NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Economics, Defence and security -
    Defence and security economics Economic security is a critical dimension of NATO’s priorities with Allies and global partners. The potential disruption to the flow of economic resources comprising people, goods and strategic commodities can pose challenges and opportunities to the security of the Alliance, as underlined by NATO’s Strategic Concept – the official document that sets out NATO’s enduring purpose, nature and fundamental security tasks. A proper understanding of defence and security economics is an essential contribution to NATO’s work in pre-conflict, conflict and post-conflict environments. At present, NATO’s efforts are focused on Afghanistan, international economic security, partnerships and supporting the development and sharing of economic intelligence. Economic cooperation has always been an important aspect of the Alliance. Article 2 of the North Atlantic Treaty, clearly states that member countries “will seek to eliminate conflict in their international economic policies and will encourage economic collaboration between any or all of them.”  Economic cooperation between Allies and, over time, with partners began formally in 1957 with the establishment of the Economic Committee. The Committee conducted multi-faceted work on economic security until mid-2010, when it was dissolved and its tasks pursued within other committees. The Defence and Security Economics (DSE) section of the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division of the International Staff constitutes the core team that deals with defence and security economics on a day-to-day basis. Core tasks Afghanistan The primary work of DSE is directed to supporting NATO’s efforts in Afghanistan and to providing assessments on international economic security in a world where the balance of international economic power is changing. In this regard, DSE has developed various important initiatives in support of NATO ISAF and Afghanistan. Firstly, DSE has significantly contributed to the development of the NATO Afghan First Policy that seeks to reduce the risk of corruption in the contracting for goods and services in support of economic development and security in Afghanistan. Secondly, DSE, in partnership with international organisations and NGOs, is engaged in building the capacity of the government of Afghanistan to reduce corruption in defence and security establishments in Afghanistan. This includes the application of Building Integrity tools (a NATO initiative first developed in 2007) to support NATO ISAF in developing anti-corruption training for the Afghan National Army and the national Police. Thirdly, DSE interacts with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in assessing those economic and financial issues that are critical to Afghanistan’s medium- and long-term economic development and security. International economic security The challenges confronting the Alliance in the wake of the global economic recession in 2008 have been felt in the pressure imposed on national defence budgets at a time of economic and fiscal austerity. In an increasingly complex financial and economic world, international economic collaboration is a fundamental condition for stability and security, together with measures to ensure that NATO members continue to devote the necessary budgetary resources to defence and security capabilities. DSE organises workshops and interacts with other divisions within the International Staff (the Emerging Security Challenges and the Defence Policy and Planning Divisions) in focusing upon the affordability and sustainability of defence spending within the Alliance set against the backcloth of the changing distribution of international economic power. Increasingly, budgetary and financial constraints make it essential that Allies implement “Smart Defence” arrangements, as proposed and emphasised by NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Partnerships In coordination with other entities within the International Staff, DSE contributes to the monitoring and assessment of the economic performance of partners in the framework of their Annual national Plans and Membership Action Plans. Additionally, discussions with partners can focus on assessing developments in economic security, as well as supporting their efforts to manage the socio-economic consequences of defence sector restructuring and downsizing (in support of vital defence reform and defence conversion) and to promote better management of scarce defence and security sector financial resources. Economic Intelligence DSE retains access to a network of defence economic experts from Allied capitals who previously contributed to the analytical work of the Economic Committee. With the reform of NATO intelligence structures and processes, DSE remains able to support this work with contributions on economic intelligence. Working mechanisms The Defence and Security Economics (DSE) section of the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division in the NATO International deals with defence and security economics.  DSE was reorganised in 2010 after the dissolution of the NATO Economic Committee and provides expert advice and inputs to the Political and Partnerships Committee and the Operations Policy Committee. It also contributes to the work conducted by other divisions in support of NATO’s operations and partnerships. The Head of DSE is also NATO’s Senior Defence Economist and is responsible for internal liaison with NATO committees, agencies and other bodies. He is also responsible for external liaison with pivotal international economic organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other major international economic organisations. DSE also maintains an extensive network of contacts with experts on defence and security economics in prominent international think tanks.
  • Education and training
    Last updated: 26-Mar-2014 18:27 News
  • Electronic warfare
    Electronic warfare Electronic warfare (EW) capabilities are a key factor in the protection of military forces and in monitoring compliance with international agreements. They are essential for the full spectrum of operations and other tasks undertaken by the Alliance. The purpose of EW is to deny the opponent the advantage of, and ensure friendly unimpeded access to the electromagnetic spectrum. EW can be applied from air, sea, land and space, and target communication and radar systems. It involves the use of the electromagnetic energy to provide improved understanding of the operational environment as well as to achieve specific effects on the modern battlefield. The need for military forces to have unimpeded access to and use of the electromagnetic environment creates challenges and opportunities for EW in support of military operations. Structure The NATO Electronic Warfare Advisory Committee (NEWAC) is responsible for overseeing the development of NATO’s EW policy, doctrine, and command and control concepts as well as monitoring EW support to NATO operations. It also assists in introducing NATO’s EW concepts to partner countries within the framework of the Partnership for Peace programme. The NEWAC is composed of representatives of each NATO country and of the Strategic Commands. Members are senior officials in national electronic warfare organisations. The Chairman and the Secretary of the committee are permanently assigned to the International Military Staff at NATO Headquarters, Brussels. There are a number of subordinate groups dealing with electronic warfare database support, training and doctrine. Evolution The NEWAC and is subgroups were introduced in 1966 to support the Military Committee, the NATO Strategic Commanders and the member countries in this sphere and to promote effective NATO EW capability. The NEWAC has met on an annual or semi-annual basis in plenary conferences, to bring together national subjecty matter experts in the field, since this time. EW policy is covered under MC 0064, the NATO Policy for EW. This policy has been revised a total of 10 times in order to keep pace with changes in the electromagnetic and operational environment, the NATO Command Structure, and the threats facing the Alliance. This policy is agreed to by all Allies and provides the overarching guidance required to formulate common doctrine and interoperability standards.
  • Energy security, NATO’s role in
    NATO’s role in energy security NATO leaders recognize that the disruption of the flow of vital resources could affect Alliance security interests. At the Bucharest Summit in April 2008, the Allies noted a report on “NATO’s Role in Energy Security,” which identifies guiding principles and outlines options and recommendations for further activities. These were reiterated at the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit in April 2009 and the Lisbon Summit in November 2010. The report identified the five following key areas where NATO can provide added value: information and intelligence fusion and sharing;  projecting stability; advancing international and regional cooperation; supporting consequence management; and supporting the protection of critical infrastructure. Consultations started after the Bucharest Summit regarding the depth and range of NATO’s involvement in this issue. Both within the Alliance and with NATO’s partner countries, a number of practical programmes, such as workshops and research projects, are ongoing. Work in practice Consultations on energy security take place in several bodies within NATO. In addition, NATO members have supported a number of scenario-based workshops, exhibitions and forums at NATO headquarters, as well as in Georgia and Lithuania, addressing this topic. Through Operation Active Endeavour, NATO maritime forces have been maintaining security for key resource routes in the Mediterranean. Allies also cooperate with partner countries and relevant experts through the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme and other frameworks. Maritime operations support Some 65 per cent of the oil and natural gas consumed in Western Europe passes through the Mediterranean each year, with major pipelines connecting Libya to Italy and Morocco to Spain. Since October 2001 NATO ships have been patrolling in the Eastern Mediterranean to detect and deter terrorist activity as part of Operation Active Endeavour . The operation has since been expanded to cover the Straits of Gibraltar and the entire Mediterranean, providing escorts to non-military shipping and conducting compliant boarding of suspicious vessels. NATO ships also systematically carry out preparatory route surveys in “choke” points (formed by narrow waterways and straits) as well as important passages and harbours throughout the Mediterranean. Research projects and workshops An October 2009 Advanced Research Workshop on energy security issues, supported by the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) programme, brought numerous policy makers and advisors to Vilnius to discuss European energy security and supply, in addition to addressing Lithuanian energy security following the closure of the Ignalina nuclear plant. Under the multi-year SPS project “Sahara Trade Winds to Hydrogen”, NATO supports cooperation between NATO and Mediterranean Dialogue countries, including Morocco and Mauritania. The aim is to develop cutting-edge hydrogen technology to store and transport renewable energy from wind turbines, in this way improving the capabilities of the energy expert community in these countries. Another multi-year SPS project, “Seismic Hazard and Risk Assessment for Southern Caucasus-Eastern Turkey Energy Corridors”, involves scientists from Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan monitoring and assessing seismic risks along two vital energy supply lines, the Baku-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline and the Baku-Erzurum natural gas pipeline. Cooperation with Partner Countries Due to shared security concerns, cooperative activities with partner countries often have an impact on energy security issues. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) are the main cooperative frameworks, although bilateral arrangements also exist. Areas such as defence reform, critical infrastructure protection, counter-terrorism cooperation, scientific developments and environmental protection may all have an impact on resource security. Cooperation with main actors in energy security NATO’s role is to raise awareness among NATO Allies and partners of energy security issues and to exchange expertise and experience. NATO monitors issues connected to energy security and brings together experts to share best practices on the protection of critical energy infrastructure and provides analysis to the Nations on energy-related issues. In addition, it produces assessments of risks and threats to energy security and infrastructure, examines the economic consequences of energy security issues and tracks relevant technology and environmental developments that affect energy security. NATO looks to protect critical energy infrastructures, transit areas and lines, while cooperating with partners and other organisations involved with energy security. To this end, NATO seeks to expand the dialogue with other actors involved in energy security, such as the European Union and the International Energy Agency, as well as to deepen partnerships with the academic community and the private sector. History During the Cold War, energy security for NATO meant ensuring the supply of fuel to Alliance forces. To this end, the Allies set up the NATO Pipeline System, which consists of ten separate and distinct military storage and distribution systems across Europe. However, in light of shifting global political and strategic realities the concept of energy security is changing. In the last few years, international trends and a number of international disputes have further contributed to Alliance concerns over resource security. The 1999 Strategic Concept stated that the disruption of vital resources could affect the Alliance’s security interests. The 2010 Strategic Concept gave far more prominence to the importance of communication, transport and transit routes that are vital to energy security and the need to ensure resilience against attacks or disruption. NATO seeks to address this issue by broadening the debate on energy security and linking it more systematically to operational and environmental concerns.
  • Enlargement, NATO
    NATO enlargement The foreign ministers of four aspirant countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ – meet NATO foreign ministers at the Chicago Summit in May 2012. NATO’s door remains open to any European country in a position to undertake the commitments and obligations of membership, and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area. Since 1949, NATO’s membership has increased from 12 to 28 countries through six rounds of enlargement. Albania and Croatia were invited to join NATO at the Bucharest Summit in April 2008 and formally became members when the accession process was completed on 1 April 2009. Currently there are four partner countries that aspire for NATO membership: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ and Montenegro. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ has, like Albania and Croatia, been participating in the Membership Action Plan (MAP) for a number of years to prepare for possible membership. At Bucharest, Allied leaders agreed to invite the country to become a member as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over the country’s name has been reached with Greece. They also invited Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to start Intensified Dialogues on their membership aspirations and related reforms. Furthermore, Allied leaders agreed that Georgia and Ukraine – which were already engaged in an Intensified Dialogue with NATO – will become members of NATO. In December 2008, Georgia and Ukraine were invited to develop Annual National Programmes (ANPs). Georgia did so under the auspices of the NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC), which was established in September 2008 to oversee NATO’s assistance to Georgia following the conflict with Russia and to play a central role in supervising the process set in hand at the Bucharest Summit. Georgia and Ukraine both submitted their first ANPs in 2009. In terms of Ukraine, while no longer pursuing NATO membership since 2010, Ukraine has maintained the existing level of cooperation with the Alliance and has fulfilled the existing agreements. Ukraine has continued to participate actively in the ANP process which plays a key role in determining Allied support for Ukraine’s domestic reform process. In December 2009, Montenegro was invited to join the MAP, as was Bosnia and Herzegovina in April 2010.  However,  the latter’s first Annual National Programme will only be accepted by the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s principal decision-making body, when the immovable property issue has been resolved. NATO’s “open door policy” is based on Article 10 of its founding treaty. Any decision to invite a country to join the Alliance is taken by the North Atlantic Council on the basis of consensus among all Allies. No third country has a say in such deliberations. NATO’s ongoing enlargement process poses no threat to any country. It is aimed at promoting stability and cooperation, at building a Europe whole and free, united in peace, democracy and common values. Aspirant countries Countries that have declared an interest in joining the Alliance are initially invited to engage in an Intensified Dialogue with NATO about their membership aspirations and related reforms. Aspirant countries may then be invited to participate in the MAP to prepare for potential membership and demonstrate their ability to meet the obligations and commitments of possible future membership. Participation in the MAP does not guarantee membership, but it constitutes a key preparation mechanism. Countries aspiring to join NATO have to demonstrate that they are in a position to further the principles of the 1949 Washington Treaty and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area. They are also expected to meet certain political, economic and military criteria, which are laid out in the 1995 Study on NATO Enlargement. 1995 Study on Enlargement In 1995, the Alliance published the results of a Study on NATO Enlargement that considered the merits of admitting new members and how they should be brought in. It concluded that the end of the Cold War provided a unique opportunity to build improved security in the entire Euro-Atlantic area and that NATO enlargement would contribute to enhanced stability and security for all. It would do so, the Study further concluded, by encouraging and supporting democratic reforms, including the establishment of civilian and democratic control over military forces; fostering patterns and habits of cooperation, consultation and consensus-building characteristic of relations among members of the Alliance; and promoting good-neighbourly relations. It would increase transparency in defence planning and military budgets, thereby reinforcing confidence among states, and would reinforce the overall tendency toward closer integration and cooperation in Europe. The Study also concluded that enlargement would strengthen the Alliance’s ability to contribute to European and international security and strengthen and broaden the transatlantic partnership. According to the Study, countries seeking NATO membership would have to be able to demonstrate that they have fulfilled certain requirements. These include: a functioning democratic political system based on a market economy; the fair treatment of minority populations; a commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts; the ability and willingness to make a military contribution to NATO operations; and a commitment to democratic civil-military relations and institutional structures. Once admitted, new members would enjoy all the rights and assume all the obligations of membership. This would include acceptance at the time that they join of all the principles, policies and procedures previously adopted by Alliance members. Accession process Once the Allies have decided to invite a country to become a member of NATO, they officially invite the country to begin accession talks with the Alliance. This is the first step in the accession process on the way to formal membership. The major steps in the process are: 1. Accession talks with a NATO team These talks take place at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and bring together teams of NATO experts and representatives of the individual invitees. Their aim is to obtain formal confirmation from the invitees of their willingness and ability to meet the political, legal and military obligations and commitments of NATO membership, as laid out in the Washington Treaty and in the Study on NATO Enlargement. The talks take place in two sessions with each invitee. In the first session, political and defence or military issues are discussed, essentially providing the opportunity to establish that the preconditions for membership have been met. The second session is more technical and includes discussion of resources, security, and legal issues as well as the contribution of each new member country to NATO’s common budget. This is determined on a proportional basis, according to the size of their economies in relation to those of other Alliance member countries. Invitees are also required to implement measures to ensure the protection of NATO classified information, and prepare their security and intelligence services to work with the NATO Office of Security. The end product of these discussions is a timetable to be submitted by each invitee for the completion of necessary reforms, which may continue even after these countries have become NATO members. 2. Invitees send letters of intent to NATO, along with timetables for completion of reforms In the second step of the accession process, each invitee country provides confirmation of its acceptance of the obligations and commitments of membership in the form of a letter of intent from each foreign minister addressed to the NATO Secretary General. Together with this letter they also formally submit their individual reform timetables. 3. Accession protocols are signed by NATO countries NATO then prepares Accession Protocols to the Washington Treaty for each invitee. These protocols are in effect amendments or additions to the Treaty, which once signed and ratified by Allies, become an integral part of the Treaty itself and permit the invited countries to become parties to the Treaty. 4. Accession protocols are ratified by NATO countries The governments of NATO member states ratify the protocols, according to their national requirements and procedures. The ratification procedure varies from country to country. For example, the United States requires a two-thirds majority to pass the required legislation in the Senate. Elsewhere, for example in the United Kingdom, no formal parliamentary vote is required. 5. The Secretary General invites the potential new members to accede to the North Atlantic Treaty Once all NATO member countries notify the Government of the United States of America, the depository of the Washington Treaty, of their acceptance of the protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of the potential new members, the Secretary General invites the new countries to accede to the Treaty. 6. Invitees accede to the North Atlantic Treaty in accordance with their national procedures 7. Upon depositing their instruments of accession with the US State Department, invitees formally become NATO members Evolution of NATO’s “open door policy” NATO’s “open door policy” is based upon Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, which states that membership is open to any “European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area”. The enlargement of the Alliance is an ongoing and dynamic process.  Since the Alliance was created in 1949, its membership has grown from the 12 founding members to today’s 28 members through six rounds of enlargement in 1952, 1955, 1982, 1999, 2004 and 2009. The first three rounds of enlargement – which brought in Greece and Turkey (1952), West Germany (1955) and Spain (1982) – took place during the Cold War, when strategic considerations were at the forefront of decision-making. The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 signalled the end of the Cold War and was followed by the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the breakup of the Soviet Union. The reunification of Germany in October 1990 brought the territory of the former East Germany into the Alliance. The new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe were eager to guarantee their freedom by becoming integrated into Euro-Atlantic institutions. NATO enlargement was the subject of lively debate in the early 1990s. Many political analysts were unsure of the benefits that enlargement would bring. Some were concerned about the possible impact on Alliance cohesion and solidarity, as well as on relations with other states, notably Russia. It is in this context that the Alliance carried out a Study on NATO Enlargement in 1995 (see above). Post-Cold War enlargement Based on the findings of the Study on Enlargement, the Alliance invited the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to begin accession talks at the Alliance’s Madrid Summit in 1997. These three countries became the first former members of the Warsaw Pact to join NATO in 1999. At the 1999 Washington Summit, the Membership Action Plan was launched to help other aspirant countries prepare for possible membership. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia were invited to begin accession talks at the Alliance’s Prague Summit in 2002 and joined NATO in 2004. All seven countries had participated in the MAP. Bucharest Summit decision s At the Bucharest Summit in April 2008, Allied leaders took a number of steps related to the future enlargement of the Alliance. Several decisions concerned countries in the Western Balkans. The Allies see the closer integration of Western Balkan countries into Euro-Atlantic institutions as essential to ensuring long-term self-sustaining stability in this region, where NATO has been heavily engaged in peace-support operations since the mid 1990s. Albania and Croatia were invited to start accession talks to join the Alliance and joined NATO in April 2009. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 was assured that it will also be invited to join the Alliance as soon as a solution to the issue of the country’s name has been reached with Greece. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro were invited to start Intensified Dialogues on their membership aspirations and related reforms (Montenegro was invited to join MAP in December 2009 and Bosnia and Herzegovina in April 2010; MAP will be fully activated for the latter once the Tallinn condition on the registration of immovable defence property has been met). Allied leaders also agreed at Bucharest that Georgia and Ukraine, which were already engaged in Intensified Dialogues with NATO, will one day become members. In December 2008, Allied foreign ministers decided to enhance opportunities for assisting the two countries in efforts to meet membership requirements by making use of the framework of the existing NATO-Ukraine Commission and NATO-Georgia Commission – without prejudice to further decisions which may be taken about their applications to join the MAP. 4 April 1949 Signature of the North Atlantic Treaty by 12 founding members: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. Article 10 of the Treaty provides the basis for NATO’s “open door policy”. 18 February 1952 Accession of Greece and Turkey. 6 May 1955 Accession of the Federal Republic of Germany. 30 May 1982 Spain joins the Alliance (and the integrated military structure in 1998). October 1990 With the reunification of Germany, the new German Länder in the East become part of NATO. January 1994 At the Brussels Summit, Allied leaders reaffirm that NATO remains open to the membership of other European countries. 28 September 1995 Publication of NATO Study on Enlargement. 8-9 July 1997 At the Madrid Summit, three partner countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland – are invited to start accession talks. 12 March 1999 Accession of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, bringing the Alliance to 19 members. 23-25 April 1999 Launch of the Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the Washington Summit. (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia join the MAP.) 14 May 2002 NATO Foreign Ministers officially announce the participation of Croatia in the MAP at their meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland. May 2002 President Leonid Kuchma announces Ukraine’s goal of eventual NATO membership. 21-22 November 2002 At the Prague Summit, seven partner countries – Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia – are invited to start accession talks. 26 March 2003 Signing ceremony of the Accession Protocols of the seven invitees. 29 March 2004 Accession of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. 21 April 2005 Launch of the Intensified Dialogue on Ukraine’s aspirations to NATO membership and related reforms, at an informal meeting of foreign ministers in Vilnius, Lithuania. 21 September 2006 NATO Foreign Ministers in New York announce the decision to offer an Intensified Dialogue to Georgia. 28-29 November 2006 At the Riga Summit, Allied leaders state that invitations will be extended to MAP countries that fulfil certain conditions. 2-4 April 2008 At the Bucharest Summit, Allied leaders invite Albania and Croatia to start accession talks; assure the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ that it will be invited once a solution to the issue of the country’s name has been reached with Greece; invite Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to start Intensified Dialogues; and agree that Georgia and Ukraine will become members in future. 9 July 2008 December 2008 Accession Protocols for Albania and Croatia are signed. Allied Foreign Ministers agree that Georgia should develop an Annual National Programme under the auspices of the NATO-Georgia Commission. 1 April 2009 Accession of Albania and Croatia. 4 December 2009 NATO Foreign Ministers invite Montenegro to join the MAP. 22 April 2010 NATO Foreign Ministers invite Bosnia and Herzegovina to join the MAP, authorising the North Atlantic Council to accept the country’s first Annual National Programme only when the immovable property issue has been resolved. 1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
  • Environment, NATO and the -
    NATO and the environment NATO recognises that it faces many environmental challenges. In particular, the Alliance is working to reduce the environmental effects of military activities and to respond to security challenges emanating from the environment. Over the years various groups have been established within NATO aimed at addressing environmental challenges from various angles. Today the Alliance’s activities fall under two key areas: Environmental protection Part of NATO’s responsibility is to protect the physical and natural environments where operations and training take place. Damage to the environment from these activities can threaten livelihoods and habitats, and thus breed instability. More on environmental protection Environmental security Based on a broad definition of security that recognises the importance of political, economic, social and environmental factors, NATO is addressing security challenges emanating from the environment. The Alliance is looking closely at how to best address environmental risks to security in general as well as those that directly impact military activities. For example, environmental factors can affect energy supplies to both populations and military operations, making energy security a major topic of concern. Helping partner countries clean up ageing and dangerous stockpiles of weapons, ammunition and unexploded remnants of war that pose a risk to people and the environment is another area of work. More on environmental security
  • Environmental protection
    Environmental protection Military activities often have an adverse effect on the environments in which they occur. Damage to the environment from these activities can threaten livelihoods and habitats, and thus breed instability. Part of NATO’s responsibility is to protect the physical and natural environments where operations and training take place. Military training grounds can hold a wide range of biodiversity, from plant life, birds and insects on land, to marine life and mammals in the sea. Through research and implementation of new technology, alongside standardization of procedures and training, the Alliance has been working to improve its protection of the natural environments where it operates.   While fulfilling their military missions, NATO forces are committed to taking all reasonably achievable measures to protect the environment. These range from safeguarding hazardous materials (including fuel and oil), treating waste water, managing waste and reducing fossil fuel energy consumption, to putting environmental management systems in place during NATO-led activities. To achieve this, commanders must know how NATO-led military activities affect and are affected by the environment. Strict ruleshave been adopted by many NATO countries, reflecting the growing awareness of protecting the environment. In line with these developments, NATO is facilitating the integration of environmental protection standards into all NATO-led military activities. Components of the policy Policy and standards The ‘NATO Military Principles and Policies for Environmental Protection,’ adopted in June 2003, and revised and reinforced in October 2011, sets out the principles of environmental protection from a military point of view. It details the responsibilities of military commanders with regard to protecting the environment during the preparation and execution of military activities. The policy instructs NATO commanders to apply “best practicable and feasible environmental protection measures,” to areas including pollution prevention, waste management, conservation, heritage protection and protection of flora and fauna. The implementation of this policy is supported by a variety of NATO Standardization Agreements (STANAGs) and Allied publications, each addressing the various aspects of environmental protection. These policies are constantly updated. While some environmental damage may be an inevitable consequence of operations, standards can be put in place to reduce the effects without compromising operational or training requirements. Particular emphasis is placed identifying environmental issues that can be resolved during the planning process, rather than after the damage is done. Early consideration of potential environmental impacts can lead to commanders having a better understanding of the environmental effects of the mission. The clean-up of any environmental impacts resulting from NATO-led military activities is also a key aspect of the STANAG policies. Once ratified and promulgated, these agreements are implemented by Allied Command Operations (ACO) and Allied Command Transformation (ACT). Force contributing nations, however, must first transpose the STANAGs and guidelines into their national military directives before they become binding for their forces. Training Training of military personnel is a national responsibility. However, NATO has designated staff officers for the implementation of environmental protection on strategic, operational and tactical levels. In 2004, ACO established an environmental manager position at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). This officer is responsible for providing environmental advice and expertise to commanders and staff officers involved in NATO-led military activities, and advising the JEPMG on policy development. In addition to national training, the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany, provides common environmental protection training on an operational level, while the Military Engineering Centre of Excellence includes environmental protection in their courses on tactical level. Research and development The NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) in La Spezia, Italy, conducts research into new technologies that impact the environment for naval operations. In particular, NURC scientists are working with the private sector to develop autonomous vehicles – small, unmanned submarines – to monitor the seabed. This new type of monitoring vehicle could help private companies prevent leaks from oil pipelines, and help militaries detect mines. The NURC is also conducting extensive studies to understand what affect acoustic transmissions have on marine mammals, following the use of high-powered sonar transmissions between naval, manned submarines in 2003. This research is ongoing, but it has already resulted in the adoption by the Military Committee of a ‘Code of Conduct for Use of Active Sonar to Ensure the Protection of Marine Mammals within the Framework of Alliance Maritime Activities’. NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme established its Defence and Environment Expert Group (DEEG) in 2008. This group is comprised of subject matter experts (nominated by nations) who promote and support the development of cooperative workshops and projects with partner nations. The DEEG also consolidates knowledge, practices and procedures in critical military environmental areas. Mechanisms and evolution NATO started to develop its environmental protection policy in the late 1970s with the establishment of expert groups made up of governmental representatives. Over the next two decades, these groups developed guidelines, best practices and standard agreements on environmental protection. When NATO launched its first operation in Kosovo in 1994, these environmental protection guidelines were used within an international context, where each country has its own law, legislation and rules. A number of environmental protection lessons were learnt, which helped to shape an overarching NATO policy on environmental protection adopted by the Military Committee in June 2003. Two panels support the JEPMG: the Environmental Protection Technology (EPT) panel and the Operational Environmental Protection (OEP) panel. Both of these promote cooperation and standardization among NATO and partner countries, as well as among the various NATO bodies, and are comprised of national experts from NATO and partner nations. The EPT panel focuses on the technical aspects of environmental protection. It aims to integrate environmental protection criteria and regulations into the technical requirements and specifications for armaments, equipment and materials. The OEP focuses on the operational aspects of environmental protection. It aims to reduce the negative impact of military activities on the environment through standardization of doctrines, planning, procedures, training and environmental management.
  • Environmental security
    Environmental security Based on a broad definition of security that recognizes the importance of political, economic, social and environmental factors, NATO is addressing security challenges emanating from the environment. This includes extreme weather conditions, depletion of natural resources, pollution and so on – factors that can ultimately lead to disasters, regional tensions and violence. The Alliance is looking closely at how to best address environmental risks to security in general as well as those that directly impact military activities. For example, environmental factors can affect energy supplies to both populations and military operations, making energy security a major topic of concern. Helping partner countries clean up ageing and dangerous stockpiles of weapons, ammunition and unexploded remnants of war that pose a risk to people and the environment is yet another area of work. NATO is currently conducting these initiatives via its science programme, the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) and Partnership for Peace Trust Fund projects. It is considering enhancing its efforts in this area, with a focus on civil emergencies, energy efficiency and renewable power, and on helping member and partner countries address the impact of climate change in vulnerable regions. Building international cooperation Since 1969, NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme has supported cooperative activities that tackle environmental issues, including those that are related to defence, in NATO countries. Since the SPS Programme opened up to partner countries in the 1990s, environmental security became the most active topic supported by the Programme. For example in April 2010, a NATO Science workshop in Moscow addressed environmental security and “eco-terrorism”, while a workshop in Cairo looked at food security and safety against terrorist threats and natural disasters. The first international answer to environmental security challenges, however, came in 2004, when NATO joined five other international agencies to form the Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative 1 to address environmental issues that threaten security in vulnerable regions. The five other agencies are: the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Regional Environment Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC). In Central Asia, NATO is leading ENVSEC projects to address uranium waste in the Ferghana Valley (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) and water resources management for wetlands restoration in the Aral Sea basin (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan), among others. Boosting emergency response The Alliance is also actively engaged in coordinating civil emergency planning and response to environmental disasters. It does this principally through the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EARDCC) that was launched following the earthquake disaster in Turkey and Greece at the end of the 1990s. Talking at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, NATO’s Secretary General highlighted that, with the growing impact of climate change, the demand upon the military as “first responder to natural disasters” was likely to grow. He urged Allies to consider how to optimize the Alliance’s contribution in that area. Addressing defence-related environmental issues In October 2009, the Science for Peace and Security Committee established the Defence and the Environment Experts Group (DEEG). The group’s overarching objective is to develop an environmental agenda to promote the identification, development and dissemination of cost-effective and innovative approaches to environmental and sustainability issues that affect military activities. Meeting twice yearly, the DEEG examines and approves project proposals from individuals or groups from NATO member and partner. The projects focus on areas such as infrastructure and property issues arising from the management of defence estates, and the impact on soldiers of climatic and biological threats. In practice, the emphasis has been on projects and initiatives that affect deployed operations, such as streamlining the environmental footprint of military compounds to maximise cost savings and tactical advantage, while minimising negative impacts on the environment. Energy security With increasingly unpredictable natural disasters, such as earthquakes, severe floods and storms that causes disruptions to infrastructure, environmental factors have a growing potential to affect energy security, a challenge NATO is becoming more and more concerned with. Most NATO members and partners rely on energy supplies from abroad, sent through pipelines and cables that cross many borders. Allies and partners, therefore, need to work together to develop ways of reducing the threat of disruptions, including those caused by environmental events. At the Strasbourg/Kehl Summit in April 2009, Allies said they will “consult on the most immediate risks in the field of energy security”. They said they would continue to implement the recommendations proposed at the 2008 Bucharest Summit, namely to share information, advance international and regional cooperation, develop consequence management, and help protect critical infrastructure. Helping partners reduce environmental hazards through disarmament Through NATO’s Partnership for Peace Trust Fund projects, the Alliance helps partner countries reduce their aging weapon stockpiles, clean up deteriorating rocket fuel, clear land contaminated by unexploded remnants of war and safely store ammunition. While the central aim is to help post-Soviet countries disarm and reform their militaries, these projects also reduce the risks posed by these dangerous materials to the environment and the people in surrounding areas. Raising awareness and information-sharing Communicating the security implications of environmental issues to political leaders and decision-makers is another area where the Alliance plays a major role. For instance, it makes sure that members and partners alike have the knowledge and skills needed to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects. 1. The ENVSEC Initiative was established in 2003 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) , the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) , and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) . NATO became an associate member in 2004, through its Public Diplomacy Division. Recently, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Regional Environment Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) joined.
  • EU-NATO: a strategic partnership
    NATO-EU: a strategic partnership Sharing strategic interests, NATO and the European Union (EU) cooperate on issues of common interest and are working side by side in crisis-management, capability development and political consultations. At the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, the Allies underlined their determination to improve the NATO-EU strategic partnership. NATO’s new Strategic Concept, adopted at Lisbon, commits the Alliance to prevent crises, manage conflicts and stabilize post-conflict situations, including by working more closely with NATO’s international partners, most importantly the United Nations and its strategic partner, the European Union. The Strategic Concept clearly states that an active and effective European Union contributes to the overall security of the Euro-Atlantic area. Therefore the EU is a unique and essential partner for NATO. The two organizations share a majority of members (21), and all members of both organizations share common values. NATO recognizes the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence. The Allies welcome the entry into force of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, which provides a framework for strengthening the EU’s capacities to address common security challenges. Non-EU European Allies make a significant contribution to these efforts. For the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU, their fullest involvement in these efforts is essential. NATO and the EU can and should play complementary and mutually reinforcing roles in supporting international peace and security. The Allies are determined to make their contribution to create more favourable circumstances through which they will: fully strengthen the strategic partnership with the EU, in the spirit of full mutual openness, transparency, complementarity and respect for the autonomy and institutional integrity of both organizations; enhance practical cooperation in operations throughout the crisis spectrum, from coordinated planning to mutual support in the field; broaden political consultations to include all issues of common concern, in order to share assessments and perspectives; cooperate more fully in capability development, to minimise duplication and maximise cost-effectiveness. Close cooperation between NATO and the European Union is an important element in the development of an international “Comprehensive Approach” to crisis management and operations, which requires the effective application of both military and civilian means. The Chicago Summit in May 2012 reiterated these principles by underlining that NATO and the EU share common values and strategic interests. The EU is a unique and essential partner for NATO. Fully strengthening this strategic partnership, as agreed by the two organisations and enshrined in the Strategic Concept, is particularly important in the current environment of austerity. In this context, the Secretary General has engaged actively with his EU counterparts, including the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durao Barroso, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, as well as the High Representative/Vice President of the Commission, Baroness Ashton. He has addressed the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee in joint session with the sub-committee on Security and Defence on numerous occasions.Institutionalized relations between NATO and the European Union were launched in 2001, building on steps taken during the 1990s to promote greater European responsibility in defence matters (NATO-WEU cooperation¹). The political principles underlying the relationship were set out in the December 2002 NATO-EU Declaration on ESDP. With the enlargement of both organizations in 2004 followed by the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union in 2007, NATO and the European Union now have 21 member countries in common². 1. At that time, the Western European Union (WEU) was acting for the European Union in the area of security and defence (1992 Maastricht Treaty). The WEU’s crisis-management role was transferred to the European Union in 1999. 2. 28 NATO member countries : Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States. 27 EU member countries : Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom. Framework for cooperation (March 2003) An exchange of letters between the NATO Secretary General and the EU Presidency in January 2001 defined the scope of cooperation and modalities of consultation on security issues between the two organizations. Cooperation further developed with the signing of the NATO-EU Declaration on ESDP in December 2002 and the agreement, in March 2003, of a framework for cooperation. NATO and the EU meet on a regular basis to discuss issues of common interest. Meetings take place at different levels including at the level of foreign ministers, ambassadors, military representatives and defence advisors. There are regular staff contacts at all levels between NATO’s International Staff and International Military Staff, and their respective EU interlocutors (Council Secretariat, European External Action Service, EU Military Staff, European Defence Agency, Commission and European Parliament). Permanent military liaison arrangements have been established to facilitate cooperation at the operational level. A NATO Permanent Liaison Team has been operating at the EU Military Staff since November 2005 and an EU Cell was set up at SHAPE (NATO’s strategic command for operations in Mons, Belgium) in March 2006. NATO-EU Declaration on ESDP The NATO-EU Declaration on ESDP, agreed on 16 December 2002, reaffirmed the EU assured access to NATO’s planning capabilities for its own military operations and reiterated the political principles of the strategic partnership: effective mutual consultation; equality and due regard for the decision-making autonomy of the European Union and NATO; respect for the interests of EU and NATO members states; respect for the principles of the Charter of the United Nations; and coherent, transparent and mutually reinforcing development of the military capability requirements common to the two organizations. The “Berlin-Plus” arrangements As part of the framework for cooperation adopted on 17 March 2003, the so-called “Berlin-Plus” arrangements provide the basis for NATO-EU cooperation in crisis management by allowing the European Union to have access to NATO's collective assets and capabilities for EU-led operations, including command arrangements and assistance in operational planning. In effect, they allow the Alliance to support EU-led operations in which NATO as a whole is not engaged. Cooperation in the field The Western Balkans In July 2003, the European Union and NATO published a ″Concerted Approach for the Western Balkans″. Jointly drafted, it outlines core areas of cooperation and emphasises the common vision and determination both organizations share to bring stability to the region. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ³ On 31 March 2003, the EU-led Operation Concordia took over the responsibilities of the NATO-led mission, Operation Allied Harmony, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. This mission, which ended in December 2003, was the first “Berlin Plus” operation in which NATO assets were made available to the European Union. Bosnia and Herzegovina Building on the results of Concordia and following the conclusion of the NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European Union deployed a new mission called Operation Althea on 2 December 2004. The EU force (EUFOR) operates under the “Berlin-Plus” arrangements, drawing on NATO planning expertise and on other Alliance’s assets and capabilities. The NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe is the Commander of Operation Althea. The EU Operation Headquarters (OHQ) is located at SHAPE. Kosovo NATO has been leading a peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR) since 1999. The European Union has contributed civil assets to the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) for years and agreed to take over the police component of the UN Mission. The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), which deployed in December 2008, is the largest civilian mission ever launched under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The central aim is to assist and support the Kosovo authorities in the rule of law area, specifically in the police, judiciary and customs areas. EULEX works closely with KFOR in the field. Cooperation in other regions Afghanistan NATO and the European Union are playing key roles in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan, within the international community’s broader efforts to implement a comprehensive approach in their efforts to assist the country. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force helps create a stable and secure environment in which the Afghan government as well as other international actors can build democratic institutions, extend the rule of law and reconstruct the country. NATO welcomed the EU’s launch of an CSDP Rule of Law mission (EUPOL) in June 2007. The European Union has also initiated a programme for justice reform and is helping to fund civilian projects in NATO- run Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) that are led by an EU member country. Darfur Both NATO and the EU supported the African Union’s mission in Darfur, Sudan, in particular with regard to airlift rotations. Piracy Since September 2008, NATO and EU naval forces are deployed side by side (respectively Ocean Shield and EUNAVFOR Atalanta), with other actors, off the coast of Somalia for anti-piracy missions.   3. Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name. Other areas of cooperation Capabilities Together with operations, capability development is an area where cooperation is essential and where there is potential for further growth. The NATO-EU Capability Group was established in May 2003 to ensure the coherence and mutual reinforcement of NATO and EU capability development efforts. Following the creation, in July 2004, of the European Defence Agency (EDA) to coordinate work within the European Union on the development of defence capabilities, armaments cooperation, acquisition and research, EDA experts contribute to the work of the Capability Group. Among other issues, the Capability Group has addressed common capability shortfalls in areas such as countering improvised explosive devices and medical support. The Group is also playing an important role in ensuring transparency and complementarity between NATO’s work on “Smart Defence” and the EU’s Pooling and Sharing initiative. Terrorism and WMD proliferation Both NATO and the European Union are committed to combat terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. They have exchanged information on their activities in the field of protection of civilian populations against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) attacks. The two organizations also cooperate in the field of civil emergency planning by exchanging inventories of measures taken in this area. New areas of cooperation Since the adoption of NATO’s new Strategic Concept at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, which identifies the need for the Alliance to address emerging security challenges, several new areas of cooperation with the EU are under consideration,  in particular energy security issues and cyber defence. In this context, NATO and the EU staffs are having consultations in order to identify the specific areas in which the two organisations could enhance their cooperation in the field of cyber defence. Participation The organisations have 21 member countries in common. Albania, Croatia 4 , Canada, Iceland, Norway, Turkey, and the United States, which are members of NATO but not of the EU, participate in all NATO-EU meetings. So do Austria, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, and since 2008, Malta, which are members of the EU and of NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme. However, Cyprus which is not a PfP member and does not have a security agreement with NATO on the exchange of classified documents, cannot participate in official NATO-EU meetings. This is a consequence of decisions taken by NATO and the EU in December 2002. Informal meetings including Cyprus take place occasionally at different levels (foreign ministers, ambassadors and military delegates). 4. Croatia will join the European Union on 1 July 2013. Key milestones Feb 1992 The EU adopts the Maastricht Treaty, which envisages an intergovernmental Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the eventual framing of a common defence policy (ESDP), with the WEU as the EU's defence component.   Close cooperation established between NATO and the WEU. June 1992 In Oslo, NATO foreign ministers support the objective of developing the WEU as a means of strengthening the European pillar of the Alliance and as the defence component of the EU, that would also cover the “Petersberg tasks” (humanitarian search and rescue tasks, peace-keeping tasks, crisis management tasks including peace enforcement, and environmental protection). Jan 1994 Allied leaders agree to make collective assets of the Alliance available, on the basis of consultatons in the North Atlantic Council, for WEU operations undertaken by the European allies in pursuit of their Common Foreign and Security Policy.NATO endorses the concept of Combined Joint Task Forces, which provides for “separable but not separate” deployable headquarters that could be used for European-led operations and is the conceptual basis for future operations involving NATO and other non-NATO countries. June 1996 In Berlin, NATO foreign ministers agree for the first time to build up an ESDI within NATO, with the aim of rebalancing roles and responsibilities between Europe and North America. An essential part of this initiative was to improve European capabilities. They also decide to make Alliance assets available for WEU-led crisis management operations. These decisions lead to the introduction of the term "Berlin-Plus". Dec 1998 At a summit in St Malo, France and the United Kingdom make a joint statement affirming the EU's determination to establish a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). April 1999 At the Washington Summit, Heads of State and Government decide to develop the “Berlin-Plus” arrangements. June 1999 European Council meeting in Cologne decides "to give the European Union the necessary means and capabilities to assume its responsibilities regarding a common European policy on security and defence". Dec 1999 At the Helsinki Council meeting, EU members establish military "headline goals" to allow the EU, by 2003, to deploy up to 60 000 troops for ‘Petersberg tasks'. EU members also create political and military structures including a Political and Security Committee, a Military Committee and a Military Staff. The crisis management role of the WEU is transferred to the EU. The WEU retains residual tasks. Sep 2000 The North Atlantic Council and the interim Political and Security Committee of the European Union meet for the first time to take stock of progress in NATO-EU relations. Dec 2000 Signature of the EU's Treaty of Nice containing amendments reflecting the operative developments of the ESDP as an independent EU policy (entry into force February 2003). Jan 2001 Beginning of institutionalised relations between NATO and the EU with the establishment of joint meetings, including at the level of foreign ministers and ambassadors. Exchange of letters between the NATO Secretary General and the EU Presidency on the scope of cooperation and modalities for consultation. May 2001 First formal NATO-EU meeting at the level of foreign ministers in Budapest. The NATO Secretary General and the EU Presidency issue a joint statement on the Western Balkans. Nov 2002 At the Prague Summit, NATO members declare their readiness to give the EU access to NATO assets and capabilities for operations in which the Alliance is not engaged militarily. Dec 2002 EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP. Mar 2003 Agreement on the framework for cooperation. Entry into force of a NATO-EU security of information agreement.Transition from the NATO-led operation 'Allied Harmony' to the EU-led Operation 'Concordia' in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ May 2003 First meeting of the NATO-EU capability group. July 2003 Development of a common strategy for the Western Balkans. Nov 2003 First joint NATO-EU crisis-management exercise. Feb 2004 France, Germany and the United Kingdom launch the idea of EU rapid reaction units composed of joint battle groups. Dec 2004 Beginning of the EU-led Operation Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sep 2005 Transatlantic (NATO-EU) informal ministerial dinner (New York). Oct 2005 Agreement on Military Permanent Arrangements establishing a NATO Liaison Team at EUMS and an EU cell at SHAPE. Nov 2005 NATO Permanent Liaison Team set up at the EU Military Staff. Mar 2006 EU Cell set up at SHAPE. Apr 2006 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (Sofia) Sep 2006 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (New York) Jan 2007 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (Brussels) Apr 2007 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (Oslo) Sep 2007 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (New York) Dec 2007 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (Brussels) Sep 2008 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (New York) Dec 2008 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (Brussels) Mar 2009 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (Brussels) Sep 2010 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (New York) Dec 2010 At the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, the Allies underline their determination to improve the NATO-EU strategic partnership and welcome recent initiatives from several Allies and ideas proposed by the Secretary General to enhance the NATO-EU cooperation. NATO’s new Strategic Concept states that an active and effective European Union contributes to the overall security of the Euro-Atlantic area and that therefore the EU is an essential partner for NATO. Sep 2011 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (New York) Sep 2012 Transatlantic informal ministerial dinner gathering NATO and EU Foreign Affairs ministers (New York)
  • Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), The -
    The Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre The Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) is NATO’s principal civil emergency response mechanism in the Euro-Atlantic area. It is active all year round, operational on a 24/7 basis, and involves NATO’s 28 allies plus 22 partner countries. The Centre functions as a clearing-house system for coordinating both requests and offers of assistance mainly in case of natural and man-made disasters. Main tasks In its coordinating functions for the response of NATO and Partner countries, EADRCC not only guides consequence management efforts, but it also serves as an information-sharing tool on disaster assistance through the organisation of seminars to discuss lessons learnt from NATO-coordinated disaster response operations and exercises. In addition to its day-to-day activities and the immediate response to emergencies, EADRCC conducts annual large-scale field exercises with realistic scenarios to improve interaction between NATO, Partnership for Peace (PfP) and other partner countries. Regular major disaster exercises have been organised in different participating countries to practice procedures, provide training for local and international participants, build up interoperability skills and capabilities of the non-standing Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Unit (EADRU), and harness the experience and lessons learnt for future operations. To this date, EADRCC has conducted thirteen exercises in Ukraine, Croatia, the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, Romania, Italy, Finland, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Turkey, and Moldova. The next exercise will be held in Tbilisi, Georgia, in September 2012. In 2009, the countries of the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD)¹ and those of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI)² were given direct access to the Centre, followed by other partners across the globe³ in December 2011. All EADRCC’s tasks are performed in close cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), which , retains the primary role in the coordination of international disaster relief operations. EADRCC has, been designed as a regional coordination mechanism, supporting and complementing the UN efforts. Furthermore, EADRCC’s principal function is coordination rather than direction. In the case of a disaster requiring international assistance, it is up to individual NATO allies and partners to decide whether to provide assistance, based on information received from EADRCC. Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. Six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council were initially invited to participate. To date, four of these -- Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates -- have joined. Saudia Arabia and Oman have also shown an interest in the Initiative. Based on the principle of inclusiveness, the Initiative is, however, open to all interested countries of the broader Middle East region who subscribe to its aims and content. Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Korea (as of March 2012). Support for national authorities in civil emergencies EADRCC forwards assistance requests to NATO and partner countries which, in turn, respond by communicating their offers of assistance to EADRCC and/or the affected country. The Centre uses AIDMATRIX to keep a record of the assistance offered (including assistance from other international organisations and actors), assistance accepted by the stricken country, delivery dates, assistance still required (or updates to the assistance requested), as well as the situation on the ground. This information circulates to NATO and partner countries in the form of daily situation reports, but it is also published on the NATO website. A multinational team of experts The Centre is part of the International Staff, Operations Division located at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. It is staffed by up to five secondees from NATO and partner countries and three members of the International Staff. The Centre liaises closely with UN OCHA, NATO Military Authorities (NMAs) and other relevant international organisations. During an actual disaster, EADRCC can temporarily be augmented with additional personnel from the EAPC delegations to NATO, or NATO’s international civilian and military staff. In addition, EADRCC has access to national civil experts that can be called to provide the Centre with expert advice in specific areas in the event of a major disaster. Historical background EADRCC was established in 1998 by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) as a partnership tool of NATO’s civil emergency planning and as one of the two basic elements of the EAPC policy on cooperation in the field of international disaster relief. The other, complementary element is the EADRU, a non-standing, multi-national force of civil and military elements, deployable in the event of major natural or man-made disasters in an EAPC country. Initially, EADRCC was extensively involved in coordinating the humanitarian assistance effort from the EAPC countries supporting the refugees during the Kosovo war in the late 1990s. Since then, however, the Centre has responded to more than 60 requests of assistance, mainly concerning natural disaster-stricken states. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, EADRCC has also been tasked with the coordination of international assistance from EAPC countries to help deal with the consequences of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) incidents, which includes terrorist attacks. In January 2004, the North Atlantic Council, NATO's principal political decision-making body, widened EADRCC’s mandate to respond to assistance requests from the Afghan Government in the case of natural disasters.  Three years later, that mandate was extended to all areas where the Organization has been involved militarily, with the same provisions as Afghanistan. In 2005, the Centre contributed to the United States’ response to Hurricane Katrina by coordinating the donations of NATO and partner countries. The same year, the Centre played a central role in the relief effort in Pakistan after the country was hit by a devastating earthquake and, later in 2010, when it was hit by massive floods.
  • Euro-Atlantic Partnership
    The Euro-Atlantic Partnership The Alliance seeks to foster security, stability and democratic transformation across the Euro-Atlantic area by engaging in partnership through dialogue and cooperation with non-member countries in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership is underpinned by two key mechanisms: the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme. 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. Highlights The Euro-Atlantic Partnership brings together Allies and partner countries from Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia for dialogue and consultation. The EAPC totals 50 countries: 28 NATO members and 22 PfP countries. The PfP facilitates practical bilateral cooperation between individual partner countries and NATO, and the EAPC provides a framework for dialogue and consultation. NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept identifies the EAPC and PfP as central to the Allies’ vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace. As early as 1991, NATO had set up a forum to institutionalise relations with countries from the former Soviet Union, called the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC). The PfP was created in 1994 and the EAPC replaced the NACC in 1997. Values and commitments The Euro-Atlantic Partnership is about more than practical cooperation – it is also about values. Each partner country signs the PfP Framework Document. In doing so, partners commit to: respect international law, the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Helsinki Final Act, and international disarmament and arms control agreements; refrain from the threat or use of force against other states; settle disputes peacefully. The Framework Document also enshrines a commitment by the Allies to consult with any partner country that perceives a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence or security – a mechanism which, for example, Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ made use of during the Kosovo crisis. The diversity of partners Over the years, 34 countries joined the Euro-Atlantic Partnership. A number of these have since become NATO member states, through three rounds of NATO enlargement. This has changed the balance between Allies and partners in the EAPC/PfP: since March 2004, there have been more Allies than partners. The remaining partners are a very diverse group, with different goals and ambitions with regard to their cooperation with NATO. They include Eastern and Southeastern European countries, the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia, and Western European states. Some partners are in the process of reforming their defence structures and capabilities. Others are able to contribute significant forces to NATO-led operations and wish to further strengthen interoperability, and can also offer fellow partner countries advice, training and assistance in various areas. Other partners are interested in using their cooperation with NATO in order to prepare for membership in the Alliance. Facilitating dialogue and consultation The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council meets at various levels and many partner countries have established diplomatic representation and liaison arrangements at NATO Headquarters and NATO Commands. Dialogue and consultation is also facilitated by various other means. Representatives of partner countries may take up assignments as PfP interns in NATO’s International Staff and various agencies. Military staff from partner countries may also take up posts in military commands, as so-called PfP Staff Elements. NATO has also established Contact Point Embassies in partner countries to facilitate liaison and support public diplomacy efforts. The Secretary General has appointed a Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia and a Senior Civilian Representative has been appointed for Afghanistan. NATO has also opened liaison and information offices in Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Evolution of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership November 1989 saw the fall of the Berlin Wall, signalling the end of the Cold War. Within a short period, the remarkable pace of change in Central and Eastern Europe left NATO faced with a new and very different set of security challenges. Allied leaders responded at their summit meeting in London, in July 1990, by extending a “hand of friendship” across the old East-West divide and proposing a new cooperative relationship with all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. This sea-change in attitudes was enshrined in a new strategic concept for the Alliance, issued in November 1991, which adopted a broader approach to security. Dialogue and cooperation would be essential parts of the approach required to manage the diversity of challenges facing the Alliance. The key goals were now to reduce the risk of conflict arising out of misunderstanding or design and to better manage crises affecting the security of the Allies; to increase mutual understanding and confidence among all European states; and to expand the opportunities for genuine partnership in dealing with common security problems. The scene was set for the establishment in December 1991 of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), a forum to bring together NATO and its new partner countries to discuss issues of common concern. NACC consultations focused on residual Cold War security concerns such as the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic States. Political cooperation was also launched on a number of security and defence-related issues. The NACC broke new ground in many ways. However, it focused on multilateral, political dialogue and lacked the possibility of each partner country developing individual cooperative relations with NATO. Deepening partnership This changed in 1994 with the launch of the Partnership for Peace (PfP), a major programme of practical bilateral cooperation between NATO and individual partner countries, which represented a significant leap forward in the cooperative process. And, in 1997, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) was created to replace the NACC and to build on its achievements, paving the way for the development of an enhanced and more operational partnership. 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. Further initiatives have been taken to deepen cooperation between Allies and partners at successive summit meetings in Madrid (1997), Washington (1999), Prague (2002), Istanbul (2004), Riga (2006), Bucharest (2008) and Lisbon (2010). The 2010 Strategic Concept, adopted at Lisbon, stresses that cooperative security constitutes one of the Alliance’s core tasks, together with collective defence and crisis management. It states that “The Alliance will engage actively to enhance international security, through partnership with relevant countries and other international organisations (…)”. It also refers specifically to the EAPC and PfP as “central to our vision of Europe whole, free and in peace.” In 2011, when NATO Foreign Ministers met in Berlin, they approved a more efficient and flexible partnership policy, designed to streamline NATO’s partnership tools in order to open all cooperative activities and exercises to all partners and to harmonise NATO’s partnership programmes. Because of this, PfP activities have been opened up to other partnership frameworks and -- vice-versa - PfP partners have been able to participate in activities hosted by the other cooperative frameworks. Milestones 1990 (July) Allies extend a “hand of friendship” across the old East-West divide and propose a new cooperative relationship with all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. 1991 (November) The Alliance issues a new strategic concept for NATO, which adopts a broader approach to security, emphasising partnership, dialogue and cooperation.   (December) The North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) is established as a forum for security dialogue between NATO and its new partners. 1994 The Partnership for Peace (PfP), a major programme of practical bilateral cooperation between NATO and individual partner countries, is launched.   Partner missions to NATO are established.   A Partnership Coordination Cell is set up at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) to help coordinate PfP training and exercises. 1995 An International Coordination Cell is established at SHAPE to provide briefing and planning facilities for all non-NATO countries contributing troops to NATO-led peacekeeping operations. 1996 A number of partner countries deploy to Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of a NATO-led peacekeeping force. 1997 The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) is created to replace the NACC.   The operational role of the PfP is enhanced at the Madrid Summit. 1998 Creation of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre and Disaster Response Unit. 1999 Three partners – the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland – join NATO.   Dialogue and cooperation are included as fundamental security tasks in the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept.   (April, Washington Summit) The PfP is further enhanced and its operational role strengthened, including introduction of: the Operational Capabilities Concept to improve the ability of Alliance and partner forces to operate together in NATO-led operations; the Political-Military Framework for partner involvement in political consultations and decision-making, in operational planning and in command arrangements; a Training and Education Enhancement Programme to help reinforce the operational capabilities of partner countries.   Several partner countries deploy peacekeepers as part of the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo. 2001 (September) The EAPC meets the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States and pledges to combat the scourge of terrorism. 2002 The Partnership Trust Fund policy is launched to assist partner countries in the safe destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel mines and other munitions.   (November, Prague Summit) Further enhancement of partnership, including: a Comprehensive Review to strengthen political dialogue with partners and enhance their involvement in the planning, conduct and oversight of activities in which they participate; a Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism (PAP-T); Individual Partnership Action Plans, allowing the Alliance to tailor its assistance to interested partners seeking more structured support for domestic reforms, particularly in the defence and security sector. 2003 Some partner countries contribute troops to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. 2004 Seven partners – Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia – join NATO.   (June, Istanbul Summit) Further steps are taken to strengthen partnership, including: a Partnership Action Plan for Defence Institution Building (PAP-DIB) to encourage and support partners in building effective and democratically responsible defence institutions; an enhanced Operational Capabilities Concept and partners are offered representation at Allied Command Transformation to help promote greater military interoperability between NATO and partner country forces; a special focus on the Caucasus and Central Asia. 2006 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia become partners. 2008 (April, Bucharest Summit) Malta returns to the Partnership for Peace (PfP) and joins the EAPC (Malta first joined the PfP programme in April 1995 but suspended its participation in October 1996). Priority is given to building integrity in defence institutions and the important role of women in conflict resolution (as outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 1325). 2009 Two partners – Albania and Croatia – become members of NATO. 2010 (November, Lisbon Summit) Allies reiterate their commitment to the EAPC and the PfP programme, described in NATO’s new Strategic Concept as being central to the Allies’ vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace. Allies agree to streamline NATO’s partnership tools in order to open all cooperative activities and exercises to all partners and to harmonise partnership. Allies decide to review the Political-Military Framework for NATO-led PfP operations in order to update the way NATO works together with partner countries and shapes decisions on the operations and missions to which they contribute. 2011 (April) Following up on the Lisbon Summit decisions, Allied Foreign Ministers meeting in Berlin approve a new, more efficient and flexible partnership policy. The revised Political-Military Framework for partner involvement in NATO-led operations is also noted by ministers. 2014 January 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the PfP programme.
  • Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), The -
    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. Participation The EAPC brings together the 28 Allies and 22 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.
  • Exercises
    Exercises Exercises are important tools through which the Alliance tests and validates its concepts, procedures, systems and tactics. More broadly, they enable militaries and civilian organisations deployed in theatres of operation to practice working together. Exercises have many other functions, not least helping to identify “best practices” (what works) and “lessons learnt” (what needs improving). NATO has been conducting military exercises since 1951 and individual NATO countries conduct their own exercises as a routine part of their national preparation for operations. Holding frequent exercises that test many different capabilities helps forces operate more effectively and efficiently together in demanding crisis situations. Exercises vary in scope, duration and form – ranging between live exercises in the field to computer-assisted exercises that take place in a classroom. They are planned in advance by NATO’s two strategic commands – Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation – taking into account strategic priorities and objectives, operational requirements and specific exercise objectives.  They have been open to all formal partner countries since 2010 and while a majority of them are military exercises, the Alliance also organises political exercises too. Highlights Exercises allow NATO to test and validate concepts, procedures, systems and tactics. They enable military and civilian organisations deployed on the ground to work together to identify "best practices" (what works) and "lessons learnt" (what needs improving). Exercises contribute to improved interoperability and defence reform. NATO exercises are open to all formal partner countries, in addition to member countries. The Alliance has been conducting exercises since 1951. The aim of NATO exercises Exercises serve a number of specific purposes: Training and experience Exercises allow forces to build on previous training in a practical way, thereby heightening forces’ level of proficiency in a given area. Exercises have varying levels of complexity but most assume that basic training is complete and that a sufficient number of trained personnel are available. Testing and validating structures Exercises are designed to practice the efficiency of structures as well as personnel. This is particularly true when periodically the NATO military command structure is reformed and new headquarters need to test their ability to fulfill new responsibilities. A structure consists of many components – concepts, doctrine, procedures, systems and tactics – that must function together. Supply structures, for instance, require specialised training, equipment and operating procedures, which must be combined to effectively support a mission’s objectives. Putting these structures into practice allows them to be tested and, if need be, refined. Interoperability NATO-led forces must be able to work together effectively despite differences in doctrine, language, structures, tactics and training. Interoperability is built, in part, through routine inter-forces training between NATO member states and through practical cooperation between personnel from Allied and partner countries. Exercises are open to all formal partners, either as observers or as participants, or as hosts of an exercise. The type of participation is determined by NATO and the partner’s level of ambition in cooperating (whether, for instance, it intends to provide forces to current or future NATO -led operations). Defence Reform Participation in NATO exercises is one of the options available to help with defence reform. They provide the possibility for NATO member countries to test reforms implemented nationally and give partner countries the opportunity to be involved in and observe the structures and mechanisms that Alliance members have in place. The making of an exercise Exercise scenarios During an exercise, forces are asked to respond to a fictional scenario that resembles what might occur in real life. Exercises cover the full range of military operations, from combat to humanitarian relief and from stabilisation to reconstruction. They can last from a day to several weeks and can vary in scope from a few officers working on an isolated problem, to full-scale combat scenarios involving aircraft, navy ships, artillery pieces, armoured vehicles and thousands of troops. Alliance exercises are supported by NATO countries and, as appropriate, by partner countries, which provide national commitments in the form of troops, equipment or other forms of support. The participating countries are normally responsible for funding any form of national contribution. Each exercise has pre-specified training objectives which drive the selection of activities. Objectives may be to build skills and knowledge, practice coordination mechanisms, or validate procedures. At the conclusion of an exercise, commanders and, in many cases, troops collectively review their performance. This process allows them to identify areas that work well (“best practices”) and areas that can be improved (“lessons learnt”). In this way, exercises facilitate continuous improvement of interoperability, efficiency and performance. The Military Training and Exercise Programme Events and activities related to NATO training and exercises are developed by both Allied Command Operations (ACO) and Allied Command Transformation (ACT). This process culminates with the publication of the annual Military Training and Exercise Programme (MTEP). Since July 2012, ACO is responsible for setting the training requirements and conducting NATO’s evaluations, while ACT is responsible for managing the MTEP and executing the exercise programme. The MTEP provides detailed information on training, exercises and related activities scheduled for the first two calendar years, and outlines information on training and exercise activities scheduled for the following three calendar years. The document is based on the priorities and intent of the strategic commanders. The areas typically included are current and future operations, the NATO Response Force, transformational experimentation and NATO’s military cooperation programmes. NATO exercise requirements are coordinated during MTEP Programming Board Meetings (which are open to representatives from partner countries) starting at least eighteen months before the beginning of the next cycle.  Preliminary planning culminates in the NATO Training and Exercise Conference, where NATO Commands, NATO and partner countries, and other invitees conduct final exercise coordination and provide support to the annual MTEP. Political exercises Exercises are organised in both the military and civilian structures of the Alliance. NATO holds exercises based on its political arrangements, concepts and procedures so as to refine consultations and decision-making architecture and capabilities. Political exercises also aim to ensure that primary advisers – non-elected senior political officials and military commanders in capitals and within the NATO structures – are provided with opportunities to maintain their awareness of how complex, multinational organisations such as NATO work. In some instances, partners engaged in NATO-led operations are able to participate in certain aspects of these exercises. What is in an exercise name? At the present time, NATO exercises are identified by two words. The first letter of the first word denotes the NATO command responsible for scheduling the exercise. S Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe T Allied Command Transformation B Allied Joint Forces Command Brunssum N Allied Joint Forces Command Naples The first letter of the second word denotes the element(s) concerned. A Air L Land M Maritime J Joint The strategic commands in the lead ACO and ACT work closely together on NATO military exercises. Both are assisted by the Alliance’s network of education, training, and assessment institutions, as well as national structures. Since July 2012, ACO has been given the main responsibility for setting collective training requirements and conducting the evaluation of headquarters and formations. ACT has been given the responsibility of managing collective training and exercises, based on ACO’s requirements. ACT also holds lead responsibility for NATO and Partnership for Peace (PfP) joint education, individual training and associated policy and doctrine development, as well as for directing NATO schools. Exercises through time NATO has been conducting Alliance-level exercises since 1951. In the early years of the Alliance, NATO forces conducted exercises to strengthen their ability to practice collective defence. In other words, they were conducted to ensure that forces were prepared in the case of an attack. An integrated force under centralised command was called for in September 1950. By December 1950, the first Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, was appointed. Following this appointment, national forces were put under centralised command. The Alliance’s first exercises were held in the autumn of 1951. During 1953, there were approximately 100 exercises of various kinds conducted by NATO commanders. From this point on, NATO forces were no longer a collection of national units, but were beginning to gain cohesion. A year after Allied Command Europe became operational, General Eisenhower reported that “the combat readiness of our troops has improved markedly.” In 1994, the Alliance launched the Partnership for Peace (PfP) initiative. One of the initiative’s objectives is to promote closer military cooperation and interoperability. From that time on, PfP members were able to participate in peacekeeping field exercises. In 2002, the NATO Response Force (NRF) was created. The original NRF concept was revised in 2009 and since then, the emphasis has been placed on exercises conducted in support of the NRF. This training is intended to ensure that the NRF is able to deploy quickly and operate effectively in a variety of situations. At the 2004 Istanbul Summit, Alliance leaders elevated the Mediterranean Dialogue initiative to a genuine partnership to include increased participation in exercises and individual training at NATO institutions. At the same time, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative was introduced, paving the way for cooperation between NATO and countries from the broader Middle East in areas such as education and training, and made provision for partners to engage in joint training for terrorism. Since the Lisbon Summit in November 2010 and the introduction of the 2010 Strategic Concept and the new partnerships policy, NATO exercises have been open to all partners.