July 2000 Conference Report - The Wilson Center's East European Studies and West European Studies programs organized this day-long conference on April 19, 2000. The conference conducted a comprehensive examination of the NATO-Europe partnership and its future prospects, as well as an analysis of the implications of the Bosnian and Kosovo wars for NATO and for the new and aspiring members of the NATO alliance and the European Union (EU). The goal of the conference was to provide a comprehensive view of the West's key integrative institutions, NATO and the EU, as well as a clear summary of the evolving security picture in Europe and of America's future role in an ever-evolving NATO.
January 2002- Jeffrey Simon and Chris Donnelly addressed specific challenges facing NATO now and in the immediate future, and the impact of those problems on the enlargement process. Donnelly stressed that over the past ten years NATO has evolved from a purely defense organization into a security organization, taking on wider and larger tasks and challenges. But NATO's primary problem, and one that cannot be ignored, is that it's structure and organization have not evolved to effectively accommodate these changes.
October 1997 - The expansion of NATO is nothing new. NATO has enlarged itself several times in the past, most recently absorbing the G.D.R. (through the back door of the G.D.R.'s incorporation into one Germany). But the currently envisioned expansion is different from previous ones: this enlargement is primarily politically motivated and it is about the future shape of Europe. The foremost political challenge on the continent after the Cold War is the integration into European organizations of the countries previously included in the Soviet bloc, and NATO has stepped up to this challenge as part of its transformation. If the NATO-Russia Council is successful and NATO's relations with Russia develop along a constructive path, then the alliance's eastward enlargement has the potential to accelerate the integration of Central European countries into a Euro-Atlantic community in a manner that erases the animosities that caused armed conflict in the past.
The achievement of security in a post-Warsaw Pact Europe dominated by NATO continues to be a formidable task for the Czech national security infrastructure. The Czech Republic earned its NATO membership as an overall result of its progress in its political and economic transitions and by fulfilling the criteria that NATO set out for the Czech Republic in terms of its civil-military relations and interoperability goals.
As part of NATO’s and Europe’s continuing and open-ended processes of enlargement and military-political integration, in 1999, NATO presented aspiring members with a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to guide them in their activities preparing their governments and armed forces for membership in NATO. The MAP, if fulfilled according to NATO's requirements and approbation, allegedly would make the aspiring members’ military forces more nearly congruent or interoperable with NATO forces. With this document, NATO has arguably created its own version of the EU's acquis communautaire “against which the Alliance can assess the technical preparations and capacities of the nine MAP partners and judge their readiness for membership.”
December 2000 Conference Report - The conference program was designed to encourage discussion about Ukraine and its neighbors outside of the standard categories for considering this important region. First, the presentations framed Ukraine almost exclusively in terms of its neighbors to its west; and second, the speakers explored Ukraine's relations with its neighbors at a number of different levels and not just as a problem of state-to-state relations. The conference participants attempted to engage a wider audience to think about Ukraine first and foremost within the context of Europe by adding texture and substance to discussions of cross-border relations. Second, the conference's discussion of Ukraine was predicated on the notion that Ukraine exists in numerous realities, only one of which is that of the state.
January 2002- The key question for NATO, according to Dr. Prizel, is how to maintain the alliance when the security agendas of Europe and the U.S. have begun to differ so greatly. While this divergence began with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, we can expect to see an even greater divergence in NATO between the two entities, particularly on the issues of pan-Islamicism and NATO's relationship with Russia.
January 1998 - One of the key issues in the debate over NATO enlargement is the question of the relationship between NATO and the Baltic states and how an expansion of the alliance would affect Russia's relations with Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. While it is clear that the Baltic states will not be entering NATO anytime soon, it is worth noting that the arguments of those who opposed NATO's enlargement because of its impact on Russia have already been proven wrong.
Since the Paris and Madrid conferences, which created a NATO-Russia Joint Council and ratified NATO's enlargement, Russia has modified its Baltic policies. Because those policies are widely regarded as a litmus test of Russia's European policy, this modification bears close scrutiny. Although Russian opposition to NATO's enlargement has not declined, the most recent terms Moscow has offered the Baltics, though insufficient to stabilize the region, seem to represent a small but measurable step away from the negative, bullying tone that has characterized much of Russia's Baltic and European policies-and which is still heard, if less strident than before these conferences. This paper attempts to both explain and assess Russia's new Baltic Policy.