Updated: 31-Oct-2001 1982

[ '45-'49 | '50-'59 | '60-'69 | '70-'79 | '80-'89 | '90-'99 | '00- ]
[ 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 ]



An event of major significance takes place in 1982 when, on 30 May, Spain becomes the 16th member of the Alliance. The North Atlantic Council records its satisfaction at this fresh sign of the enduring vitality of an Organisation linking free countries, inspired by shared values of pluralistic democracy, individual liberty, human dignity, self-determination and the rule of law.

In June 1982, a Summit meeting of the Council is held in Bonn. The leaders issue a Declaration setting out a six-point programme for Peace in Freedom. Among its provisions, the programme calls for greater Soviet restraint and responsibility in order to allow the development of a more constructive East-West relationship. It also addresses the objectives sought by the Alliance in nuclear and conventional arms control negotiations, as well as in the field of human rights issues and the principles and provisions of the Helsinki Final Act.

Following his inauguration in January 1981, President Reagan launches a substantial programme to build up the military strength of the United States, arguing that arms control agreements can not be negotiated from a position of weakness. Europeans, while not doubting the necessity of moves in this direction, feel some unease at the rhetoric used, fearing that such descriptions of the Soviet Union as 'the focus of evil in the modern world', can only complicate East-West relations.

Furthermore, as deployment of the Pershing and Cruise missiles approaches, public debate on the Alliance's nuclear policy heats up, particularly in the countries where they are to be based - Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Campaigns for nuclear disarmament become more vigorous, there is a proliferation of protest groups, and large-scale demonstrations, which threaten the broad public support which the Alliance had always enjoyed. In spite of considerable public and Soviet pressure, however, the Alliance holds firm.


11 Jan

Special Ministerial Session of the North Atlantic Council issues a Declaration on Events in Poland.

Additional information:

2 Apr-14 June

The Falklands Conflict.

30 May

Spain becomes the 16th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

10 June

Summit Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Bonn. Heads of State and Government issue the Bonn Declaration setting out the Alliance Programme for Peace in Freedom.

Additional information:

30 June

Opening of Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) in Geneva.