NATO`s first post-Cold War enlargement took place with German reunification on 3 October 1990, when the former GDR became an integral part of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Alliance. After the Cold War, NATO`s military structure was reduced and reorganized, with the establishment of new forces, such as allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps headquarters. The changes brought about by the collapse of the Soviet Union in the military balance in Europe were recognized in the Treaty on Adapted Conventional Forces in Europe, signed in 1999. French President Nicolas Sarkozy`s policy led to a comprehensive reform of France`s military position, culminating in the return to full membership on 4 April 2009, including the reintroduction of France into NATO`s military command structure, while maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent.    Formal negotiations on public contracts began on December 10, 1948 with the Washington Ambassadors Committee, D.C. During these talks, Luxembourg sent its own representative. Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway and Portugal were then invited to participate in the final negotiating meetings that began on 8 March 1949. Although the participating countries agreed that collective defence would be at the centre of the new alliance, other issues have not yet been resolved and had to be developed before the formation of the Alliance became a reality. NATO enables member states to achieve key national security objectives without undermining national sovereignty by bodies such as the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG). The NIC has the highest authority on nuclear policy in NATO and its discussions cover a wide range of nuclear policy issues, including common concerns about nuclear weapons control and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It allows Member States, regardless of nuclear weapon status, to participate in the review and modification of NATO`s nuclear position, as security challenges shift in the international environment.
All NATO members, with the exception of France, are members of the NPG. The participation of non-nuclear countries in the Alliance`s nuclear position demonstrates the Alliance`s solidarity, the common commitment of its member countries to maintain its security and the widespread distribution of burdens and risks between them. Decisions are taken by mutual agreement, so that the position of the Community as a whole is reflected in the Alliance`s nuclear attitude. From 16 to 17 January, the 178th Military Committee met at the Chiefs of Defense session at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Defence chiefs discussed NATO`s role in the Middle East and the security of Eastern European allies. www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_124507.htm On 25 February, NATO`s Secretary General welcomed the agreement reached between the UN Secretary-General and Iraq on a diplomatic solution to the Iraqi crisis. He stressed the importance of granting immediate and unconditional access to UNSCOM`s arms inspectors, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. Albania has participated in the POP since its inception in 1999 and Croatia joined in 2002. The two membership protocols were signed in July 2008 and became official members of the Alliance on April 1, 2009.