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"NATO's Eastward Enlargement, Towards New, Dynamic "Variable-Geometry" NATO"
(KOBAYASHI, Masahide, GaikoJiho, no.1346, March 1998)


How were the decisions concerning NATO's eastward enlargement made? And how chould a complete picture of the enlargement be drawn?

These questions represent the starting point and key subjects of this article. By examing a large amount of NATO official resources and by using research from a Master's thesis on the history of European political cooperation based on the "Fouchet Plan" negotiations, author has succeeded in drawing up a picture by introducing a concept, usually used in the discussion on European political integration, called "variable geometry".


Please see the map below. It illustrates my conclusion and key points regarding NATO's eastward enlargement.

Entitled "NATO's eastward enlargement",

the countries painted in black are NATO members;

those in black but with white spots are the three countries expected to join the Alliance in 1999 (Republic of Czech, Hungary and Poland);

those with thick stripes are the nine other countries aspiring to join the Alliance;

countries with thin stripes are the 18 countries (including the three and the nine) which participate PARP(Planning And Review Process);

and those with black dots arethe 27 partner countries (Turkmenistan and Kirgistan are not indicated here).


NATO enconpasses such a variety of maps in its enlargement. But how is it possible to put the PARP participating countries and PFP countries on the same scale as the three joining countries and member countries?

The reason for this can be found in the Washington Treaty. You might remember that on founding NACC: North Atlantic Cooperation Council, article 2 of the Washington Treaty was particulary important. Apart from NACC, article 3 of the Washington Treaty is the basis for developing its force jointly within NATO's force goal procedure and artcle 4 rules out the consultation mechanism.

It could easily be seen that the three joining countries would be benefitfrom the Alliance's collective security guarantee as a whole, including article 5. At the same time, for some "actively participating" partner countries, on the basis of article 8 of the PFP framework agreement, the consultation mechanism with NATO could be used (Remember that this mechanism was used by Albania, which is aspiring to join the Alliance and is participating in PARP, as the first case). Unclearness of the definition of "actively participating" partners could be translated as offering the consultation mechanism not to all partner countries. And the PARP mechanism could be translated as a "demo-version" of article 3. Joint actions in non-article 5 tasks are foreseen for the PFP countries.

In this way, one could understand NATO encompassing PFP and PARP and some others, through a gradual and limited application of the articles of the Washington treaty. For this reason I called the map representing NATO's enlargement, including the PFP mechanism, "Variable geometry" NATO.

Though NATO will welcome only the three countries, of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland as its members in 1999, some partial enlargement is already taking place.

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The full text of this article is only available in Japanese
special thanks to Ms. Julie GILSON!
KOBAYASHI, Masahide is special assitant in charge of European security affairs.
le 26 avril 1998