC.

June 18 - The SALT II agreement was signed by US President Jimmy Carter and USSR General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev. (The agreement was never ratified by the US.) Click here http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/treaties/salt2-2.html for the text of the SALT II Treaty.

June 7-10 - The first elections of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage were held.

March 16 - French statesman Jean Monnet, the "father of Europe," died.

March 13 - The European Monetary System entered into force.

February 5 - Negotiations for the accession of Spain to the EC formally opened in Brussels.

January 1 - France assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1978

December 4-5 - At a European Council in Brussels, EC leaders agreed to set up the European Monetary System based on a European Currency Unit and an Exchange Rate Mechanism. The value of the ECU was based on a basket of member-states' currencies. The ERM built on the "currency snake" set up in 1972 and required that member-states' currencies fluctuate against each other only within a margin of 2.25% . Britain opted out of the ERM during the Brussels European Council.

July 6-7 - At a European Council in Bremen, Germany, EC leaders approved a Franco-German plan for a European Monetary System· They also reached agreement on a common strategy to reduce unemployment and increase economic growth.

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

January 1- Denmark assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1977

October 12 - NATO established the Nuclear Planning Group High Level Group on theater nuclear force modernization.

July 28 - Spain formally applied to join the EC.

July 1 - Belgium assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. The common customs tariff was extended to the new EC member-states, Denmark, Ireland, and the UK.

May 7-8 - For the first time the EC participated in discussions at an economic summit of Western industrialized countries.

March 28 - Portugal formally applied to join the EC.

January 6 - Roy Jenkins of the UK became President of the European Commission.

January 1 - The United Kingdom assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1976

December 9-10 - The North Atlantic Council rejected proposals by the Warsaw Treaty countries to renounce first use of nuclear weapons. Click here for the final communique from this meeting: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c761209a.htm

July 27 - Negotiations for the accession of Greece to the EC formally opened in Brussels.

July 1 - The Netherlands assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

February 9 - The European Council approved Greece's application for EC membership.

February 2 - The European members of NATO established the Independent European Program Group to provide cooperation on the research, development, and production of military equipment.

January 1 - The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1975

December 1-2 - At a European Council in Rome, EC leaders took decisions on election of the European Parliament by universal suffrage, a passport union, and a single EC representative for the North-South dialogue.

September 16 - Official diplomatic relations were established between the EC and China.

August 1 - The Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe was signed in Helsinki by representatives of thirty-five countries. Click here for the text of the Final Act: http://www.osce.org/odihr/docs/compilation/compilation-1975hel.htm

July 22 - A treaty giving the European Parliament wider budgetary powers and establishing a Court of Auditors was signed in Brussels.

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

June 12 - Greece formally applied to join the European Communities.

June 5 - The outcome of the British referendum found 67.2% of voters to be in favor of continued UK membership in the EC.

April 9 - In the British House of Commons, 369 members voted in favor of the UK staying in the EC, while 170 voted against.

March 18 - UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson said he would recommend the British people vote in a planned referendum in favor of the UK's continued membership in the EC.

March 10-11 - The European Council held its first meeting in Dublin, Ireland and completed the renegotiation of the UK's EC membership terms.

January 1 - Ireland assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1974

December 15 - US General Alexander M. Haig became NATO's SACEUR.

December 9-10 - "At a summit in Paris, EC leaders formally launched the European Council, agreed to have direct elections to the European Parliament and a European Regional Development Fund (for poorer regions within the EC), and resolved to establish an economic and monetary union. The European Council brings together heads of state and government of the EC and the president of the European Commission. (It has played a greater role in shaping European integration than any other European institution.)

November 23-24 - At a meeting in Vladivostok, US President Gerald Ford and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev agreed on steps towards limitation of US and USSR strategic nuclear arms.

August 14 - Greek forces withdrew from NATO's integrated military command.

September 14 - At an informal meeting in Paris, EU heads of state and government and the President of the European Commission decided to replace the Council of the European Communities with the European Council, which would meet three times a year.

July 31 - The Euro-Arab Dialogue, a diplomatic initiative including EC member states, the European Commission, and the Arab League, opened in Paris.

July 23 - Konstantinos Karamanlis became Greek Prime Minister following the resignation of the military government.

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

June 19 - NATO heads of state and government signed the Ottawa Declaration in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the Alliance and discussed how NATO's military posture was affected by the "near equilibrium" between US and Soviet nuclear forces. http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b740619a.htm

April 25 - A military coup d'etat took place in Portugal.

April 1 - The new Labour government in the UK requested a renegotiation of the terms of British EC membership. A UK minister issued a statement calling for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and "fairer methods of financing the Community budget."

January 1 - Germany assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1973

December 14-15 - An EC summit was held in Copenhagen, Denmark during which member-states agreed on the introduction of a common energy policy. They also issued a statement on the European identity as part of their political cooperation arrangements.

November 6 - EC member-states declared their commitment to a peaceful solution to the Middle East crisis.

October 30 – NATO-Warsaw Pact negotiations on Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR) formally opened in Vienna, Austria.

October 6-24 - Egypt and Syria launched a two-pronged attack on Israel during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Other Arab states assisted Egypt and Syria. These actions led to the fourth Arab-Israeli war since 1948.

July 3-7 - The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) opened in Helsinki, Finland.

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

May 11- NATO inaugurated a Standing Naval Force Channel (STANAVFORCHAN).

January 6 - Francois Xavier Ortoli of France became President of the European Commission.

January 1 - Belgium assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom acceded to the European Communities (EC).

1972

December 21 - The Basic Treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic was signed in Berlin.

November 21 - SALT II negotiations between the US and USSR opened in Geneva.

October 19-21 - At a summit in Paris, EC leaders reaffirmed 1980 as the deadline for creating an economic and monetary union and defined new fields of Community action (regional, environmental, social, energy, and industrial policies).

October 16 - The UK ratified the treaties of accession to the EC.

October 2 - Denmark held a referendum on joining the EC; a majority favored accession.

September 25 - Norway held a referendum on joining the EC; a majority did not favor accession. Following the defeat of the referendum, the Norwegian government said it wanted to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EC rather than accede to it.

July 1 - The Netherlands assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

June 3 - The Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin was signed by the foreign ministers of France, the UK, the US, and the USSR.

May 30-31 - The North Atlantic Council agreed to begin preparatory talks for a Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). These talks began on November 22. In addition, the countries in NATO's integrated command proposed multilateral explorations on mutual and balanced force reductions (MBFR). These discussions were held from January 31 to June 29, 1973. Click here for the final communique from the May 30-31, 1972 meeting: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c720530a.htm

May 26 - The US and USSR signed an interim agreement on strategic arms limitations (SALT) and anti-ballistic missile systems (ABM) in Moscow. Click here http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/starthtm/start/toc.html for the text of the SALT I Treaty and related protocols and here http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/treaties/abmpage.html for the text of the ABM Treaty and related protocols and documents.

May 10 - Ireland held a referendum on joining the EC; a substantial majority favored accession.

March 21 - Franco Maria Malfatti, President of the Commission of the EC, resigned and was replaced by Vice-President Sicco Mansholt of the Netherlands.

The EC Council adopted a resolution on the first stage of economic and monetary union. EC member-states agreed to limit the margin of fluctuation between their currencies to 2.25%. This established the European currency "snake."

January 22 - The governments of Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom signed treaties of accession to the European Communities.

January 1 - The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1971

October 1 - Joseph Luns of the Netherlands became NATO Secretary General.

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

June 30- EC applicant states (Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom) outlined their respective negotiating positions.

June 3 - The Ministers of Justice of the EC met collectively for the first time in Luxembourg. They signed protocols granting new powers to the Court of Justice.

March 22- The Council adopted the Werner Plan on coordinating EC member-states' economic policies. The report (which was issued in 1970) said member-states needed to harmonize their budget policies and reduce the fluctuation between their currencies.

January 1 - France assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1970

December 2-4 - The US government announced at NATO meetings in Brussels that it would not reduce its forces in Europe "except in the context of reciprocal East-West action." NATO's Defense Planning Committee approved a report on the defense problems facing the alliance in the 1970's. Ten European countries adopted a special European Defense Improvement Program. Click here for the final communique from the December 3-4 North Atlantic Council ministerial: http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c701203a.htm

November 19 - EC foreign ministers met for the first time to discuss how to advance European political cooperation, a task which their leaders delegated to them at the Hague summit in 1969. The ministers issued a report which recommended enhanced foreign policy cooperation, in particular, information exchanges, consultations and efforts to coordinate member-states' foreign policies.

October 27 - EC member-states approved the Davignon report on political cooperation. The report said the EC should seek to speak with a single voice internationally.

July 2 - Franco Maria Malfatti of Italy was elected President of the Commission of the European Communities.

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

June 30 - Negotiations with EC applicant countries Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom opened in Luxembourg.

April 16 - The US and USSR opened negotiations on strategic arms limitations (SALT) in Vienna.

March 6 - The Council of the European Communities established two expert committees - one to issue proposals on economic and monetary union and another to make recommendations on political cooperation.

March 4 - The Commission of the European Communities submitted to the Council a plan for the establishment of economic and monetary union.

January 1 - Belgium assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. Responsibility for developing and implementing external trade policy passed from EC member-states to the European Commission.

1969

December 31 - The twelve-year transitional period for the establishment of a common market provided for in the Treaty of Rome ended.

December 1-2 - EC leaders held a summit in the Hague, the Netherlands where they reaffirmed their plan to build an economic and monetary union, harmonize member-states social policies and enlarge the Community with new members. They also instructed their foreign ministers to report to them on "the best way of achieving progress in the matter of political unification" and working towards "a united Europe capable of assuming its responsibilities in the world."

July 22-23 - The Council of the European Communities resumed its review of the applications for EC membership of Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom. In response to the Council's request, on August 10 the Commission of the European Communities revised its September 1967 decision on this matter.

July 6 - Jean Rey was re-elected President of the Commission of the European Communities.

July 1 - The Netherlands assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. US General Andrew J. Goodpaster became NATO's SACEUR.

May 28 - NATO established a naval on-call force in the Mediterranean (NAVOCFORMED).

April 28 - French President de Gaulle resigned from office following defeat of a referendum he had called.

January 1 - The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1968

November 15-16 - The North Atlantic Council denounced Soviet actions in Czechoslovakia as contrary to the basic principles of the UN Charter and issued a warning to the USSR.

September 12 - Albania renounced its membership in the Warsaw Treaty Organization.

August 20-21 - Soviet, Polish, East German, Bulgarian, and Hungarian troops invaded Czechoslovakia.

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

The EC customs union was completed eighteen months ahead of the schedule contained in the Treaty of Rome. Member states no longer imposed custom duties on products traded with each other, while the common custom tariff replaced national custom duties for trade with non-EC members.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was signed by the US, USSR, the UK and 59 other countries. This treaty, which was designed to halt the spread of nuclear weapons, entered into force on March 5, 1970. (It is considered an arms control landmark, in part because it is the most widely accepted arms control agreement with 187 signatories as of 2000.) Click here for the text of the NPT treaty: http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/treaties/npt1.html#2

June 24-25 - At a ministerial in Reykjavik, Iceland, the North Atlantic Council reviewed measures affecting access routes to Berlin and issued a Declaration on Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions, setting out principles to guide negotiations on reducing the conventional forces of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c680624b.htm

January 19 - The US and USSR tabled a draft nuclear non-proliferation treaty at a Geneva disarmament conference.

January 1 - France assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Communities.

1967

December 13-14 - The North Atlantic Council approved the Harmel Report on the Future Tasks of the Alliance: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b671213a.htm This document made the case that NATO's military posture should couple defense with detente. The Defense Planning Committee adopted NATO's new strategic concept of flexible response, under which the use of nuclear weapons would be gradual and adapted to prevailing circumstances, rather then automatic as called for by the doctrine of massive retaliation. NATO officials also approved establishment of a Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT).

December 12 - NATO's Nuclear Defense Affairs Committee held a meeting in Brussels to examine the report of the Nuclear Planning Group on strategic nuclear forces, anti-ballistic missiles, the tactical use of nuclear weapons, and national participation in nuclear planning.

November 27 - French President de Gaulle vetoed the UK's application to join the European Communities. De Gaulle again said the UK was not prepared to join.

October 16 - The new NATO headquarters in Brussels opened.

July 25 - The Norwegian government submitted a new application to join the European Communities.

July 28 - Sweden applied to join the European Communities.

July 6 - The new Commission of the European Communities took office and Jean Rey of Belgium was elected its first president.

June 30 - The Commission of the European Communities signed the final act of the Kennedy Round of the GATT.

May 11 - The Danish government submitted a new application to join the European Communities.

May 10 - The UK government submitted a new application to join the European Communities. French President de Gaulle remained reluctant to accept British accession.

March 31 - SHAPE officially opened in Casteau, near Mons, Belgium.

January 18 - The NATO Defense College opened in Rome, Italy.

1966

December 14 - NATO's Defense Planning Committee established the Nuclear Defense Affairs Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group.

October 25 - The Netherlands ratified the treaty that created a Council and Commission of the European Communities.

June 30 - The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg ratified the treaty that created a Council and Commission of the European Communities.

April 29 - Italy ratified the treaty that created a Council and Commission of the European Communities.

April 5 - Belgium ratified the treaty that created a Council and Commission of the European Communities.

March 10 - French President de Gaulle formally announced France's intention of withdrawing from NATO's integrated military command.

January 1 - The EEC began the third phase of the transition to the Common Market, which involved replacing unanimity with a majority voting system for most Council decisions.

1965

December 14-16 - At a ministerial meeting in Paris, the North Atlantic Council adopted new procedures to improve the annual process of reviewing the defense efforts of member countries and agreeing on their military contribution to the alliance.

September 9 - French President de Gaulle announced at a press conference that French military integration within NATO would end by 1969.

July 22 - The Commission of the European Communities submitted a memorandum to the Council of the European Communities on financing the CAP, which the Council accepted as a basis for discussions on July 26-27.

July 1 - France broke off negotiations with its EEC partners on financing the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the French government recalled its permanent representative to the EEC. This was the beginning of the “Empty Chair” crisis. The crisis ended when the Council accepted the Luxembourg Compromise on January 28-29, 1966, under which France resumed its place in the Council (which used majority voting) in return for retaining unanimous EEC decision-making when major national interests are affected.

June 30 - West Germany ratified the treaty that created a Council and Commission of the European Communities.

June 26 - France ratified the treaty that created a Council and Commission of the European Communities.

April 23 - The USSR launched its first communications satellite.

April 8 - The treaty merging the executives of the three European communities (EEC, ECSC. and Euratom) was signed in Brussels and entered into force on July 1, 1967. This treaty established a Council of the European Communities and a Commission of the European Communities. Click here http://europa.eu.int/abc/obj/treaties/en/entr13a.htm#B___Treaty_establishing_a_Single_Council for the text of the treaty.

April 7 - Soviet and East German authorities blocked land access to Berlin during the period when the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany was holding a meeting in West Berlin.

1964

December 10 - The association agreement signed by the EEC and Turkey entered into force.

October 14 - Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was removed from office and replaced by Leonid Brezhnev as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Alexei Kosygin as Prime Minister.

August 1 - Manlio Brosio of Italy became NATO Secretary General.

January 10 - Walter Hallstein of Germany was reelected President of the EEC Commission.

1963

November 22 - US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

July 15-25 - The US, UK, and USSR initialed an agreement banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere, outer space, and underwater. The Moscow Treaty on a partial nuclear test ban was signed on August 5 and entered into force October 10.

May 4 - The Kennedy Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) trade negotiations officially opened.

February 5 - An official of the European Court of Justice stated that the European Community constituted a new legal order under which member states consented to restrict their sovereign rights in exchange for the benefits of membership.

January 29 - At French insistence, accession negotiations between the EEC and the UK (as well as with other applicant countries) were suspended.

January 22 - French President de Gaulle and West German Prime Minister Adenauer signed the landmark Treaty of Friendship and Reconciliation in Paris (the Elysee Treaty) which established a complex framework of institutional contacts between France and Germany. In May 1963 a new preamble was added which said Franco-German entente would be subordinate to Germany's multilateral commitments to NATO, the EC, and the GATT. The treaty also contained defense clauses which proposed a rapprochement of French and German military doctrines and extensive consultations between the military officials of both countries. These provisions were only implemented in the mid-1980's.

January 14 - French President Charles de Gaulle effectively vetoed British membership in the EEC by stating that he doubted the UK's political will to join the EEC.

January 1 - US General Lyman L. Lemnitzer became NATO's SACEUR.

1962

December 18-20 - US President Kennedy and UK Prime Minister Macmillan met in Nassau, Bahamas and agreed to dedicate part of their strategic nuclear forces to NATO.

October 22- November 20 - The United States partially blockaded Cuba following revelation that the USSR had constructed missile bases on the island. The blockade was lifted after the Soviets agreed to dismantle the bases.

July 4 - In an address at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, US President John F. Kennedy said the United States does not view "a strong and united Europe as a rival but as a partner." President Kennedy proposed "a concrete Atlantic partnership" between the United States and Europe "on a basis of full equality in all the great and burdensome tasks of building and defending a community of free nations." Click here for the text of what is often called "the declaration of interdependence": http://www.jfklibrary.org/jfk-independencehall-1962.html

May 6 - At US insistence, NATO Foreign and Defense Ministers reviewed the circumstances under which the Alliance might be compelled to use nuclear weapons. Their recommendations became known as the Athens Guidelines.

April 30 - Norway applied to join the European Communities.

February 5-6 - The EEC agreed on rules for the European Social Fund, which promotes human resources and the labor market within the EEC.

January 14 - The EEC adopted regulations on a common agricultural policy to create a single European market for agricultural products. The regulations were enacted April 4, 1962 and entered into force July 30, 1962.

January 10 - The EEC Commission (today the European Commission, the EU's executive body) took office with Walter Hallstein as President. Hallstein was a close foreign policy advisor to West German Chancellor Adenauer. The European Commission is an independent body that represents the European interest common to all EU member states. It is the only European institution that can propose legislative measures.

January 8-20 - The Alliance Convention of citizens of NATO countries endorsed NATO's Declaration of Paris, which called for strengthening the Alliance and the Atlantic community.

1961

December 13-15 - NATO's North Atlantic Council held a ministerial in Paris and reaffirmed the Alliance's position on Berlin (which was that it should remain united), strongly condemned the building of the Berlin Wall, and approved the renewal of diplomatic contacts with the USSR to determine if there was a basis for negotiation with it (the Declaration of Paris).

August 13 - Construction of the Berlin Wall was begun by the Communist government of East Germany to divide East and West Berlin. Since the 1950's East Germans had been emigrating to West Germany; during the Berlin crisis an increasing number of East German refugees fled to West Berlin. The Berlin Wall led to a drastic reduction in the flow of refugees.

August 10 - Denmark applied to join the European Communities.

August 9 - The Soviet government threatened to give the East German government control over Berlin and limit allied access to the city.

August 9 - The United Kingdom applied to join the European Communities.

July 31 - Ireland applied to join the European Communities.

July 18 - EEC leaders held a summit in Bonn, West Germany and expressed their desire to form a political union.

June 27 - The Dutch government proposed revising the Treaties of Rome and Paris (which established the EEC and ECSC respectively) by setting up a Council for the Communities and a European High Commission to merge the executive bodies of the EEC and ECSC. Because of differences among EEC member states over this proposal, governments were unable at the time to reach agreement on it.

April 21 - Dirk U. Stikker (of the Netherlands) became NATO Secretary General.

1960

December 14 - Eighteen European countries, the United States, and Canada signed the convention establishing the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international organization that promotes economic progress and world trade. The convention went into effect September 30, 1961. (The OECD superceded the Organization for European Economic Cooperation, created in 1948 to coordinate the Marshall Plan.) http://www.oecd.org/about/origins/convention/conventn.htm

May 19 - The Foreign Ministers of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States reported to NATO's North Atlantic Council on the breakdown of their meeting in Paris with the Foreign Minister of the USSR on May 16.

January 4 - The governments of Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom signed the Stockholm Convention establishing the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The convention went into effect on May 3,1960. EFTA, which was comprised of European countries that were not in the EEC, was formed to reduce barriers to trade among its members.

1959

December 15-22 - New NATO headquarters opened at the Port Dauphine in Paris.

October 3 - Belgian Foreign Minister Pierre Wigny proposed uniting the High Authority of the ECSC, the EEC, and Euratom into a single organization.

September 27 - Negotiations for the association of Turkey to the EEC began.

September 10 - Negotiations for the association of Greece to the EEC began.

July 31 – Turkey applied for association with the EEC.

June 11 - The Four-Power meeting opened in Geneva, Switzerland during which the Foreign Ministers of France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the USSR discussed the German question.

June 8 - Greece applied for association with the EEC.

1958

November 16-18 - NATO's North Atlantic Council held a ministerial during which it associated itself with the views expressed by the governments of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States on the right of the Western powers to remain in and maintain their free access to Berlin.

November 10 - Soviet leader Khrushchev announced that the Soviet Union wished to terminate the Four-Power agreement on the status of Berlin. Khrushchev gave the Western powers six months to agree to withdraw from Berlin and make it a demilitarized city.

October 7 – The members of the EEC established the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. It replaced the ECSC Court of Justice.

April 15-17 - NATO Defense Ministers met in Paris and reaffirmed the defensive nature of NATO strategy.

March 19 - The members of the EEC held a meeting in Strasbourg, France to set up the European Parliamentary Assembly. French statesman Robert Schuman was elected President of this group, which replaced the ECSC Common Assembly.

February 10 - The EEC set in place a harmonized tariff for coal and steel.

January 26 - The members of the EEC decided to create a committee of permanent representatives of member states, COREPER. (This group is today composed of ambassadors of EU member states to the EU and the deputy secretary general of the European Commission, the EU's executive body.) Its task is to prepare the work of the European Council, a political body that meets twice a year and sets broad policy outlines for the EU. It consists of European heads of state or government and the President of the European Commission.

1957

October 4 - The Soviet Union launched the first Sputnik, an unmanned satellite orbiting the earth. This event, which marked the beginning of the Space Age, heightened US concerns about Soviet military and technological advances.

July 29 - The governments of the Four Powers (France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States) signed a declaration in Berlin that affirmed their policies on the reunification of Germany and European security.

May 16 - Belgian statesman Paul-Henri Spaak became NATO Secretary General.

March 25 - The Treaties of Rome were signed by the governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands in Rome. These treaties established the EEC and Euratom and entered into force January 1, 1958. Click here for the Treaty of Rome as amended by subsequent treaties: http://www.tufts.edu/departments/fletcher/multi/texts/rome/contents.html and here for the Euratom Treaty: http://www.europa.eu.int/abc/obj/treaties/en/entoc38.htm (The EEC is today the European Union.)

1956

Dec. 13, 1956 - NATO's North Atlantic Council approved recommendations in the Report of the Committee of Three on Non-Military Cooperation. The report argued in favor of more extensive consultations among NATO members. http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b561213a.htm

November 20 - US General Lauris Norstad became NATO's SACEUR.

November 5-6 - British and French forces began occupying the Suez Canal area but their action was stopped by growing opposition at home and in the UN, the threat of Soviet intervention, and US pressure on the United Kingdom.

November 4 - The USSR suppressed the Hungarian people's rebellion.

October 31 - British and French forces attacked Egyptian airfields, and the UN Security Council called an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly.

October 30 - The British and French governments issued ultimatums to Israel and Egypt to withdraw ten miles on either side of the Suez Canal to allow Anglo-French occupation.

October 29 - Israeli brigades invaded Egypt and advanced toward the Suez Canal.

July 26 - The Egyptian government of Gamal Abdel Nasser declared martial law in the Suez Canal area and nationalized the Suez Canal, which had been owned by British and French companies. Nasser was reacting to the decision of the United States and United Kingdom not to finance Egyptian construction of the Aswan High Dam as promised. The US and UK decision was based on Egypt's growing ties with communist Czechoslovakia and the USSR.

May 29 - The Foreign Ministers of the members of the European Coal and Steel Community (the Six) approved the Spaak proposals during a meeting in Venice, Italy. They decided to begin intergovernmental negotiations on treaties to create the European Economic Community and Euratom, the European Atomic Energy Community. The negotiations began in Brussels on June 26.

May 6 - Belgian Foreign Minister Paul-Henri Spaak presented his colleagues in the ECSC with a report on draft treaties to create the EEC and Euratom (the Spaak proposals).

February 24 - At the Soviet Communist Party's 20th Congress Nikita Khrushchev denounced Soviet leader Stalin in a secret speech.

1955

May 14 - The Warsaw Treaty Organization, known as the Warsaw Pact, was established between the Soviet Union and Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. This organization was created in response to the inclusion of West Germany in NATO and was intended as a Soviet counterpart to NATO.

May 6 - The Brussel Treaty Powers (the Benelux countries, France, and the United Kingdom), the Federal Republic of Germany, and Italy signed the Western European Union treaty, transforming the Western Union into the Western European Union. Click here for the modified Brussels Treaty: http://www.weu.int/eng/docu/d541023b.htm

May 5 - The Federal Republic of Germany acceded to the North Atlantic Treaty, becoming the fifteenth member of NATO. Click here for the Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of the Federal Republic of Germany: http://www.weu.int/eng/docu/d541023n.htm . The protocol was signed October 23, 1954 and entered into force May 5, 1955.

April 1 - In a 76 to 2 vote the United States Senate gave its advice and consent to US ratification of a protocol to admit Germany into NATO.

January 1-2 - The Foreign Ministers of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands met in Messina, Italy and agreed to work toward the economic integration of their countries. Click here for Messina Declaration: http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/history/rtg/res1/messina.htm

1954

November 22 - NATO's Military Committee approved MC 48, a report on the role of nuclear weapons in NATO military doctrine and transmitted it to the North Atlantic Council. The NAC approved the nuclear strategy document in December 1954. www.nato.int/docu/stratdoc/eng/a570523b.pdf (Adobe Acrobat is required to download the report)

November 10 - Jean Monnet, President of the European Coal and Steel Community High Authority, resigned his position following the failure of the EDC.

October 23 - The Federal Republic of Germany was invited to join NATO, and the FRG and Italy acceded to the Western Union under agreements signed in Paris. Click here for a NATO resolution on the Paris agreements: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b541022a.htm

October 20-22 - The Four-Power Conference (which consisted of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States) met in Paris. Click here for the final communiqué: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b541022e.htm . This group adopted a protocol that terminated the occupation regime in the FRG. Click here for a NATO resolution on the Four-Power and Nine-Power conferences: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b541022c.htm

October 23 - The Brussels Treaty Powers signed agreements on a modified Brussels Treaty to replace the Western Union with the Western European Union. Click here for the text of the Modified Brussels Treaty: http://www.weu.int/eng/docu/d541023a.htm

The Federal Republic of Germany was invited to join NATO, and the FRG and Italy acceded to the Western Union under agreements signed in Paris. Click here for a NATO resolution on the Paris agreements: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b541022a.htm

September 28- October 3 - The Conference of Nine (which consisted of Belgium, Canada, France, the Federal republic of Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States) met in London. The purpose of this meeting was to seek an alternative to the European Defense Community in light of its rejection by France. Click here for the Final Act of the Nine-Power Conference: http://www.weu.int/eng/docu/d541003a.htm

August 29 - The French National Assembly voted 319 to 264 against ratifying the treaty to establish the European Defense Community. French Communists, Gaullists, and various right-wing parties were particularly opposed to the EDC.

August 26 - The US Mutual Security Act of 1954 was enacted into law. It contained a provision preventing future deliveries of military equipment to France and Italy, which had not signed the EDC treaty.

August 23 - French Prime Minister Pierre Mendes-France met with British leaders. Knowing the prospects were not good for ratification of the EDC treaty by the French parliament, Mendes-France proposed an alternative organization that would be broader but looser than the EDC and would include the United Kingdom. The British presented this idea to the United States, which did not favor it because it believed German rearmament had to be embedded in a European political foundation.

August 19-22 - The Brussels Treaty Powers met in Brussels to consider modifications to the EDC treaty. French Prime Minister Mendes-France proposed a less supranational defense organization, but France's partners did not agree to it.

May 7 - The United States and the United Kingdom rejected the USSR's bid to join NATO.

1953

August 12 - The USSR tested its first hydrogen bomb.

July 23 - The Korean armistice was signed in Panmunjon, Korea.

July 11 - US General Alfred M. Gruenther became NATO's SACEUR.

April 10 - The Supreme Allied Command Atlantic (SACLANT) became operational with a headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.

March 5 - Soviet leader Joseph Stalin died.

February 10 - The Six removed custom duties and quantitative restrictions on coal and iron ore, creating a common market for these raw materials.

1952

August 10 - The European Coal and Steel Community High Authority took office.

July 1 - The United States Senate gave its advice and consent to US ratification of a NATO protocol with the Federal Republic of Germany that extended NATO security guarantees to the FRG.

May 30 - US General Matthew B. Ridgway became NATO's SACEUR.

May 27 - The governments of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the Federal Republic of Germany signed a treaty in Paris that created the European Defense Community (EDC). The EDC was based on a French proposal, the Pleven plan of 1950. It was designed as an integrated European military force within NATO that would bind Germany to Europe without admitting it directly into NATO. In response to this European effort to share the transatlantic defense burden, the United States would commit substantial conventional forces to Europe.

May 26 - The Convention on Relations between the Three Powers (France, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and the Federal Republic of Germany was signed in Bonn, Germany.

April 16 - NATO opened its provisional headquarters at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris.

March 12 - Lord Ismay of the United Kingdom was appointed Vice-Chairman of the North Atlantic Council and the first Secretary General of NATO. Ismay is perhaps best known for having said the purpose of NATO was to "keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down." (All subsequent Secretary Generals have also been European.)

February 20-25 - NATO Foreign, Defense, and Finance ministers met in Lisbon, Portugal and established NATO as a permanent organization with a headquarters in Paris. They also reorganized the structure of NATO by establishing the North Atlantic Council as a permanent body of diplomatic representatives of member governments. In addition, they decided the proposed European Defense Community would be part of NATO's integrated military command. Click here for the Lisbon communique: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b520225a.htm

February 18 - Greece and Turkey acceded to the North Atlantic Treaty, becoming NATO's thirteenth and fourteenth members. They had signed protocols of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty on October 17-22, 1951 in London. http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/bt-a1.htm

February 7 - The United States Senate, in a 73 to 2 vote, gave its advice and consent to US ratification of a protocol inviting Greece and Turkey to join NATO.

January 30 - US Vice Admiral Lynde D. McCormick was appointed the first Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT).

1951

June 19 - NATO members signed an agreement on the status of their forces.

April 18 - The leaders of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands signed the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty (http://europa.eu.int/abc/obj/treaties/en/entoc29.htm ) in Paris. The treaty entered into force on July 23, 1952. It created the European Coal and Steel Community, a common market for the production and trade of coal, steel, and other materials. French economist Jean Monnet was appointed President of the ECSC High Authority and Belgian statesman Paul-Henri Spaak President of the ECSC Common Assembly. The ECSC also had a Court of Justice. The treaty is set to expire on July 25, 2002 at which time its functions will fall under the authority of the European Commission, the EU's executive body.

(The establishment of the ECSC is considered the first major step toward the creation of what would later become the European Economic Community (EEC), which today is the European Union (EU). The countries that signed the ECSC treaty are known as the Six.)

April 4 - The United States Senate approved deployment of four US Army divisions to Europe. It also requested the President consult with Congress before sending any additional troops and that the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that Western Europe was making "appropriate efforts in collective defense" before the troops left home.

April 2 - Allied Command Europe became operational with Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Rocquencourt, France, near Paris.

February 15 - The French government convened a conference in Paris on creating a European army.

1950

December 20 - The Brussels Treaty Powers decided to merge the military component of the Western Union into NATO.

December 19 - NATO members appointed US General Dwight D. Eisenhower as the first Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). Eisenhower was tasked with creating a force capable of repulsing a Soviet attack against Western Europe. His tenure as SACEUR began on April 2, 1951. (All subsequent SACEURs have also been U.S. generals.)

December 17 - The NATO North Atlantic Council approved a package of proposals from US Deputy Permanent Representative to the NAC Charles Spofford regarding the formation of the EDC and the establishment of a NATO Supreme Headquarters. This package is known as the Spofford compromise.

October 24 - French Prime Minister Rene Pleven outlined a plan) for a unified European army within NATO that would eventually include West German regiments. European, especially French, concerns about West German rearmament would be addressed through controls on West German participation in this integrated force. This proposed European military force would have its own staff that would be directed by a European defense minister but it would be under the overall authority of the new supreme allied command of NATO. http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/history/rtg/res1/pleven.htm

September 9 - US President Truman announced his decision to send a substantial number of US troops to Western Europe who would serve under the NATO command.

June 25 - North Korean forces attacked the Republic of South Korea. (The Korean war is considered by historians as the event that led to the buildup of US conventional forces in Europe as called for in landmark National Security Council Memorandum 68.)

June 3 - Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands signed the Schuman declaration.

May 9 - French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that France and Germany and any other country wishing to join them pool their coal and steel resources (the Schuman declaration). The speech was inspired by French economist Jean Monnet, who (along with Schuman, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and Italian Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi) is considered a founding father of European integration. This proposal became known as the Schuman Plan, which helped promote postwar reconciliation between France and Germany and provided a framework for the integration of Germany into the West. Schuman believed that his plan would make war between France and Germany "not merely unthinkable but materially impossible."

January 27 - US President Truman approved a plan for the integrated defense of the North Atlantic area and released the first installment of US military assistance to NATO countries ($900 million).

1949

October 6 - US President Harry Truman signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949 which authorized the distribution of almost $1.3 billion in military aid, most of which was for Western Europe. However, most of the funds for Europe would not be made available until NATO's Defense Committee crafted a defense plan.

October 5 - The Defense Committee of NATO's North Atlantic Council met for the first time and established a Military Committee headed by US General Omar N. Bradley. The latter was tasked to create a military plan for the North Atlantic area.

August 29 - The USSR detonated an atomic bomb for the first time.

July 25 - US President Truman announced the ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty. He also sent a message to Congress recommending it authorize $1.4 billion in military aid in 1950, the majority of which would go to Western Europe. Truman said: "Like the North Atlantic Treaty this program of military aid is entirely defensive in character. By strengthening the defense establishments of the free nations, it will increase the confidence of the peoples of the world in a peaceful future and protect the growth of world recovery."

July 21 - The United States Senate gave its advice and consent to US ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty by a vote of 82 to 13.

June 25 - The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) was created. Comecon was established to facilitate and coordinate the economic development of Soviet bloc countries. (In 1991 Comecon became the Organization for International Economic Cooperation.)

May 12 - The USSR lifted the blockade of Berlin. The US-UK airlift continued until September 30. (Historians consider the Western embargo on all strategic exports from the Eastern bloc to have been critical to the end of the blockade.)

May 5 - The statute creating the Council of Europe was signed in London by Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The statute entered into force on August 3.

The Council of Europe is an international organization that promotes democracy and human rights and seeks to foster unity and cooperation among European states on legal, cultural, and social issues. It is based in Strasbourg, France and today has 40 member states. (The Council of Europe provided the first forum for European political cooperation.)

April 8 - The Brussels Treaty Powers, Denmark, Italy, and Norway requested US financial and military assistance.

April 4 - The governments of the United States, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington. The Treaty of Washington established a common security system based on a partnership among these 12 countries. http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/treaty.htm

March 31 - The Soviet government sent messages to the nations drafting the North Atlantic Treaty claiming that the proposed treaty would be an "openly aggressive" alliance against the Soviet Union and that it would violate the United Nations Charter. The twelve nations involved in drafting the treaty responded on April 2 that the proposed alliance was defensive and "not directed against any nation or group of nations but only against armed aggression."

March 15 - The North Atlantic Treaty drafting partners invited Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway, and Portugal to adhere to the treaty, and these nations accepted the invitation.

January 28 - France, the Benelux countries, and the United Kingdom decided to create a Council of Europe and asked Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Norway and Switzerland to help them draft the statute to create this organization.

1948

October 25-26 - The Brussels Treaty Powers' Consultative Council announced it had reached "complete agreement on the principle of a defensive pact for the North Atlantic Area."

July 6 - Initial discussions aimed at forming a North Atlantic defense pact began in Washington. The formal negotiations began on December 10 and brought together representatives of the governments of the United States, Canada, and the Brussels Treaty Powers.

June 26 - In response to the Soviet blockade of Berlin, the United States and United Kingdom launched a massive airlift to supply the city.

June 24 - The USSR announced that the Four-Power administration of Berlin had ceased and that the allies no longer had any rights over Berlin. Since March Soviet occupation forces in East Germany had blocked ground access to Berlin.

June 11 - The United States Senate adopted the Vandenberg Resolution by a vote of 64 to 4. This act established the basis for US participation in regional collective defense organizations. US participation in such efforts would be conditioned on "effective self-help and mutual aid" from US allies. http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b480611a.htm

April 16 - The Organization for European Economic Cooperation was created to coordinate the Marshall Plan, or European Recovery Program, and promote European economic cooperation. The Marshall Plan provided funds for economic reconstruction to war-ravaged nations in western and southern European nations as proposed in a June 5, 1947 speech by US Secretary of State George C. Marshall. The US legislation creating this program, The Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, was enacted April 3, 1948. (In 1961 the OEEC was superceded by the OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which included non-European members.)

March 17 - The governments of Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom signed the Brussels Treaty of Economic, Social and Cultural Collaboration and Collective Self-Defense ( http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b480317a.htm ) in which they pledged to come to each other's assistance if attacked and maintain cooperative political and economic relations with each other . (The Brussels Treaty led to the creation of the Western Union, which became the Western European Union in 1955.)

The signatories of the Brussels Treaty, known as the Brussels Powers or Brussels Treaty Powers, invited the United States to join the Western Union, but the United States declined the offer. The US government viewed the Western Union as too narrow an organization to contain the threat of communism in postwar Europe. Instead, US leaders favored the creation of an Atlantic defense organization with a broader membership.

February 22-25 - The Communist party of Czechoslovakia gained control of the government in Prague through a coup d'Etat.

January 22 - British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, in a speech before the House of Commons, proposed a Western Union comprised of the United Kingdom, France, and the Benelux countries.

1947

September 22-27 - Cominform, an organization that promoted the ideological unity of the Soviet bloc, was established following rejection of Marshall aid by the USSR and its allies.

March 12 - US President Harry Truman promulgated the Truman Doctrine when he urged the US "to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure."

March 4 - The United Kingdom and France signed the Treaty of Dunkirk, agreeing to give mutual support to each other in the event of renewed German aggression. The Treaty was the precursor of the 1948 Brussels Treaty.

1946

September 19 - Former British Prime Minister and World War II leader Sir Winston Churchill, then leader of the UK's Conservative party, gave a speech in Zurich, Switzerland in which he called for "a United States of Europe." http://www.eurplace.org/federal/churdisco.html

March 5 - In a speech in Fulton, Missouri, former UK Prime Minister Churchill warned of the expansionist tendencies of the USSR and famously said: "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” http://www.nationalcenter.org/ChurchillIronCurtain.html

1945

August 6 - The US became the first and only nation-state to use nuclear weapons when it dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb killed about 70-80,000 people and injured more than 70,000. On August 9 the US dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan that killed 35-40,000 people and injured about the same number. US President Harry Truman and his military advisors believed that using atomic weapons would force Japan to surrender against the US with less cost in US lives than a conventional attack. Historical evidence indicates that President Truman may not have known about the Nagasaki attack until after it had taken place. Click here for President Truman's announcement of the Hiroshima bomb: http://www.britannica.com/frm_redir.jsp?query=hiroshima&redir=http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/amex/presidents/nf/resource/truman/primdocs/hiroshima.html

June 26 - The UN Charter, which created the United Nations, was signed in San Francisco.

1941

August 14 - US President Roosevelt and UK Prime Minister Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter at sea. This document was a declaration of principles common to the people of both nations. http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b410814a.htm