The first post-war military cooperation
After the Second World War, the establishment of communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the massive presence of Soviet troops in those countries, gave rise to a feeling of apprehension in Western Europe. The French and British Governments reacted and were soon joined by the governments of the Benelux countries. On 17 March 1948, the Brussels Treaty establishing Western Union was signed, marking the start of European military cooperation. The creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on 4 April 1949 was a further step towards more effective military cooperation between Europe and the United States.