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11-8-2020, 10:51 UTC
Past NATO Summits
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Rome 1991

Washington Summit 1999 With the fall of the bipolar security structure that characterized the world for almost half a century, NATO now found itself in a unique position since it no longer had a clear and identifiable enemy as before. Security in the 1990's was now to be based on dialogue, cooperation and the maintenance of a collective defense capability. The need for the Alliance would no longer be against state actors but rather against non-state actors such as paramilitary groups and terrorists. Since the threat of war and large-scale military operations was now significantly diminished, defense planning would become more oriented for crisis management and peacekeeping. At their Summit in Rome, the NATO leaders agreed that there would be a substantial reduction in the dependence on nuclear weapons and a significant decrease in the size and readiness of NATO's military capacity. The contingents that would remain active would see a substantial improvement in their mobility, flexibility and adaptability to a variety of situations while future operations would make much greater use of multinational formations. Much energy and attention at this Summit was also focused on the operations in the former Yugoslavia and NATO's role in supporting the UN mission.

In Rome, the Heads of State also agreed to the establishment of a new cooperative structure with partners in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). During this summit, the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) was established - this institution would provide the framework under which dialogue and cooperation would take place with the nations of Central and Eastern Europe.

Brussels 1994

In 1994 the NACC was replaced by the EAPC (Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council). During the Brussels Summit another broader and more in depth program, the Partnership for Peace, was developed for those countries of CEE wishing to cooperate with NATO and participate in multinational operations. The Partnership for Peace Program is central to any country wishing to become a future NATO member.

Madrid 1997

During the Madrid Summit accession talks began with the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. New ground was also gained in NATO-Russia relations and steps were taken to develop a growing partnership with Ukraine. There was also increased dialogue among Mediterranean countries and substantial progress was made to develop the European pillar within NATO termed ESDI (European Security Defense Initiative).

European Security Defense Initiative

ESDI is still a current and ongoing project of NATO that attempts to reinforce and enlarge the European pillar of the Alliance. The purpose of this European pillar is to allow the nations of the continent to respond to their European problems and requirements independently, while at the same time contributing to the Alliance and carrying a larger part of the membership burden than previously. By taking on greater responsibility for their own security, the European member countries will help create a stronger and more balance transatlantic relationship and this will strengthen the Alliance as a whole.

The development of ESDI within NATO is a key component to the modernization and adaptation of the Alliance, both politically and militarily, to the new security environment. It can be expected that ESDI will come under further discussion at the Prague NATO Summit.

Washington Summit 1999

At the 50th birthday celebrations of NATO in Washington before the turn of the century, the invitation to join the Alliance was extended to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.