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The calendar of the Polish accession to NATO

31 March 1991
Dissolution of the Warsaw Pact military structure. In July 1991, the Warsaw Pact was officially dissolved.

11–12 March 1992
During a visit to Poland, NATO Secretary General Manfred Wörner said that “NATO’s door is open.”

10 April 1992
The first meeting of the NATO Military Committee, which was also attended by defence ministers and chiefs of staff of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

1 September 1993
President Lech Wałęsa, in a letter addressed to NATO Secretary General, stated that NATO membership was one of the priorities of the Polish foreign policy.

10 January 1994
The NATO summit in Brussels provided the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including the countries formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union, with proposals for cooperation with NATO under the Partnership for Peace programme (PfP). The PfP created the possibility of joint military exercises, participation in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, and consultations with NATO partners in the event of threats to their safety.

12 January 1994
The presidents of the Visegrad Group (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland), at a meeting with President Bill Clinton in Prague, accepted the Partnership for Peace programme.

2 February 1994
During his visit to NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak signed the Framework Document of the Partnership for Peace.

5 July 1994
Poland and NATO adopted the Individual Partnership Programme (IPP). Poland was the first of the PfP programme countries to agree this programme with the Alliance.

12–16 September 1994
In Biedrusko near Poznań, in the framework of the Partnership for Peace, the first joint military exercises, which involved units from the 13 NATO member states and partner countries, were held (codenamed “Cooperative Bridge”).

16 February 1995
The U.S. House of Representatives adopted the National Security Revitalisation Act providing for the extension of NATO to include the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

8 February 1996
The Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs in a joint letter to NATO Secretary General officially adopted the invitation to start individual dialogue with NATO issued by the Alliance on 29 January 1996.

4 April 1996
Poland submitted the NATO Individual Discussion Paper presenting Polish arguments in favour of NATO enlargement, visions of the European security architecture and the future role of NATO.

7 May 1996
The first meeting within the framework of the individual dialogue between Poland and NATO was held in Brussels. In addition to individual meetings (1 July, 30 July, and 10 October), two more sessions of the joint dialogue between NATO and PfP countries were held in 1996. The last individual dialogue meeting was held on 25 April 1997.

22 October 1996
President Bill Clinton in his speech in Detroit for the first time presented the specific NATO enlargement date: he stated that the first new member states from Central and Eastern Europe should be admitted to the Atlantic Alliance in 1999 at the latest (the 50th anniversary of NATO).

8 July 1997
At the Summit of Heads of State and Government in Madrid, NATO decided to invite Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to talks on NATO membership. This decision was included in the “Declaration on the Euro-Atlantic Security and Cooperation.” Furthermore, the declaration stated that the Alliance's goal was to sign the Accession Protocol during the next session of the North Atlantic Council (16 December 1997) and complete the ratification process at a date enabling the invited countries to obtain 'effective' membership by April 1999.

16 September 1997
Accession talks between NATO and Poland were commenced.

29 September 1997
The second session of the accession talks between Poland and NATO was held. It was devoted mainly to the defensive aspects of the Polish membership in NATO.

9 October 1997
The third session of the accession talks between Poland and NATO was held. It was entirely dedicated to financial issues, particularly regarding Polish intentions to maintain the appropriate level of defence capability and the planned Polish participation in jointly funded ventures.

23 October 1997
The fourth and the last meeting as part of the Polish accession talks with NATO was held in the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

10 November 1997
Polish Foreign Minister sent a letter to NATO Secretary General, in which the Polish party officially accepted the contributions (2.48%) both to the civilian and military budget of the Alliance and the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP).

14 November 1997
Polish Foreign Minister Bronisław Geremek sent a letter to NATO Secretary General expressing the will of the Republic of Poland to accede to the North Atlantic Treaty. The document affirmed the will of the Republic of Poland to receive an invitation to the Alliance and its readiness to assume obligations of membership.

25 November 1997
Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek paid an official visit to Brussels. The Prime Minister met, among others, with NATO Secretary General Javier Solana, and WEU Secretary General Jose Cutileiro.

16 December 1997
The foreign ministers of NATO countries signed Protocols of Accession for Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary in Brussels. In 1998, these protocols were subject to ratification in sixteen countries of the Alliance. The moment of completion of the ratification procedure by the State is deemed the provision of the instruments of ratification to the U.S. government—the depositary of the Washington Treaty.

28 December 1997
Representatives of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary for the first time participated (as observers) in a weekly meeting of the North Atlantic Council at ambassadorial level.

2 February 1998
Canada as the first NATO country ratified the Accession Protocols and sent the instruments of ratification to the U.S. State Department on 4 February.

17–18 December 1998
A meeting of NATO defence ministers, attended by defence ministers from Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, was held in Brussels.

29 January 1999
NATO Secretary General Javier Solana sent formal invitations to Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to join the North Atlantic Treaty.

17 February 1999
The Sejm and then on the same day the Senate adopted the Act on the ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty prepared in Washington on 4 April 1949. On 18 February 1999, the act was signed by the President; it entered into force on publication on 19 February, in the Official Journal of the Republic of Poland (Journal of Laws No. 13, item 111). The Act of Accession to the North Atlantic Treaty was sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the President's Office on 19 February 1999.

26 February 1999
The President signed, after previous countersignature of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, the Act of Accession to the North Atlantic Treaty.

12 March 1999
In the Independence (Missouri - USA), the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. B. Geremek, handed to the Secretary of State, Ms. M. Albright the act of Polish accession to the North Atlantic Treaty. On that moment Poland became a formal party to the Treaty - a member of NATO.

Prepared by the Permanent Representation of Poland to NATO in Brussels


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