Enlarging Eastward: NATO, the European Union and Political Conditionality

  • Charles Pentland


Kosovo is the defining event of NATO’s fiftieth anniversary. Whether its longer-term effects on the alliance be for good or ill, the Balkan crisis has imposed itself, like an uninvited guest, on what was expected to be a celebration of NATO’s successful adaptation to the new European security environment. At the Washington summit in April Kosovo overshadowed three otherwise momentous if less dramatic achievements: the alliance has acquired a renovated military structure, a revised strategic concept and three new members. Of these developments the last seemed the least likely until as recently as five years ago. The end of the Cold War, after all, had raised immediate questions about the alliance’s continuing role and relevance, setting in motion a decade’s worth of doctrinal and structural reforms. Enlargement, by contrast, was relatively slow to crystallise as an issue. Since 1994, however, it has come to dominate not only alliance diplomacy but whatever domestic debate NATO’s members have been able to arouse on European security issues. While temporarily eclipsing the enlargement issue, Kosovo has also invested it with new meaning.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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  • Charles Pentland

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