- We, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, have come together in Madrid to give shape to the new NATO as we move towards the 21st century. Substantial progress has been achieved in the internal adaptation of the Alliance. As a significant step in the evolutionary process of opening the Alliance, we have invited three countries to begin accession talks. We have substantially strengthened our relationship with Partners through the new Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and enhancement of the Partnership for Peace. The signature on 27th May of the NATO-Russia Founding Act and the Charter we will sign tomorrow with Ukraine bear witness to our commitment to an undivided Europe. We are also enhancing our Mediterranean dialogue. Our aim is to reinforce peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.
A new Europe is emerging, a Europe of greater integration and cooperation. An inclusive European security architecture is evolving to which we are contributing, along with other European organisations. Our Alliance will continue to be a driving force in this process.
- We are moving towards the realisation of our vision of a just and lasting order of peace for Europe as a whole, based on human rights, freedom and democracy. In looking forward to the 50th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty, we reaffirm our commitment to a strong, dynamic partnership between the European and North American Allies, which has been, and will continue to be, the bedrock of the Alliance and of a free and prosperous Europe. The vitality of the transatlantic link will benefit from the development of a true, balanced partnership in which Europe is taking on greater responsibility. In this spirit, we are building a European Security and Defence Identity within NATO. The Alliance and the European Union share common strategic interests. We welcome the agreements reached at the European Council in Amsterdam. NATO will remain the essential forum for consultation among its members and the venue for agreement on policies bearing on the security and defence commitments of Allies under the Washington Treaty.
- While maintaining our core function of collective defence, we have adapted our political and military structures to improve our ability to meet the new challenges of regional crisis and conflict management. NATO's continued contribution to peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the unprecedented scale of cooperation with other countries and international organisations there, reflect the cooperative approach which is key to building our common security. A new NATO is developing: a new NATO for a new and undivided Europe.
- The security of NATO's members is inseparably linked to that of the whole of Europe. Improving the security and stability environment for nations in the Euro-Atlantic area where peace is fragile and instability currently prevails remains a major Alliance interest. The consolidation of democratic and free societies on the entire continent, in accordance with OSCE principles, is therefore of direct and material concern to the Alliance. NATO's policy is to build effective cooperation through its outreach activities, including the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, with free nations which share the values of the Alliance, including members of the European Union as well as candidates for EU membership.
- At our last meeting in Brussels, we said that we would expect and would welcome the accession of new members, as part of an evolutionary process, taking into account political and security developments in the whole of Europe. Twelve European countries have so far requested to join the Alliance. We welcome the aspirations and efforts of these nations. The time has come to start a new phase of this process. The Study on NATO Enlargement - which stated, inter alia, that NATO's military effectiveness should be sustained as the Alliance enlarges - the results of the intensified dialogue with interested Partners, and the analyses of relevant factors associated with the admission of new members have provided a basis on which to assess the current state of preparations of the twelve countries aspiring to Alliance membership.
- Today, we invite the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to begin accession talks with NATO. Our goal is to sign the Protocol of Accession at the time of the Ministerial meetings in December 1997 and to see the ratification process completed in time for membership to become effective by the 50th anniversary of the Washington Treaty in April 1999. During the period leading to accession, the Alliance will involve invited countries, to the greatest extent possible and where appropriate, in Alliance activities, to ensure that they are best prepared to undertake the responsibilities and obligations of membership in an enlarged Alliance. We direct the Council in Permanent Session to develop appropriate arrangements for this purpose.
- Admitting new members will entail resource implications for the Alliance. It will involve the Alliance providing the resources which enlargement will necessarily require. We direct the Council in Permanent Session to bring to an early conclusion the concrete analysis of the resource implications of the forthcoming enlargement, drawing on the continuing work on military implications. We are confident that, in line with the security environment of the Europe of today, Alliance costs associated with the integration of new members will be manageable and that the resources necessary to meet those costs will be provided.
- We reaffirm that NATO remains open to new members under Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty. The Alliance will continue to welcome new members in a position to further the principles of the Treaty and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area. The Alliance expects to extend further invitations in coming years to nations willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership, and as NATO determines that the inclusion of these nations would serve the overall political and strategic interests of the Alliance and that the inclusion would enhance overall European security and stability. To give substance to this commitment, NATO will maintain an active relationship with those nations that have expressed an interest in NATO membership as well as those who may wish to seek membership in the future. Those nations that have previously expressed an interest in becoming NATO members but that were not invited to begin accession talks today will remain under consideration for future membership. The considerations set forth in our 1995 Study on NATO Enlargement will continue to apply with regard to future aspirants, regardless of their geographic location. No European democratic country whose admission would fulfil the objectives of the Treaty will be excluded from consideration. Furthermore, in order to enhance overall security and stability in Europe, further steps in the ongoing enlargement process of the Alliance should balance the security concerns of all Allies.
To support this process, we strongly encourage the active participation by aspiring members in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Partnership for Peace, which will further deepen their political and military involvement in the work of the Alliance. We also intend to continue the Alliance's intensified dialogues with those nations that aspire to NATO membership or that otherwise wish to pursue a dialogue with NATO on membership questions. To this end, these intensified dialogues will cover the full range of political, military, financial and security issues relating to possible NATO membership, without prejudice to any eventual Alliance decision. They will include meeting within the EAPC as well as periodic meetings with the North Atlantic Council in Permanent Session and the NATO International Staff and with other NATO bodies as appropriate. In keeping with our pledge to maintain an open door to the admission of additional Alliance members in the future, we also direct that NATO Foreign Ministers keep that process under continual review and report to us.
We will review the process at our next meeting in 1999. With regard to the aspiring members, we recognise with great interest and take account of the positive developments towards democracy and the rule of law in a number of southeastern European countries, especially Romania and Slovenia.
The Alliance recognises the need to build greater stability, security and regional cooperation in the countries of southeast Europe, and in promoting their increasing integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. At the same time, we recognise the progress achieved towards greater stability and cooperation by the states in the Baltic region which are also aspiring members. As we look to the future of the Alliance, progress towards these objectives will be important for our overall goal of a free, prosperous and undivided Europe at peace.
- The establishment of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Sintra constitutes a new dimension in the relations with our Partners. We look forward to tomorrow's meeting with Heads of State and Government under the aegis of the EAPC.
The EAPC will be an essential element in our common endeavour to enhance security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region. Building on the successful experience with the North Atlantic Cooperation Council and with Partnership for Peace, it will provide the overarching framework for all aspects of our wide-ranging cooperation and raise it to a qualitatively new level. It will deepen and give more focus to our multilateral political and security-related discussions, enhance the scope and substance of our practical cooperation, and increase transparency and confidence in security matters among all EAPC member states. The expanded political dimension of consultation and cooperation which the EAPC will offer will allow Partners, if they wish, to develop a direct political relationship individually or in smaller groups with the Alliance. The EAPC will increase the scope for consultation and cooperation on regional matters and activities.
- The Partnership for Peace has become the focal point of our efforts to build new patterns of practical cooperation in the security realm. Without PfP, we would not have been able to put together and deploy so effectively and efficiently the Implementation and Stabilisation Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the participation of so many of our Partners.
We welcome and endorse the decision taken in Sintra to enhance the Partnership for Peace by strengthening the political consultation element, increasing the role Partners play in PfP decision-making and planning, and by making PfP more operational. Partners will, in future, be able to involve themselves more closely in PfP programme issues as well as PfP operations, Partner staff elements will be established at various levels of the military structure of the Alliance, and the Planning and Review Process will become more like the NATO force planning process. On the basis of the principles of inclusiveness and self-differentiation, Partner countries will thus be able to draw closer to the Alliance. We invite all Partner countries to take full advantage of the new possibilities which the enhanced PfP will offer.
With the expanded range of opportunities comes also the need for adequate political and military representation at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. We have therefore created the possibility for Partners to establish diplomatic missions to NATO under the Brussels Agreement which entered into force on 28th March 1997. We invite and encourage Partner countries to take advantage of this opportunity.
- The Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation, signed on 27th May 1997 in Paris, is a historic achievement. It opens a new era in European security relations, an era of cooperation between NATO and Russia. The Founding Act reflects our shared commitment to build together a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area on the principles of democracy and cooperative security. Its provisions contribute to NATO's underlying objective of enhancing the security of all European states, which is reinforced also through our actions here in Madrid. It provides NATO and Russia a framework through which we intend to create a strong, stable and enduring partnership. We are committed to working with Russia to make full use of the provisions of the Founding Act.
Through the new forum created under the Founding Act, the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, NATO and Russia will consult, cooperate and, where appropriate, act together to address challenges to security in Europe. The activities of the Council will build upon the principles of reciprocity and transparency. The cooperation between Russian and NATO troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina and between the staffs at SHAPE demonstrate what is possible when we work together. We will build on this experience, including through PfP, to develop genuine cooperation between NATO and Russia. We look forward to consulting regularly with Russia on a broad range of topics, and to forging closer cooperation, including military-to-military, through the Permanent Joint Council, which will begin work soon.
- We attach great importance to tomorrow's signing of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine. The NATO-Ukraine Charter will move NATO-Ukraine cooperation onto a more substantive level, offer new potential for strengthening our relationship, and enhance security in the region more widely. We are convinced that Ukraine's independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty are a key factor for ensuring stability in Europe. We continue to support the reform process in Ukraine as it develops as a democratic nation with a market economy.
We want to build on steps taken to date in developing a strong and enduring relationship between NATO and Ukraine. We welcome the practical cooperation achieved with the Alliance through Ukraine's participation within IFOR and SFOR, as well as the recent opening of the NATO Information Office in Kyiv, as important contributions in this regard. We look forward to the early and active implementation of the Charter.
- The Mediterranean region merits great attention since security in the whole of Europe is closely linked with security and stability in the Mediterranean. We are pleased with the development of the Mediterranean initiative that was launched following our last meeting in Brussels. The dialogue we have established between NATO and a number of Mediterranean countries is developing progressively and successfully, contributes to confidence-building and cooperation in the region, and complements other international efforts. We endorse the measures agreed by NATO Foreign Ministers in Sintra on the widening of the scope and the enhancement of the dialogue and, on the basis of their recommendation, have decided today to establish under the authority of the North Atlantic Council a new committee, the Mediterranean Cooperation Group, which will have the overall responsibility for the Mediterranean dialogue.
- We welcome the progress made on the Alliance's internal adaptation. Its fundamental objectives are to maintain the Alliance's military effectiveness and its ability to react to a wide range of contingencies, to preserve the transatlantic link, and develop the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) within the Alliance. We recognise the substantive work which has been carried out on the development of a new command structure for the Alliance; the implementation of the Combined Joint Task Forces (CJTF) concept; and the building of ESDI within NATO. We attach great importance to an early and successful completion of this process. Building on the earlier reductions and restructuring of the Alliance's military forces, it will provide the Alliance with the full range of capabilities needed to meet the challenges of the future.
- We welcome the substantial progress made on the development of a new command structure which will enable the Alliance to carry out the whole range of its missions more effectively and flexibly, support our enhanced relationship with Partners and the admission of new members, and provide, as part of the development of ESDI within NATO, for European command arrangements able to prepare, support, command and conduct WEU-led operations.
We note that essential elements of the new command structure have been identified and will form the basis for further work. We must maintain the momentum of this work. We have, accordingly, directed the Council in Permanent Session, with the advice of the Military Committee, to work on the resolution of outstanding issues with the aim of reaching agreement on NATO's future command structure by the time of the Council Ministerial meetings in December.
- Against this background, the members of the Alliance's integrated military structure warmly welcome today's announcement by Spain of its readiness to participate fully in the Alliance's new command structure, once agreement has been reached upon it. Spain's full participation will enhance its overall contribution to the security of the Alliance, help develop the European Security and Defence Identity within NATO and strengthen the transatlantic link.
- We are pleased with the progress made in implementing the CJTF concept, including the initial designation of parent headquarters, and look forward to the forthcoming trials. This concept will enhance our ability to command and control multinational and multiservice forces, generated and deployed at short notice, which are capable of conducting a wide range of military operations. Combined Joint Task Forces will also facilitate the possible participation of non-NATO nations in operations and, by enabling the conduct of WEU-led CJTF operations, will contribute to the development of ESDI within the Alliance.
- We reaffirm, as stated in our 1994 Brussels Declaration, our full support for the development of the European Security and Defence Identity by making available NATO assets and capabilities for WEU operations. With this in mind, the Alliance is building ESDI, grounded on solid military principles and supported by appropriate military planning and permitting the creation of militarily coherent and effective forces capable of operating under the political control and strategic direction of the WEU. We endorse the decisions taken at last year's Ministerial meeting in Berlin in this regard which serve the interests of the Alliance as well as of the WEU.
We further endorse the considerable progress made in implementing these decisions and in developing ESDI within the Alliance. In this context we endorse the decisions taken with regard to European command arrangements within NATO to prepare, support, command and conduct WEU-led operations using NATO assets and capabilities (including provisional terms of reference for Deputy SACEUR covering his ESDI-related responsibilities both permanent and during crises and operations), the arrangements for the identification of NATO assets and capabilities that could support WEU-led operations, and arrangements for NATO-WEU consultation in the context of such operations. We welcome inclusion of the support for the conduct of WEU-led operations in the context of the ongoing implementation of the revised Alliance defence planning process for all Alliance missions. We also welcome the progress made on work regarding the planning and future exercising of WEU-led operations, and in developing the necessary practical arrangements for release, monitoring and return of NATO assets and the exchange of information between NATO and WEU within the framework of the NATO-WEU Security Agreement.
We note with satisfaction that the building of ESDI within the Alliance has much benefitted from the recent agreement in the WEU on the participation of all European Allies, if they were so to choose, in WEU-led operations using NATO assets and capabilities, as well as in planning and preparing for such operations. We also note the desire on Canada's part to participate in such operations when its interests make it desirable and under modalities to be developed. We direct the Council in Permanent Session to complete expeditiously its work on developing ESDI within NATO, in cooperation with the WEU.
- The Alliance Strategic Concept, which we adopted at our meeting in Rome in 1991, sets out the principal aims and objectives of the Alliance. Recognising that the strategic environment has changed since then, we have decided to examine the Strategic Concept to ensure that it is fully consistent with Europe's new security situation and challenges. As recommended by our Foreign Ministers in Sintra, we have decided to direct the Council in Permanent Session to develop terms of reference for this examination, and an update as necessary, for endorsement at the Autumn Ministerial meetings. This work will confirm our commitment to the core function of Alliance collective defence and the indispensable transatlantic link.
- We reiterate our commitment to full transparency between NATO and WEU in crisis management, including as necessary through joint consultations on how to address contingencies. In this context, we are determined to strengthen the institutional cooperation between the two organisations. We welcome the fact that the WEU has recently undertaken to improve its capacity to plan and conduct crisis management and peacekeeping operations (the Petersberg tasks), including through setting the groundwork for possible WEU-led operations with the support of NATO assets and capabilities, and accepted the Alliance's invitation to contribute to NATO's Ministerial Guidance for defence planning. We will therefore continue to develop the arrangements and procedures necessary for the planning, preparation, conduct and exercise of WEU-led operations using NATO assets and capabilities.
- We reaffirm our commitment to further strengthening the OSCE as a regional organisation according to Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations and as a primary instrument for preventing conflict, enhancing cooperative security and advancing democracy and human rights. The OSCE, as the most inclusive European-wide security organisation, plays an essential role in securing peace, stability and security in Europe. The principles and commitments adopted by the OSCE provide a foundation for the development of a comprehensive and cooperative European security architecture. Our goal is to create in Europe, through the widest possible cooperation among OSCE states, a common space of security and stability, without dividing lines or spheres of influence limiting the sovereignty of particular states.
We continue to support the OSCE's work on a Common and Comprehensive Security Model for Europe for the Twenty-First Century, in accordance with the decisions of the 1996 Lisbon Summit, including consideration of developing a Charter on European Security.
- We welcome the successful holding of elections in Albania as a vital first step in providing the basis for greater stability, democratic government and law and order in the country. We stress, in this context, the importance of a firm commitment by all political forces to continue the process of national reconciliation. We also welcome the crucial role of the Italian-led Multinational Protection Force, with the participation of several Allies and Partners, in helping to create a secure environment for the re-establishment of peace and order. We value the efforts of the OSCE as the coordinating framework for international assistance in Albania, together with the important contributions made by the EU, WEU and the Council of Europe. We are following closely events in Albania and are considering measures through the Partnership for Peace to assist, as soon as the situation permits, in the reconstruction of the armed forces of Albania as an important element of the reform process. Continued international support will be essential in helping to restore stability in Albania.
- We continue to attach greatest importance to further the means of non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament.
We welcome the progress made since the Brussels Summit, as an integral part of NATO's adaptation, to intensify and expand Alliance political and defence efforts aimed at preventing proliferation and safeguarding NATO's strategic unity and freedom of action despite the risks posed by nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons and their means of delivery. We attach the utmost importance to these efforts, welcome the Alliance's substantial achievements, and direct that work continue.
We call on all states which have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention. Recognising that enhancing confidence in compliance would reinforce the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, we reaffirm our determination to complete as soon as possible through negotiation a legally binding and effective verification mechanism. We urge the Russian Federation to ratify the START II Treaty without delay so that negotiation of START III may begin.
We support the vigorous pursuit of an effective, legally binding international agreement to ban world-wide the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines. We note the positive developments in the Conference on Disarmament. We further note the progress made by the Ottawa Process with its goal of achieving a ban by the end of the year.
- We continue to attach utmost importance to the CFE Treaty and its integrity. In this context, we welcome the entry into force of the CFE Flank Agreement on 15th May 1997 and underline its importance for regional stability. We share the commitment of all thirty States Parties to continue full implementation of the CFE Treaty, its associated documents, and the Flank Agreement. We confirm our readiness to work cooperatively with other States Parties to achieve, as expeditiously as possible, an adapted CFE Treaty that takes account of the changed political and military circumstances in Europe, continues to serve as a cornerstone of stability, and provides undiminished security for all. NATO has advanced a comprehensive proposal for adaptation of the CFE Treaty on the basis of a revised Treaty structure of national and territorial ceilings. The Allies have already stated their intention to reduce significantly their future aggregate national ceilings for Treaty-Limited Equipment. We look forward to working with other States Parties on the early completion of a Framework Agreement on CFE adaptation.
- We reaffirm the importance of arrangements in the Alliance for consultation on threats of a wider nature, including those linked to illegal arms trade and acts of terrorism, which affect Alliance security interests. We continue to condemn all acts of international terrorism. They constitute flagrant violations of human dignity and rights and are a threat to the conduct of normal international relations. In accordance with our national legislation, we stress the need for the most effective cooperation possible to prevent and suppress this scourge.
- The steps we have taken today, and tomorrow's meeting with our Partners under the aegis of the EAPC, bring us closer to our goal of building cooperative security in Europe. We remain committed to a free and undivided Euro-Atlantic community in which all can enjoy peace and prosperity. Renewed in structure and approach, strengthened in purpose and resolve, and with a growing membership, NATO will continue to play its part in achieving this goal and in meeting the security challenges in the times ahead.
- We express our deep appreciation for the gracious hospitality extended to us by the Government of Spain. We are looking forward to meeting again on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty in April 1999.
08 Jul. 1997
on Euro-Atlantic Security and Cooperation issued by the Heads of State and Government at the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council
Press Release M-1(97) 081
Issued on 08 Jul. 1997
Last updated: 10-Jan-2011 16:21