Solana Madariaga, Javier

▪ 2000

      In March 1999 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in an effort to put a halt to atrocities committed by Serbian troops against ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo, began a bombing campaign directed at Serbian targets. The air attack was the largest ever launched by NATO in its 50 years of existence. Ironically, the man at the helm of NATO during its controversial attack was Secretary-General Javier Solana, who, less than 20 years earlier, had fought doggedly to keep his native Spain from associating itself with the alliance.

      Solana was born on July 14, 1942, in Madrid. As a student in the early 1960s he joined the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, which was an underground operation during the rule of fascist dictator Francisco Franco. After receiving his doctorate in physics, Solana studied in the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar. He served as an assistant professor (1968–71) at the University of Virginia before returning to Spain, where he eventually took a teaching position at Complutensean University in Madrid.

      Solana was elected to the parliament in 1977, two years after Franco's death. Along with other Socialist leaders, he opposed the existence of U.S. military bases in Spain. When the country joined NATO in 1982, Solana backed efforts to reverse that move. His stance on the issue took a turn that same year, however, when the Socialists came into power and Solana was appointed the country's minister for culture. From 1985 he served as the government spokesman, and in 1986 he was pivotal in organizing a referendum to endorse Spain's membership in NATO, provided the country's armed forces did not become involved in NATO operations. He was appointed minister for education and science in 1988 and minister for foreign affairs in 1992. In 1995, following the resignation of NATO Secretary-General Willy Claes, he was somewhat unexpectedly chosen as a compromise choice to succeed Claes. Once a vocal opponent of the alliance, Solana became NATO's ninth secretary-general.

      On Solana's watch, NATO redefined its role in the post–Cold War era. As his term began, NATO sent 60,000 troops from 30 countries into Bosnia and Herzegovina on a peacekeeping mission, and the organization embarked on a more wide-ranging role in world affairs. When Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joined NATO in March 1999, he guided the organization through its first enlargement since 1982. In regard to his handling of the Kosovo situation, observers lauded Solana for maintaining a consensus among the 19 members of the alliance's North Atlantic Council, who were often at loggerheads over how to conduct the bombing campaign.

Anthony G. Craine

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Solana Madariaga, Javier — b. 1942, Madrid    Politician    A graduate in physics from Madrid university, where he was an active opponent of the Franco regime, Solana Madariaga occupied important posts in the socialist PSOE continuously between 1974 and 1995. Between 1977… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture

  • Solana Madariaga, Javier — ► (n. 1942) Político español. En los Gobiernos socialistas constituidos después de 1982 se hizo cargo de las carteras de Cultura, Educación y Ciencia, y Asuntos Exteriores. Entre 1995 y 1999 fue secretario general de la OTAN y en 1999 asumió la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Solana Madariaga — Solana Madariaga, Javier …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Solana Madariaga — Solạna Madariaga   [ maȓa ri̯aɣa], Javier, spanischer Politiker, * Madrid 14. 7. 1942; Physiker (u. a. wissenschaftliche Arbeit in den USA, Professor in Madrid); seit 1964 im PSOE engagiert; unter Ministerpräsident F. González 1982 88 Kultur ,… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Francisco Javier Solana Madariaga — Javier Solana Javier Solana, le 16 mai 2007. Dr Francisco Javier Solana Madariaga (né le 14 juillet 1942 à Madrid, Espagne) est le haut représentant pour la politique étrangère et de sécurité commune (PESC) et le secrétaire général à la fois du …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Javier Solana de Madariaga — (* 14. Juli 1942 in Madrid) ist ein spanischer Politiker. Seit 1999 ist er Generalsekretär des Rates der Europäischen Union und Hoher Vertreter für die Gemeinsame Außen und Sicherheitspolitik (GASP). Am 25. November desselben Jahres wurde Solana… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Javier Solana — de Madariaga (* 14. Juli 1942 in Madrid) ist ein spanischer Politiker. Von 1995 bis 1999 war er Generalsekretär der NATO. Von 1999 bis Ende November 2009 war er Generalsekretär des Rates der Europäischen Union und Hoher Vertreter für die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Javier Solana — Javier Solana, en 2009. Mandats …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Madariaga European Foundation — is an organisation which aims to promote the working models of the European Union (EU) throughout Europe. It is named after the Spanish diplomat and writer Salvador de Madariaga. Its president is the EU foreign policy chief, and grandson of… …   Wikipedia

  • Javier Solana — Infobox Politician name =Javier Solana caption = birth date =Birth date and age|df=yes|1942|7|14 birth place =Madrid, Spain residence = death date = death place = office = 1st European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.