Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany,Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway,Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.
The North Atlantic Treaty, signed in Washington in April 1949, created an Alliance for collective defence as defined in Article 51 of the United NationsCharter. The Treaty is of indefinite duration. The fourth of April 1999 marked the50th anniversary of the Treaty.In accordance with Article 10 of the Treaty, the Alliance remains open toaccessions by other European states in a position to further its principles andto contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area. In 1952, Greece andTurkey joined the original twelve member countries of the Alliance, followed in1955 by the Federal Republic of Germany and in 1982 by Spain. In July 1997,at a Summit Meeting in Madrid, the Heads of State and Government of the Alliance invited three more countries to begin accession talks, and on12 March 1999 the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland formally becamemembers of NATO. The Alliance now links 17 European countries with theUnited States and Canada.In parallel with the internal and external transformation of the Alliancewhich has taken place since the end of the Cold War, NATO has establishedthe Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council or “EAPC” as a forum for consultationand cooperation with Partner countries throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. Ithas developed an intensive programme of practical cooperation and regular consultation with 27 countries participating in the Partnership for Peace initia-tive launched in 1994. It has created new structures reflecting intensified co-operation with Russia and partnership with Ukraine as well as an enhanceddialogue with interested Mediterranean countries. It has undergone far-reach-ing internal and external reform and has made itself the instrument of peaceand stability in the Euro-Atlantic area at the start of the new millennium.During 1999, NATO celebrated its 50
anniversary year. Afurther SummitMeeting was held in Washington in April 1999, during the height of the conflictin Kosovo, when NATO countries conducted an air campaign to end the ethniccleansing and repression of human rights perpetrated by the government of theFederal Republic of Yugoslavia. The conflict ended in late June 1999, follow-ing the withdrawal of the Serb forces and the deployment of the NATO-led