The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
The 50-nation Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) is a multilateral forum for dialogue and consultation on political and security-related issues among Allies and partner countries. It provides the overall political framework for NATO’s cooperation with partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area, and for the bilateral relationships developed between NATO and individual partner countries under the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme.
EAPC members regularly exchange views on current political and security-related issues, including the evolving security situations in Kosovo and Afghanistan, where peacekeepers from Allied and partner countries are deployed together. Longer-term consultation and cooperation also takes place in a wide range of areas.
Established in 1997, the EAPC succeeded the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), which was set up in 1991 just after the end of the Cold War. This decision reflected NATO’s desire to build a security forum better suited for a more enhanced and operational partnership, matching the increasingly sophisticated relationships being developed with partner countries.
Meetings of the EAPC are held monthly at the level of ambassadors, annually at the level of foreign or defence ministers and chiefs of defence, as well as occasionally at summit level.
The work of the EAPC
Longer-term consultation and cooperation takes place in a wide range of areas within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Work Programme (EAPWP).
These areas include crisis-management and peace-support operations; regional issues; arms control and issues related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; international terrorism; defence issues such as planning, budgeting, policy and strategy; civil emergency planning and disaster preparedness; armaments cooperation; nuclear safety; civil-military coordination of air traffic management; and scientific cooperation.
The EAPC has also taken initiatives to promote and coordinate practical cooperation and the exchange of expertise in key areas. These include combating terrorism, border security, and other issues related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and small arms and light weapons.
NATO/EAPC policies have also been agreed to support international efforts in support of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, as well as to combat trafficking in human beings.