The North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) (archived)

  • Last updated: 20 Oct. 2011 11:47

The North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) was established by the Allies on 20 December 1991 as a forum for dialogue and cooperation with NATO’s former Warsaw Pact adversaries. The NACC was a manifestation of the “hand of friendship” extended at the July 1990 summit meeting in London, when Allied leaders proposed a new cooperative relationship with all countries in Central and Eastern Europe in the wake of the end of the Cold War.

NATO Secretary General Manfred Wörner welcomes Hungarian Foreign Minister G. Jeszenszky

Such was the pace of change in Europe at the time that inaugural meeting of the NACC itself witnessed an historic event: as the final communiqué was being agreed, the Soviet ambassador announced that the Soviet Union had dissolved during the meeting and that he now only represented the Russian Federation.

The 11 former Soviet republics of the newly formed Commonwealth of Independent States were invited to participate in the NACC. Georgia and Azerbaijan joined the NACC in 1992 along with Albania, and the Central Asian republics soon followed suit. 

In the immediate post-Cold War period, consultations within the NACC focused on residual Cold War security concerns, such as the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic States, and on regional conflicts that were breaking out in parts of the former Soviert Union as well as in the former Yugoslavia. Political cooperation was launched on a number of security and defence-related issues. Military-to-military contacts and cooperation also got off the ground.

The NACC broke new ground in many ways. Multilateral political consultation and cooperation helped build confidence in the early 1990s, paving the way for the launch of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) in 1994. The PfP programme offered partners the possibility to develop practical bilateral cooperation with NATO, choosing their own priorities for cooperation.

The invitation to join the Partnership for Peace was addressed to all states participating in the NACC and other states participating in the Conference on Security and Cooperation (which became the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in 1995).

The NACC was succeeded by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997. This reflected the Allies’ desire to build a security forum, which would include Western European partners and be better suited for the increasingly sophisticated relationships being developed with partner countries. Many partners were deepening their cooperation with NATO, in particular in support of defence reform and the transition towards democracy, and several partners were by then also actively supporting the NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.