former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹, NATO’s relations with the
NATO’s relations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ NATO and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ actively cooperate in a range of areas, with a particular emphasis on defence and security sector reform, as well as support for wider democratic and institutional reform. The country joined the Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 1999 and aspires to join the Alliance. The Allies are committed to keeping NATO’s door open to Western Balkan partners that wish to join the Alliance, share its values and are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership. Euro-Atlantic integration is seen as the best way to ensure long-term, self-sustaining security and stability in the region. The Membership Action Plan (MAP) is a NATO programme of advice, assistance and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the Alliance. Participation in the MAP does not prejudge any decision by the Alliance on future membership. At the April 2008 Bucharest Summit, Allies recognized the hard work and commitment demonstrated by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ to NATO values and Alliance operations. They agreed that an invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ will be extended as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over the country’s name has been reached with Greece. Beyond the key focus on reform, another important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. For many years, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ has been providing valuable host nation support to troops of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) transiting the country. The country also contributes to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Framework for cooperation In the MAP framework, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ sets out its reform plans and timelines in its Annual National Programme (ANP). Key areas include political, military and security sector reforms. Important priorities are efforts to meet democratic standards and ensure free and fair elections, as well as support for reducing corruption and fighting organised crime, judicial reform, improving public administration and promoting good neighbourly relations. NATO Allies provide feedback on the envisaged reforms and evaluate their implementation. More specific and technical reforms in the defence area are developed through the Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process (PARP), which the country joined in 1999. The role of the PARP is to provide a structured basis for identifying forces and capabilities that could be available to the Alliance for multinational training, exercises and operations. It also serves as the principal mechanism used to guide and measure defence and military reform progress. A biennial process, the PARP is open to all partners on a voluntary basis but is required of all partners participating in the MAP. The NATO Liaison Office, Skopje, plays a role in assisting the implementation of the defence reform plans, including through its NATO Advisory Team, which is located within the country's defence ministry. The country also cooperates with NATO and other partners in a wide range of other areas through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ was a key partner in supporting NATO-led stabilisation operations in Kosovo in 1999 and NATO forces were deployed to the country to halt the spread of the conflict as well as to provide logistical support to the Kosovo Force (KFOR). The Allies also provided humanitarian assistance as refugees from Kosovo fled into the country. The country continues to provide valuable host nation support to KFOR troops transiting its territory. NATO came to the assistance of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ , when violence between ethnic Albanian insurgents and security forces broke out in the west of the country in February 2001. The insurgents had taken control of a number of towns near the border with Kosovo, bringing the country to the brink of a civil war. NATO facilitated the negotiation of a ceasefire in June of that same year, which paved the way for a political settlement – the Ohrid Framework Agreement – in August 2001. In support of the settlement, NATO deployed a task force, “Essential Harvest”, to collect weapons handed over by the insurgents, as they prepared to disband. The NATO-led international monitoring mission continued to operate in support of the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement until 31 March 2003, when the European Union assumed the lead. A key objective of cooperation is to develop the ability of the country’s armed forces to work alongside Allied forces in peace-support and crisis management operations. Participation in the PARP has provided a framework for cooperation in this area. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ has been supporting the ISAF in Afghanistan since 2002. As of July 2013, over 150 troops were deployed there. The country has also indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces, which will be deployed once the transition to Afghan security lead has been completed and ISAF’s operation is terminated. Cooperation in the fight against terrorism takes place in the framework of the Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism. This includes sharing intelligence and analysis with NATO, enhancing national counter-terrorist capabilities and improving border security. In consultation with the Allies, the country has taken steps to establish competent bodies and services to deal with contemporary forms of terrorism. Defence and security sector reform NATO is supportive of the wide-ranging and ongoing reform process underway in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ . In the areas of defence and security sector reform, NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise that the country can draw upon. In consultation with the Allies, the country continues to implement a wide range of reforms in line with its Strategic Defence Review. The country’s participation in the PARP has facilitated cooperation in the area of defence reform. The Allies have assisted in the development of a transformation plan for the country’s armed forces. The plan includes detailed programmes covering logistics, personnel, equipment, training and a timetable for the restructuring of key military units. Other key objectives include improving ethnic minority representation in civil/military defence structures and judicial and police reform. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ joined the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) in 2005. The OCC is a mechanism through which units available for PfP operations can be evaluated and better integrated with NATO forces to increase operational effectiveness. The country is also working with NATO to promote the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which recognises the disproportionate impact that war and conflicts have on women and children. UNSCR 1325 calls for full and equal participation of women at all levels in issues ranging from early conflict prevention to post-conflict reconstruction, peace and security. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ is also working to strengthen good governance in the defence and security sector through participation in the Building Integrity programme. This programme seeks to raise awareness, promote good practice and provide practical tools to help nations enhance integrity and reduce risks of corruption in the security sector by strengthening transparency and accountability. Training is an important part of security cooperation with the country and its personnel regularly participate in activities organised under the PfP programme. Moreover, the country’s Public Affairs Regional Centre in Skopje was recognised as a Partnership Training and Education Centre in 2013, opening its activities to Allies and partners. Civil emergency planning The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ is enhancing its national civil emergency and disaster-management capabilities in cooperation with NATO and through participation in activities organised by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre. In consultation with NATO, a national crisis-management system has been established to ensure that the structures in place serve effectively and efficiently in the case of a national crisis. Science and environment The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ has been actively engaged within the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 1998. The SPS Programme enables close collaboration on issues of common interest to enhance the security of NATO and partner nations. By facilitating international efforts, in particular with a regional focus, the Programme seeks to address emerging security challenges, support NATO-led operations and advance early warning and forecast for the prevention of disasters and crises. Today, scientists and experts from the country are working to address a wide range of security issues, notably in the fields of cyber defence, defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, environmental security and disaster forecast and prevention of natural catastrophes. A hands-on cyber defence training course took place in April 2013. The aim of the training course was to create institutional capability and increase awareness on cyber threats with a view to enhancing the resiliency of national IT infrastructures. Future areas for concrete cooperation were discussed by national government officials, scientists and experts at an SPS ‘Information Day’ held in Skopje in June 2013. Public information Given that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ aims to join NATO, it is important to continue to ensure public awareness of how NATO works and of the rights and obligations which membership brings. Public diplomacy activities also aim to develop and maintain links with civil society actors and to facilitate security-related activities and programmes in the country. NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division plays a key role in this area, as do individual Allies and partner countries. In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The Embassy of Turkey in Skopje acts as a Contact Point Embassy (CPE) for NATO. Evolution of relations Relations between NATO and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ date back to 1995, when the country joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP), which was followed by membership of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) in 1997. Relations were strengthened during the Kosovo crisis in 1999, when the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ was a key partner in supporting NATO operations, and Allied forces were deployed to the country to halt the spread of the conflict and to provide humanitarian assistance for refugees from Kosovo. The same year, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ joined the Membership Action Plan. In 2001, relations further intensified, with NATO along with the EU coming to the assistance of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹, when violence between ethnic Albanian insurgents and security forces broke out in the west of the country in February 2001. Having facilitated the negotiation of a cease-fire which led to a peace agreement, NATO – at the government’s request – deployed a task force to collect weapons from the insurgents and support the implementation of the agreement. This mission was handed over to the European Union in March 2003, but NATO maintained a headquarters in the in the capital Skopje to assist the country with its defence reforms. Key milestones 1995 The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ joins the Partnership for Peace. 1996 The country hosts its first PfP training exercise, ”Rescuer”. 1999 The country plays a key role in supporting NATO operations in Kosovo, and the Allies provide assistance to ease the humanitarian crisis as refugees from Kosovo flood into the country. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ joins NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP) and the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). 2001 Violence flares up in the west of the country. NATO plays a key role in facilitating negotiations on a cease-fire reached in June. NATO Allies deploy a task force to collect arms from former combatants and support the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. 2002 The country deploys personnel in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. 2003 The NATO-led peace-monitoring mission in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ is handed over to the European Union. 2005 A combined medical team of the three MAP countries joins NATO-led forces in Afghanistan in August. 2007 The country hosts the EAPC Security Forum in Ohrid. 2008 In April 2008, Allies agree that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ will be invited to start accession talks as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over the country’s name has been reached with Greece. 2010 The Secretary General visited Skopje in June 2010. 2012 Prime Minister Gruevski addressed the North Atlantic Council on 25 January.
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹, Peace support operations in the -
Peace support operations in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ On the request of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ NATO engaged in three separate operations to quell tension between the country’s ethnic Albanian minority and national security forces. On 13 August 2001, the Skopje government and ethnic Albanian representatives signed the Ohrid Framework Agreement. Under this agreement, the government pledged to improve the rights of its ethnic Albanian population. In exchange, ethnic Albanian representatives agreed to abandon separatist demands and hand over weapons to a NATO force. This was the beginning of NATO’s short-term military presence in the country (2001-2003). The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 has been a NATO Partner country since 1995 and joined the Membership Action Plan in 1999. NATO set up a military headquarters in Skopje to assist with security sector reform. At the 2008 Bucharest Summit, NATO leaders agreed to extend an invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 to join the Alliance as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over its name has been reached with Greece. Three separate NATO operations Setting the scene Violence broke out in the country when ethnic Albanian extremists challenged government authorities to grant the ethnic Albanian community more rights. On 20 June 2001, President Boris Trajkovski sent a letter to Lord Robertson, the then NATO Secretary General, to request NATO assistance in keeping civil war at bay. He wanted NATO to assist his government in demilitarising the National Liberation Army (NLA) and disarming ethnic Albanian extremists operating across the country. Diplomatic efforts and peace talks had been initiated but stalled over a series of delicate issues, including the question of whether Albanian would be recognised as an official language. NATO adopted a dual-track approach: it condemned the attacks but urged the government to adopt constitutional reforms to increase participation of ethnic Albanians in society and politics. NATO approved the operation on 29 June, but its conditions for deployment were that the political dialogue between the various parties in the country had a “successful outcome’ and a cease-fire was respected. Only then would NATO send troops with “strong rules of engagement” to collect weapons from the ethnic Albanian extremists. On 15 August, two days after the signature of the political framework agreement – the Ohrid Framework Agreement – the North Atlantic Council authorised the immediate deployment of the Headquarters of Task Force Harvest on the ground. This was the first of three operations to be launched: Operation Essential Harvest; Operation Amber Fox; and Operation Allied Harmony. Collecting weapons NATO officially launched Operation Essential Harvest on 22 August and effectively started operations on 27 August. The 30-day mission aimed to disarm ethnic Albanian insurgents on a voluntary basis. Approximately 3,500 NATO troops, with logistical support, were sent to the country. Nearly 4,000 weapons and several hundred thousand more items, including mines and explosives, were collected. The operation finished on 26 September 2001. Protecting international monitors Following the conclusion of Operation Essential Harvest, the Allies launched Operation Amber Fox. The Operational Plan was approved on 26 September 2001 and the mission officially started the next day. Operation Amber Fox was mandated to assist in the protection of international monitors from the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe who oversaw implementation of the Ohrid Agreement. The mission was deployed under German leadership with the participation of other NATO member countries, and consisted of 700 Allied troops joining 300 troops already based in the country. Initially, Operation Amber Fox had a three-month mandate, but it was subsequently extended until 15 December 2002. Minimizing the risks of destabilization In response to an additional request from President Trajkovski, the North Atlantic Council agreed to continue supporting the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ with a new mission that would help minimise the risks of destabilisation. While acknowledging that Operation Amber Fox could be finalised, the Council agreed that there was a requirement for a follow-on international military presence in the country. Operation Allied Harmony was launched on 16 December and its objectives were to provide continued support for international monitors and to assist the government in taking ownership of security throughout the country. On 17 March 2003, the North Atlantic Council decided to terminate Operation Allied Harmony as of 31 March, and to hand over responsibility for a continued international military presence to the European Union. NATO HQ Skopje NATO remains committed to helping the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ integrate into Euro-Atlantic structures. To that end, NATO HQ Skopje was created in April 2002 to advise on military aspects of security sector reform. 1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
Fundamental security tasks, NATO’s -
NATO’s fundamental security tasks NATO’s essential and enduring purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means. Collective defence is at the heart of the Alliance and creates a spirit of solidarity and cohesion among its members. NATO strives to secure a lasting peace in Europe, based on common values of individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Since the outbreak of crises and conflicts beyond the borders of NATO member countries can jeopardize this objective, the Alliance also contributes to peace and stability through crisis management operations and partnerships. Essentially, NATO not only helps to defend the territory of its members, but engages where possible and when necessary to project its values further afield, prevent crises, manage crises, stabilize post-conflict situations and support reconstruction. NATO also embodies the transatlantic link by which the security of North America is tied to the security of Europe. It is an intergovernmental organization which provides a forum where members can consult together on any issues they may choose to raise and take decisions on political and military matters affecting their security. No single member country is forced to rely soley on its national capabilities to meet its essential national security objectives. The resulting sense of shared security among members contributes to stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO’s fundamental security tasks are laid down in the Washington Treaty. They are sufficiently general to withstand the test of time and are translated into more detail in strategic concepts. Strategic concepts are the authoritative statement of the Alliance’s objectives and provide the highest level of guidance on the political and military means to be used in achieving these goals; they remain the basis for the implementation of Alliance policy as a whole. During the Cold War, NATO focused on collective defence and the protection of its members from potential threats emanating from the Soviet Union. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, along with the rise of non-state actors affecting international security, many new security threats emerged. NATO now focuses on countering these threats by utilizing collective defence, managing crisis situations and encouraging cooperative security, as outlined in the 2010 Strategic Concept.