The Euro-Atlantic Partnership - Refocusing and Renewal

  • Last updated: 08 Jun. 2010 17:53

I. Adapting Objectives and Priorities of Partnership

1. The New International Environment

1.1. NATO’s policy of Partnership and Cooperation and the PfP have lasted for more than 10 years, and during that period the international environment has changed. Democratic transformation in Central and most of South-Eastern Europe has succeeded. NATO and the EU are enlarging. The grounds have been laid for further efforts to secure and stabilise the Balkans and to pursue integration of countries in this region into the Euro-Atlantic structures, including the participation of Serbia and Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina in EAPC/PfP when all the conditions are met. Partners have joined, and contributed greatly to, NATO-led efforts to ensure security in Europe and beyond. NATO's relations with Russia have been put on new and solid foundations. Ukraine is making a growing contribution to stability and security in Europe.

1.2. At the same time, the challenges to Euro-Atlantic security are changing. The evolving threats, including terrorism, have domestic and external sources and a transnational nature. While threats to stability remain in the strategically important region of the Balkans and particularly in Kosovo, events in Afghanistan, where NATO leads the ISAF operation, have demonstrated that threats to our common security increasingly come from the periphery of the Euro-Atlantic area. In this environment, international stability and security will increasingly depend on domestic reform on the one hand, and wide international co-operation on the other. These two imperatives are inseparable, for effective security co-operation is impossible absent basic doctrines and institutions of a fundamentally democratic nature.

1.3. The Allies are determined that the Euro-Atlantic Partnership play an enhanced role in both respects, taking into account the role of international organisations and regional organisations and cooperation in these areas. They will develop it accordingly, in close co-operation with Partners, building upon the founding documents of PfP and EAPC and the decisions of the Washington and Prague Summits. In doing so, Allies will take account of NATO's continued commitment to Eastern and South East Europe, of the need to bring more stability and security to the Caucasus and Central Asia, and of the valuable contribution that the Western European Partners make to NATO-led operations and Partnership programmes.

2. The Objectives of NATO's Partnership Policy

2.1. Dialogue and Co-operation: NATO will conduct political dialogue and practical co-operation with its Partners on a broad range of international and appropriate domestic issues of common concern, in particular those related to terrorism and other evolving threats to security. NATO will be prepared to develop such dialogue and co-operation in different formats, on a geographical or functional basis, and in agreement with EAPC and PfP principles. The Alliance will encourage and support regional initiatives to address such issues.

2.2. Reform: NATO will enhance its efforts to promote democratic values and foster democratic transformation across the Euro-Atlantic area. To this end, the Alliance will provide interested Partners with political and practical advice on, and assistance in, the defence and security-related aspects of the domestic reform, including armed forces under civilian and democratic control. NATO will also encourage larger policy and institutional reform and support it within its competence and resources, complementing efforts by other international organisations.

2.3. Operations: NATO will continue to prepare interested Partners for participation in NATO-led operations. For this purpose, it will cooperate with all Partners, giving greater attention to their individual abilities and interests, in order to support their efforts to develop military interoperability and transform their defence in keeping with NATO's own evolving operational role and capabilities.

2.4. Enlargement: NATO will continue through Partnership for Peace to support Partners who wish to join the Alliance, consistent with the Open Door policy enshrined in the Washington Treaty and the PfP Invitation Document.

3. Current Priorities

3.1. Geographic Priority – Special Focus on the regions of Caucasus and Central Asia

3.1.1. NATO will continue to engage, and promote democratic transformation in, and regional co-operation between, Partner countries in Eastern and South-East Europe, including the Republic of Moldova. However, in response to the changing international environment, the Alliance will put special focus on engaging with Partners in the strategically important regions of Caucasus and Central Asia. As a result of the accession of seven former Partners to NATO, where possible and appropriate, NATO will refocus existing resources toward these two regions, consistent with NATO's long term strategy to enhance stability across the Euro-Atlantic area by encouraging and supporting reform.

3.1.2. NATO will give priority to these countries in implementing the existing and new co-operation programmes, in particular IPAP, PAP-DIB, PARP and PAP-T. NATO will pay special attention to the individual needs of those Partners who have demonstrated the willingness and commitment to participate in these programmes, will provide enhanced training and education, and will strive to help them manage the consequences of defence reform, including through the PfP trust fund mechanism. IPAP in particular could lead to a qualitatively enhanced political dialogue focused on creating the domestic and external environment specific to each country conducive to domestic reform, assessing Partners' reform progress, and facilitating more targeted Allied assistance.

3.1.3. To improve communication and support work with Partners in the Caucasus and Central Asia, NATO will:

  • consider ways to enhance committee and staff support for Partnership activities within existing structures and resources, including through visits from and to these Partners;
  • enhance the role of NATO Contact Point Embassies (CPEs), including by expanding their mandate;
  • expand the scope of national, committee and staff support to the CPEs;
  • intensify work with the Missions to NATO from these countries;
  • encourage exchange of information and co-operation with and between national Allied defence or military advisors working as experts in these countries; and
  • nominate Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and for Central Asia from among existing International Staff.

3.1.4. In addition to these steps, Allies will give positive consideration to the requests of Partner countries for enhanced local NATO representation provided that they:

  • demonstrate active commitment to principles and goals expressed in PfP and EAPC basic documents, and their readiness to engage in relevant reforms, in particular through the IPAP,
  • demonstrate their determination to undertake defence reform along democratic lines as defined in particular in the PAP-DIB,
  • manifest the will for substantial practical co-operation with NATO, including in support of NATO operations, and;
  • offer to provide resources to host NATO representation in their defence institutions or other office premises.

3.1.4.1. To respond in a balanced way to such requests, and to assist and provide advice to these Partners in implementing co-operation programmes and activities focused on PARP, and relevant aspects of IPAP, PAP-DIB and PAP-T, the North Atlantic Council has decided to appoint one NATO Officer for the Caucasus and one NATO Officer for Central Asia, to be embedded preferably within the appropriate institutions dealing with defence and PfP issues of the host nation. The terms of reference of those officers will be consistent with the General Guidelines on NATO Offices in Non-NATO Countries and their mandate will be reviewed in light of the criteria set out above.

3.2. Substantive Priorities - Meeting the Challenges of Today

3.2.1. Reform – Laying the Foundations for Modern Defence Systems: Pursuing a broad agenda of democratic transformation, NATO will give priority to helping Partner Nations, in particular those in the Caucasus and Central Asia, to develop modern and democratically responsible defence institutions, which will be able to support international security co-operation.

3.2.2. Operations – Enhancing Partner Contributions: Continuing to develop general Partner capabilities important to, and interoperable with, the Alliance, NATO will particularly promote the development of Partner capabilities that provide a unique or high-value contribution, including through a challenging exercise programme.

3.2.3. Dialogue and Co-operation – Fighting against Terrorism: In all co-operative efforts, NATO will pay particular attention to dialogue, exchange of expertise and developing mechanisms and instruments for enabling Partner contributions to the Alliance's response to terrorism and protection of civilian populations against Weapons of Mass Destruction.

II. Matching the Ends and Means - New Co-operation Initiatives

  1. To ensure substantive progress towards Partnership objectives and priorities, NATO will continue pursuing vigorously the Partnership initiatives undertaken at the Washington and Prague Summits and will encourage Partners to make the full use of all instruments offered in the Comprehensive Review of EAPC and PfP. NATO will also take further steps to develop and complement these initiatives. While taking these steps, NATO expects all Partners to fulfil their commitments to the protection and promotion of fundamental freedoms, human rights and other fundamental values embedded in the basic documents of PfP and EAPC. For its part, NATO will enhance its efforts to encourage and assist Partners to implement these values through the new co-operation initiatives.

4.1. Reform

4.1.1. NATO will support vigorously the implementation of the Partnership Action Plan on Defence Institution Building (PAP-DIB). This Plan offers Allies and all Partners a common political and conceptual platform for bilateral and multilateral co-operation in developing efficient and democratically responsible defence institutions. PAP-DIB will help define objectives and priorities of work in this area, foster resource efficiency, and encourage exchange of experience among all Allies and Partners. IPAP and PARP will serve as primary instruments for pursuing commonly recognised reform objectives formulated in PAP-DIB. Multilateral activities, including in regional context, will complement this work. Possible measures to facilitate and harmonise operational co-operation between Partner security structures will also be considered.

4.1.2. NATO will also enhance support to those Nations engaged in IPAP, including by programming of education and training in defence management and defence reform. Such programming will seek to tap the expertise of Partners and new Allies, which have successfully undertaken defence reform. NATO will also launch a series of workshops on defence and security economics with Partners participating in IPAP.

4.2. Operations

4.2.1. NATO welcomes continued Partner participation in NATO-led non-Art.5 operations. The Alliance will seek the earliest possible involvement by troop contributing nations in the decision-shaping process. Building on the ISAF experience, NATO could offer political consultations, including in NAC plus format, as a regular feature of non-NATO troop contributing Partners' association with NATO decision-making on operations in which they participate. To further facilitate NNCN's national planning regarding their contributions to NATO-led non-Art.5 operations, NATO will ensure appropriate access to the relevant documentation in accordance with agreed procedures. In the same vein, in addition to the well established interaction with contributing Partners in the Policy Coordination Group (PCG) and MC Working Group on Operations, meetings with non-NATO troop contributors could take place in other appropriate MC Working Groups or, when appropriate, in the Military Committee, as foreseen in the PMF.

4.2.2. NATO will continue to further develop and give more substance to the Training and Education Enhancement Programme (TEEP) and the Military Training and Exercise Programme (MTEP), including exercise activities in the Caucasus and Central Asia. This will support NATO's growing role, increasingly complex operational requirements and Partners' increased participation in operations. This effort will include in particular ADL/simulation and PfP Training Centres and will strengthen co-operation in the framework of the PfP Consortium of Defence Academies, in particular with regard to the Education and Training Track. It could also include exercises to prepare military contributions for civil-military operations, including in support for border security activities, and logistics support in and through Partner states. NATO will encourage the creation of PfP training centres, including those focused on the Caucasus and Central Asia. 1

4.2.3. NATO has formulated modalities for encouraging participation of Partners in the Prague Capabilities Commitment (PCC) multinational projects. Allies will apply this pragmatic approach in other areas of defence transformation including with regard to the NATO Response Force (NRF). While any eventual Partner contributions to the NRF should be supplementary to the requirements established for the force, both the training and exercise programme of the NRF and the PfP training and exercise programmes should provide opportunities for interaction, without diminishing NRF readiness, and more generally promote interoperability between the NRF and Partner forces. Partner contributions could allow for enhanced operational flexibility. In this respect, existing PfP mechanisms, such as the PARP and OCC, need to be exploited to promote the development of appropriate Partner contributions. Transparency will be sought in relations with Partners with regard to criteria for rapid response units, to facilitate the development of their own rapid response forces. In the same context, as part of the implementation of the Operational Capabilities Concept, interoperability standards and related assessments will be harmonised with respective NATO mechanisms.

4.2.4. NATO will use the implementation of the new command structure to increase the value of participation by Partners, including by considering new responsibilities and authorities and by better integrating them in non-article 5 planning as feasible. In addition, Partners will be offered appropriate representation in the Allied Command Transformation at its HQ in Norfolk. The modalities for the PfP Staff Elements will be reviewed, as appropriate and in accordance with NATO Security Policy; including consideration of the establishment of PfP Staff Elements in ACT's subordinate structures, such as the Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger.

4.2.5. Building upon extensive co-operation on protection of civil populations against WMD, opportunities will be offered to Partners for contributing to military co-operation in this field, including on protection of troops and, as appropriate, the CBRN battalion.

4.2.6. NATO will engage Partners more extensively in defence equipment-related activities in the framework of the CNAD. In particular, Partners will be associated to the greatest possible extent with equipment-related effort to address the Prague Capabilities Commitment and the defence against terrorism.

4.3. Dialogue and Co-operation

4.3.1. The new EAPC Security Forum will enhance high-level political dialogue among Allies and Partners on key security issues of common concern and will open this dialogue to the public and the civil society in Allied and Partner countries.

4.3.2. The Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism (PAP-T) remains the main platform for joint efforts by Allies and Partners in the fight against terrorism. It will be further implemented and developed with a view to enhancing practical co-operation, extending participation, improving co-operation with other international organisations, and developing supporting mechanisms. In particular, co-operation activities will be undertaken, developed, or further considered in a number of areas, including operations and exercises, training, border security and management, exchange of information, consequence management, and small arms and light weapons and man-portable air-defence systems.

4.3.3. EAPC/PFP Partners, along with Mediterranean Partners and selected triple-non countries, will be invited, in accordance with agreed procedures, taking into account their willingness and capability, and based on operational criteria, to cooperate in Operation Active Endeavour, including through active participation.

4.3.4. In view of the terrorist threat, NATO will enhance co-operation with interested Partners on relevant aspects of Air Defence and Air Traffic Management. This will include exchange of information on civil-military air traffic procedures. Particular stress will be put on involving interested Partners on a case-by-case basis in Air Situation Data exchange.

4.3.5. The NATO Security through Science programme will focus the combined scientific communities of the Partner and NATO countries on key security concerns of common interest, in particular the defence against terrorism.

4.3.6. Maritime and harbour security are important issues for Allies and Partners alike, including all those bordering on the Black and Caspian Seas. NATO will explore, in consultation with interested Partners, whether and how PfP actions could add value to those Partners' co-operative efforts in these areas. Any such actions would complement other international efforts, and would need to be tailored to the needs of all those Partners and of regional co-operation between them.

4.3.7. The international community is faced witch challenges posed by transnational organised crime and its potential links with terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Building on its own expertise, and where it can add value, NATO will explore possibilities for PfP co-operation in the field of border security, particularly in connection with the fight against various forms of illegal trafficking, particularly in arms. NATO's efforts in this field will be regional in nature, will be in line with the constitutional framework of member states, and will be designed to complement the work of police institutions and the initiatives of other organisations, such as the EU and OSCE.

III. Enhancing supporting tools

5. NATO will further develop and adapt tools designed to support political dialogue and practical co-operation:

5.1. A targeted Public Diplomacy effort will be essential in informing Partner public opinion about objectives and priorities of Partnership, in particular those related to domestic reform. Effective communication means will be employed, including high-visibility Flagship Events, involving high-level representatives of NATO and Allied nations as well as key personalities and broad audiences in Partner countries. Seminars and conferences in Partner countries will reflect NATO's agreed objectives and priorities for the Euro-Atlantic Partnership. The use of the Contact Point Embassy mechanism in pursuit of Partnership objectives and priorities will also be optimised.

5.2. PARP, in addition to its key role in fostering military interoperability, will be adapted to better correspond to Partnership's overall objectives and priorities, such as to support defence reform, defence institution building and the fight against terrorism.

5.3. Following the decisions to be taken at Istanbul with regard to Partnership, Allies will consider reviewing the EAPC/PfP committee structure to ensure an effective and efficient support to the enhanced Partnership tools.

5.4. The PfP Partnership Work Programme and the EAPC Action Plan will be replaced by a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Work Plan (EAPWP), a single management and information tool, covering all areas of Partnership and providing coherent politico-military guidance on all aspects of Partnership work.

5.5. NATO funding arrangements for EAPC and PfP activities will be harmonised and adapted to increase the flexibility in responding to Partners' individual requests for subsidies and to help ensure a broad participation of Partners in priority events and activities.

5.6. The NATO/PfP Trust Fund policy will ensure greater flexibility and efficiency in helping Partners to manage the consequences of defence reform, including destruction of surplus munitions. This will include Partners taking the lead in developing and implementing PfP Trust Fund projects, in accordance with agreed procedures.

IV. Resources

  1. To ensure effective and efficient implementation of Partnership's existing programmes and new initiatives, Allies will review the size and distribution of NATO's budgetary and human resources devoted to the planning and execution of co-operation programmes and activities in NATO HQ and the military headquarters, in the light of Partnership objectives, geographical and substantive priorities, and other outreach programmes pursued by the Alliance. In this regard, re-prioritisation and possible re-allocation of existing resources will become necessary.
  2. Bilateral support of, and contribution to, Partnership programmes and activities by Allies and willing Partners will be essential for ensuring the success of the refocusing and renewal of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership.
  1. There are currently 10 recognised PfP training centres with different focus. The United States has recently designated the US Naval Post-Graduate School at Monterey as a PfP Training Centre to be focused on the Caucasus and Central Asia.