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NATO, European Union EU


Membership of European security-related organizations (see the table at the end of this section). There are 48 states in Europe, including the Holy See and Russia. Of these, 46 are members of the Council of Europe (all except the Holy See and Belarus) and its associated European Assembly. Over half of the European states (27, plus Turkey and Croatia) are or soon will be members of the European Union and participate in the European Parliament. The European states that are not members of the EU are: 3—Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland—that have chosen not to join; 10 former Soviet and Yugoslavia states that have not been invited to join (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine; Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, and TFYR of Macedonia); and 6 small states (Albania, Andorra, Holy See, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and San Marino).

NATO (26 members), the CFE Treaty (30 parties), the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) (46 members), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (55 members) all include some states not located in Europe. With one exception, each of these groups includes all members in the previously named group plus additional members. NATO currently comprises 24 countries from Europe plus the United States and Canada. The CFE Treaty covers the 22 of the 26 NATO members (all except the Baltic states and Slovenia) plus 8 states that were previously part of the USSR (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine). The NATO-based EAPC includes the 34 NATO and CFE members plus 4 Central Asian states (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) and 8 other European states (Albania, Austria, Croatia, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, and TFYR Macedonia). The EAPC does not include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, or 7 other small countries (Andorra, Cyprus, Holy See, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, and San Marino). The 46 EAPC members plus the just-named 9 European non-members together make up the 55 OSCE countries.


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization—a mutual defense alliance among countries of Western Europe, the United States, and Canada—was established in 1949: the founding Treaty was signed on 4 April and the Treaty entered into force on 24 August, when all ratifications had been deposited with the United States. Since the dissolution of the Soviet-Eastern Europe counterpart, the Warsaw Treaty Organization or Warsaw Pact (founded 1955, formally dissolved 1 July 1991), and the USSR itself (dissolved 8 December 1991), NATO expanded its scope of concern with security issues to the whole of Europe and beyond. In 1991, the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) was set up to provide a forum for security dialogue among the former Warsaw Pact states and NATO countries. Three years later, the Partnership for Peace (PfP) was launched to develop individual (bilateral) programs for practical cooperation with NATO. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), with 46 members (currently 26 NATO countries and 20 partners), replaced the NACC in 1997.

NATO expansion: At its Madrid summit on 8-9 July 1997 NATO invited three former Warsaw Pact members, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, to join NATO. The Protocols of Accession were signed at Brussels on 16 December 1998, and the three states formally joined NATO on 12 March 1999.

In 1998, NATO worked on a new strategic concept for the alliance {28.1, 24?25.9, 8.11, 8?19.12, 14.4.99}, which was approved at the NATO summit in Washington on 23?25 April 1999 (NATO’s 50th anniversary). The new strategic concept reaffirmed NATO’s existing nuclear doctrine and expanded NATO’s mission to include operations other than territorial defense in certain contingencies (see 402dEUR99 for text). NATO’s attacks on Yugoslavia during the Kosovo crisis marked the alliance’s first attack on a sovereign nation {24.3.99}.

At a summit in Prague on 21–22 November 2002 NATO invited seven more countries from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to join: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. On 26 March 2003 at NATO Headquarters in Brussels the seven countries signed Protocols of Accession, amendments to the NATO Treaty which, after ratification by the 19 current members, finalized the admission of the new parties. That process was completed by April 2004. The Balkan states, along with Croatia, Albania and the former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia (TFYR Macedonia) were encouraged to work toward future membership.

At the NATO summit in Istanbul, Turkey, on 28–29 June 2004, NATO countries agreed to: expand the Alliance’s presence in Afghanistan, assist Iraq with police training, launch a new “Istanbul Cooperation Initiative,” and adopt measures to improve NATO’s operational capabilities.

NATO-Russia Council
In order to assuage Russian opposition to NATO’s planned expansion, in December 1996 NATO foreign ministers announced that the alliance had “no intention, no plan and no reason” to place nuclear weapons in new member countries {NATO Press Communiqué 10.12.96}. Russian Defense Minister Igor Rodionov said that NATO’s expansion could revive the control initiatives could be stalled {ACR 614bST296 16?18.10}; and he said Russia might target nuclear weapons at new member states. Other Russian officials, including Russia’s National Security Council head Ivan Rybkin, proposed political membership for Russia in NATO.

On 10 December 1996, NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels authorized the beginning of negotiations with Russia on a special charter giving Russia a privileged relationship with NATO. Led by NATO’s then Secretary General Javier Solana, negotiations took place in parallel with NATO’s drive for enlargement. The negotiations culminated in the Founding Act signed by Russia and the NATO members, setting out the principles of a new relationship between the alliance and Russia. It created a Permanent Joint Council (PJC) to meet periodically for consultations between NATO and Russia {13?14.5.97}. Following NATO’s attack on Yugoslavia, Russia withdrew from participation in Partnership for Peace (PfP) activities and closed its liaison office at NATO headquarters {24.3.99}. However, NATO expressed a willingness to develop a new relationship with Russia.

On 28 May 2002 the NATO-Russia Council was launched. NATO opened an office in Moscow for the first time; and cooperation intensified the fight against terrorism, theater missile defense, crisis management, submarine search and rescue, defense reform, and military-to-military cooperation. Meetings of the NATO-Russia Council are held monthly at the level of ambassadors and military representatives, and twice a year at the level of foreign and defense ministers and chiefs of staff.

On 28 May 2003, the NATO-Russia Council marked the first anniversary of the joint effort to fight terrorism. On 4 June 2003, the NATO-Russia Council met in Madrid, Spain and expanded cooperation in the Balkans.

NATO-Ukraine Charter
NATO signed a separate agreement with Ukraine, the “Charter on a Distinctive Partnership,” which set up the NATO-Ukraine Commission to meet twice a year {8?9.7.97}. In March 2000 and July 2002, the NATO-Ukraine Commission met in Kiev to review areas for cooperation: conflict prevention, crisis management, peace support and humanitarian operations, as well as civil emergency planning, Ukrainian defense reform and economic aspects of security. At a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission in December 2003, NATO assisted Ukraine in “implementing wider security sector reforms, strengthening civil and democratic control of Ukraine’s security sector, and managing consequences of defense reform.” {Xinhua, 2.12.03} In June 2004, the NATO-Ukraine Commission met in Istanbul to intensify areas for cooperation, including steps to enhance peace and stability. {FT 29.6.04}

NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC)
The EAPC, created in 1997, brings together the 26 current members of NATO and 20 other European countries, including Russia. It excludes the small ‘city states’ (Andorra, Holy See, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, and San Marino) and Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia and Montenegro. The EAPC is a forum for consultation on security issues. It sponsors seminars and external research and fosters support for NATO and its activities among European states that are not members. At a Prague Summit on 21–22 November 2002, the EAPC member states adopted plans concerning global security issues such as a Partnership Action Plan against terrorism, and they agreed to create new security structures to deal with new threats. At an Istanbul Summit on 29 June 2004, the EAPC member states focused on problems of the prospects for developing Afghanistan and on the questions of regional security. {402bEUR04 28-29.6}


Founded in 1948, the Council of Europe is a pan-European organization for consultation, harmonization, and enforcement of laws on human rights and international and internal conflict. Like the OSCE, the Council of Europe comprises (in principle) all 48 European states. Unlike the OSCE and some other European security organizations, it excludes non-European members, that is, the United States, Canada, and Central Asian states. The Council of Europe also differs from the OSCE’s Forum on Security Cooperation, NATO, and the CFE process in that it does not does not negotiate or implement disarmament or military confidence-building measures. The Council’s activities and mandate overlap with those of the OSCE, however, in setting standards for human rights and democratic institutions among member countries. In this respect, the Council’s work complements that of the OSCE, as noted in the Council’s 1998 Recommendation 1381:

The OSCE [is dominant] in ... preventive diplomacy and crisis management due to its ability to respond rapidly, as well as the means put at its disposal, which ensure a long-term presence. The Council of Europe has a unique expertise in the field of human rights, democratic institutions and the rule of law, which contributes to the structural prevention of conflict and to long-term ... post-conflict rehabilitation.... The OSCE relies increasingly on the Council of Europe’s instruments and expertise [in these areas].

Linked OSCE-NATO-CFE Issues. The conflicts between Russia and Georgia and Russia and Moldova stem in part from pockets of independence-minded Russian-speaking citizens in those two states, who have delayed the withdrawal of Russian bases and military equipment, as promised by Russia at the 1999 Istanbul summit. Though Russian withdrawal is not legally required under the terms of any existing treaty, most CFE countries have made it a pre-condition for their ratification the CFE Adaptation Agreement. The delay in ratification, in turn, poses a problem for Russia in connection with NATO expansion: In November 2002, NATO invited the Baltic countries bordering Russia to join NATO (see below) and in April 2004 they finally joined the Alliance. These countries are expected to accede to the CFE Treaty, which would prohibit a large build-up of foreign NATO armed forces on their territory; but since the original CFE Treaty is not open for accession, their joining the CFE awaits ratification of the Adapted Agreement, which does have provisions for accession.

Russian withdrawal of equipment from Moldova was expected to be completed by the end of 2003 (an extended deadline adopted at the Porto summit), but is still not finished. Russia and Georgia are conducting negotiations on the timeline for Russia to shut down two Russian bases (out of four) still operational in Georgia. The legal accession of the Baltic countries (and other new members) to NATO was completed by April 2004. Once Russian military withdrawal is complete, months will be required for ratification of the Adapted CFE Treaty by some 25 states that have not yet ratified the agreement’s entry into force, and then accession by the Baltics. Therefore the Baltic states have become NATO members before they have acceded to the CFE Treaty. Russia has strenuously objected this development, and has threatened to withdraw from the CFE Treaty if the Baltic states have not joined it by the time they are members of NATO.


The European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) is an outgrowth of the Western European Union (WEU), which was created by the 1948 Brussels Treaty and the 1954 Modified Brussels Treaty, signed by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the UK. The WEU eventually became the defense component of the European Union (EU) under its “Common Foreign and Security Policy.”

On 6 May 1996, NATO and WEU signed an agreement designed to give the European states a greater role in security affairs. The enhanced European security role, known as the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI), received a boost when Britain called for a larger role for Europe in NATO and regional defense. France and Britain formalized their understanding of this enhanced role when they signed the Joint Defense Initiative on 4 December 1998. NATO’s new strategic concept affirmed the alliance’s support for the ESDI and provided for the use of NATO assets in operations undertaken by NATO’s European members {23-25.4.99}.

At its Cologne summit in June 1999, the EU decided to replace the WEU with a new EU capability for independent military action, a European Defense and Security Policy or ESDP {3?4.6}. Later that year, amid publicly expressed fears by US officials and analysts about a possible “decoupling” of the United States and Europe, the EU decided to create a rapid reaction force, to be deployed by 2003 {10?11.12}. At the Laeken Council in December 2001 the EU declared itself to be “capable of conducting some crisis-management operations” while stating that “substantial progress will have to be made” in the “finalization of the arrangements with NATO.”

In early 2003, there was a rift in NATO over differences between the UK and the USA, on one side, and France and Germany, on the other, regarding military intervention in Iraq. On 29 April, at a summit meeting in Brussels the leaders of France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg announced that they were creating a European Security and Defense Union within the EU, open to all member states that wished to cooperate more closely in the military field and be bound by a mutual defense commitment. They highlighted seven measures, most of which were already either under way or approved among the European members of NATO: creation of a European rapid reaction force by 2004, creation of a European strategic air transport command and fleet, a joint EU nuclear, biological and chemical weapon protection capability, and joint exercises. Commentators in the USA and UK observed that these capabilities probably would not have a significant impact on relations between Europe and the United States in the security field unless the European countries also decided to make significant increases in their military spending.


CIS Collective security treaty. Some members of the Commonwealth of Independent States signed a Collective Security Treaty in 1992: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. One purpose is to insure cooperative employment of separate air defense capabilities in areas that previously provided the perimeter air defense of the USSR. A set of joint CIS air defense exercise was conducted in 2002. In July 2004 seven CIS presidents attended a NATO summit in Istanbul. Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan did not send representatives. Uzbekistan was the only non-participating GUUAM country.{Arkady Dubnov in Vrernya Novostei 2.7.04} Another command-staff exercise of the CIS joint anti-aircraft system was conducted in October 2004. The CIS Joint anti-aircraft system consists of 31 anti-aircraft missile units, 15 air squadrons and units of the pursuit aviation, 23 radio technical units, 3 detached electronic warfare units and 2 scientific and educational institutions. Units based in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated in the exercise; Ukraine, Georgia and Turkmenistan did not. {Russian Air Force Staff in 25.10.04}

GUUAM. In 1997, four former Soviet republics—Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova—(referred to as “GUAM”) expressed apprehensions about possible Russian attempts to station troops in their territory using strong-arm tactics {26.3.97}. In 1999, Uzbekistan joined the group (then GUUAM) in a pact reaffirming support for each other’s territorial integrity {24.4}. Later in 1999 the group considered forming a security cooperation arrangement {23.8}. GUUAM subsequently moved, however, toward becoming a political forum and free trade area. This was confirmed at their Yalta summit in July 2002, at which several agreements were signed. Uzbekistan did not participate in that meeting, but rejoined the group as an active participant in late 2002. At the Yalta summit in July 2003 the USA pledged to provide financial support to the member countries of GUUAM {Tass 3.7.03}. In 2004 Uzbekistan reportedly left GUUAM in favor of cooperation with Russia in the framework of the Shanghai Organization of Cooperation { 25.10.04}.

Belarus-Russia union. On 8 December 1999, Belarus and Russia signed a treaty designed not “to fully merge Russia and Belarus but to create a voluntary alliance with equal rights.” The two countries decided to establish a military grouping consisting of the Belarus army and the Moscow district of the Russian armed forces {8.12.99}. In April 2000, the two countries announced the creation of a joint air control center and a joint “army group.” During 2001-2002, however, they did not move forward on a closer union, reportedly because Belarus seeks a loose federation, while Russia wants full national integration. {Taras Kuzio in RFE/RL Newsline 12.9.02 in CDI Russia Weekly #222} Russian President Putin and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko instructed the committee on the Constitutional Act of the Russia-Belarus Union State to work out a document and submit it for a meeting of the Council of Ministers and the Supreme State Council of Russia and Belarus. {402bEUR04 5.6} Belarus and Russia have considered agreements on a unified migration card, readmission, and joint protection of the union skies. The agreement says that Belarusian border guards will protect the western sector of the union frontier, and Russian border guards will protect the rest {Tass 30.1.04}. In February 2004, the two countries signed a program of “joint action in foreign policy” to “continue cooperation with NATO in the formation of a European system of equal and indivisible security” {FT 2.2.04}.


  Expanded EU* 27 Council of Europe 45 NATO 19 CFE Treaty 30 EAPC 46 OSCE 55
1.ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Ê   Albania     y Albania
2.ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Ê   Andorra       Andorra
3.ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Ê [FSU] Armenia   y y Armenia
4.ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Ê Austria Austria     y Austria
5.ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Ê [FSU] Azerbaijan   y y Azerbaijan
6.ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Ê [FSU] **   y y Belarus**
7.ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Ê Belgium Belgium y y Y Belgium
8.ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Ê [F Yugo] Bosnia&Her.       Bosnia&Her.
9.ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Ê Bulgaria Bulgaria y y y Bulgaria
10.ÊÊÊÊ Ê [F Yugo] Croatia     y Croatia
11.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Cyprus Cyprus       Cyprus
12.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Czech Rep. Czech Rep. y y y Czech Rep.
13.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Denmark Denmark y y y Denmark
14.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Estonia Estonia y   y Estonia
15.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Finland Finland     y Finland
16.ÊÊÊÊ Ê France France y y y France
17.ÊÊÊÊ Ê [FSU] Georgia   y y Georgia
18.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Germany Germany y y y Germany
19.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Greece Greece y y y Greece
20.ÊÊÊÊ Ê           Holy See
21.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Hungary Hungary y y y Hungary
22.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   Iceland y y y Iceland
23.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Ireland Ireland     y Ireland
24.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Italy Italy y y y Italy
25.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Latvia Latvia y   y Latvia
26.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   Liechtenstein       Liechtenstein
27.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Lithuania Lithuania y   y Lithuania
28.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Luxembourg Luxembourg y y y Luxembourg
29.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Malta Malta       Malta
30.ÊÊÊÊ Ê [FSU] Moldova   y y Moldova
31.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   Monaco       Monaco
32.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Netherlands Netherlands y y y Netherlands
33.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   Norway y y y Norway
34.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Poland Poland y y y Poland
35.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Portugal Portugal y y y Portugal
36.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Romania Romania   y y Romania
37.ÊÊÊÊ Ê [FSU] Russia   y y Russian Fed
38.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   San Marino       San Marino
39.ÊÊÊÊ Ê [F Yugo] Serbia& Mon.       Serbia& Mon.
40.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Slovakia Slovakia y y y Slovakia
41.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Slovenia Slovenia y   y Slovenia
42.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Spain Spain y y y Spain
43.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Sweden Sweden     y Sweden
44.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   Switzerland     y Switzerland
45.ÊÊÊÊ Ê [F Yugo] TFMacedonia     y TFMacedonia
46.ÊÊÊÊ Ê Turkey Turkey y y y Turkey
47.ÊÊÊÊ Ê UK UK y y y UK
48.ÊÊÊÊ Ê [FSU] Ukraine   y y Ukraine
49.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   [N. Amer.] y y y Canada
50.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   [N. Amer.] y y y USA
51.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   [Central Asia]   y y Kazakhstan
52.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   [Central Asia]     y Kyrgyzstan
53.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   [Central Asia]     y Tajikistan
54.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   [Central Asia]     y Turkmenistan
55.ÊÊÊÊ Ê   [Central Asia]     y Uzbekistan

* In addition to the 25 current members of the EU, Bulgaria and Romania expect to become members in 2007, and Turkey and Croatia expect to obtain candidate status soon.
** Belarus applied for membership in the Council of Europe in 1993 and participated as a ‘special guest’ pending admission; but it was suspended in 1997—and in 2002 President Lushenko was barred from OSCE meetings—due to on-going violations of human rights and inadequate democratic institutions.

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