Glossary -- Greece
- Conference on Security and Cooperation
in Europe (CSCE)
- Established as an international process in 1972, the group
consisted of fifty-three nations in 1994, including all European
countries, sponsoring joint sessions and consultations on political
issues vital to European security. Charter of Paris (1990) changed
CSCE from ad hoc forum to organization with permanent institutions.
In 1992 new CSCE roles in conflict prevention and management were
defined, potentially making CSCE the center of a Europe-based
collective security system. In the early 1990s, however,
applications of these instruments to conflicts in Yugoslavia and
the Caucasus did not have a decisive impact. In January 1995,
renamed Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
- Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty
- An agreement signed in 1990 by the member nations of the Warsaw
Pact (q.v.) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(q.v.) to establish parity in conventional weapons between
the two organizations from the Atlantic to the Urals. The treaty
included a strict system of inspection and information exchange and
remained in force, although not strictly observed by all parties,
- Council of Europe
- Founded 1949, a thirty-three-member (1994) organization
overseeing intergovernmental cooperation in designated areas such
as environmental planning, finance, sport, crime, migration, and
- National currency unit of Greece, with an exchange rate of
approximately Dr230 to US$1 in May 1995.
- European Commission
- A governing body of the European Union (q.v.) that
oversees the organization's treaties, recommends actions under the
treaties, and issues independent decisions on EU matters.
- European Community (EC)
- A grouping of three primarily economic organizations of West
European countries, including the
- European Economic Community (EEC), the
European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom or EAEC) and the European
Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
- Founded separately in 1952 and 1957, the three came to be known
collectively as the EC. Executive power rested with the European
Commission, which implemented and defended the community treaties
in the interests of the EC as a whole. Greece gained full
membership in January 1981. Members in 1993 were Belgium, Britain,
Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the
Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Name changed to European Union
(q.v.) in December 1993.
- European currency unit (ECU)
- Established 1979 as a composite of monetary systems of European
Community (q.v.) member nations, to function in the
European Monetary System. Acts as the unit for exchange-rate
establishment, credit and intervention operations, and settlements
between monetary authorities of member nations.
- European Union (EU)
- Successor organization to the European Community
(q.v.), officially established by ratification of the
Maastricht Treaty November 1993. Goal is closer economic
unification of Western Europe leading to single monetary system and
closer cooperation in matters of justice and foreign and security
policy. To the members of the European Community (q.v.),
the EU added Austria, Finland, and Sweden, effective January 1,
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- The total value of goods and services provided exclusively
within a nation's domestic economy, in contrast to gross national
product (q.v.), usually computed over a one-year period.
- gross national product (GNP)
- The total value of goods and services produced within a
country's borders plus the income received from abroad by
residents, minus payments remitted abroad by nonresidents. Normally
computed over one year.
- In the Ottoman Empire's policy for governance of non-Muslim
minorities, an autonomous community ruled by religious leaders
responsible to the central government.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- An alliance founded in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and
their postwar European allies to counter the Soviet military
presence in Europe. Greece joined in 1952 but withdrew from
military commitments 1975-80. Until the dissolution of the Warsaw
Pact (q.v.) in 1991, NATO was the primary collective
defense agreement of the Western powers. Its military and
administrative structure remained intact after the threat of Soviet
expansionism had subsided. The Partnership for Peace, originated in
1993, offered limited participation in NATO to East European
countries and former Soviet republics with the possibility of
eventual full membership by some or all of those nations.
- Ottoman Empire
- A Muslim empire, based in Istanbul (formerly Constantinople),
that controlled southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and most of
North Africa between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, and
lesser territories between 1300 and 1913. Ottoman occupation was a
major influence on all civilizations of southeastern Europe and
caused ethnic animosities that remained long after the
disintegration of the empire.
- The larger of the two fundamental divisions of Islam, opposed
to the Shia (the other main division) on the issue of succession to
- value-added tax (VAT)
- A tax applied to the additional value created at a given stage
of production and calculated as a percentage of the difference
between the product value at that stage and the cost of all
materials and services purchased as inputs. The VAT is the primary
form of indirect taxation applied in the European Union
(q.v.), and it is the basis of each country's contribution
to the community budget.
- Warsaw Pact
- Informal name for Warsaw Treaty Organization, a mutual defense
organization founded in 1955, including the Soviet Union, Albania
(which withdrew in 1961), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German
Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and Romania.
The Warsaw Pact enabled the Soviet Union to station troops in the
countries to its west to oppose the forces of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO, q.v.). The pact was the basis
of the invasions of Hungary (1956) and of Czechoslovakia (1968); it
was disbanded in July 1991.
- Western European Union (WEU)
- Based on the 1948 Treaty of Brussels and set up in 1955, the
council is a forum for coordination of regional defense policy
among its members, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Greece,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Denmark and
Ireland have observer status, and Iceland, Norway, and Turkey are
associate members. After lying dormant for many years, the WEU was
reactivated in 1984 to serve as the European pillar of NATO
(q.v.) defenses and the defense component of the European
Community (q.v.). In 1993 the WEU and NATO ran a joint
arms embargo operation against Yugoslavia in the Adriatic. A
Eurocorps of Belgian, French, and German troops was established at
the end of 1993.
- World Bank
- Informal name for a group of four affiliated international
institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (IBRD); the International Development Association
(IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); and the
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The four
institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that
subscribe their capital for credit and investment in developing
countries; each institution has a specialized agenda for aiding
economic growth in target countries.