The 50-nation EAPC brings together the 28 Allies and 22 Partner countries in a multilateral forum for dialogue and consultation, and provides the overall political framework for NATO’s cooperation with Partner countries.
The PfP programme facilitates practical bilateral cooperation between individual Partner countries and NATO, tailored according to the specific ambitions, needs and abilities of each Partner.
NATO’s new Strategic Concept, which was approved at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, states that the EAPC and the PfP programme are central to the Allies vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace. At Lisbon, Allied leaders reiterated their commitment to further develop the EAPC/PfP as the essential framework for substantive political dialogue and practical cooperation, including enhanced military interoperability, and that they would continue to develop policy intiatives within this framework.
Three priorities underpin cooperation with Partners:
- Dialogue and consultations;
- Building capabilities and strengthening interoperability; and
- Supporting reform.
Activities under the EAPC and PfP are set out in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Work Plan. This is a catalogue of around 1600 activities covering over 30 areas of cooperation, ranging from arms control, through language training, foreign and security policy, and military geography.
The EAPC and the PfP programme have steadily developed their own dynamic, as successive steps have been taken by NATO and its Partner countries to extend security cooperation, building on the partnership arrangements they have created.
As NATO has transformed over the years to meet the new challenges of the evolving security environment, partnership has developed along with it. Today, Partner countries are engaged with NATO in tackling 21st century security challenges, including terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The ways and means of cooperation developed under NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Partnership have proven to be of mutual benefit to Allies and Partners, and have helped promote stability. The mechanisms and programmes for cooperation developed under EAPC/PfP are also being used as the basis to extend cooperation to other non-member countries beyond the Euro-Atlantic area.
Partners are expected to fund their own participation in cooperation programmes. However, NATO supports the cost of individual participation of some nations in specific events, and may also support the hosting of events in some Partner countries.