There is no denying that the Europe of today is a complex and fragile phenomenon burdened by the heavy legacy of the past. The Cold War froze the internal development of the Continent, disrupting its natural life processes and piling up mighty icebergs of military confrontation. In the past few years, however, the situation on the European continent has changed beyond recognition. The postwar period that has lasted for decades is now finally drawing to a close. Obsolete notions, instruments and methods of relations between nations and states arc rapidly sinking into oblivion. The concept of stability, and not just military stability, but stability in social, economic, political and ethnic terms as well, is becoming the key element of the new world order. The shaping of unprecedented structures based on interaction and confidence has begun. A deep-rooted process of transition from futile and lethal confrontation to multifarious cooperation, blazing the trail to the third millennium of European and world history, is already underway.