30 May. 1997
of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
Press Release M-NACC-EAPC-1(1997) 066
Issued on 30 May. 1997
- The member countries of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council and participating countries of the Partnership for Peace, determined to raise to a qualitatively new level their political and military cooperation, building upon the success of NACC and PfP, have decided to establish a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. In doing so, they reaffirm their joint commitment to strengthen and extend peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area, on the basis of the shared values and principles which underlie their cooperation, notably those set out in the Framework Document of the Partnership for Peace.
The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council will be a new cooperative mechanism which will form a framework for enhanced efforts in both an expanded political dimension of partnership and practical cooperation under PfP. It will take full account of and complement the respective activities of the OSCE and other relevant institutions such as the European Union, the Western European Union and the Council of Europe.
The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, as the successor to NACC, will provide the overarching framework for consultations among its members on a broad range of political and security-related issues, as part of a process that will develop through practice. PfP in its enhanced form will be a clearly identifiable element within this flexible framework. Its basic elements will remain valid. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council will build upon the existing framework of NATO's outreach activities preserving their advantages to promote cooperation in a transparent way. The expanded political dimension of consultation and cooperation which the Council will offer will allow Partners, if they wish, to develop a direct political relationship individually or in smaller groups with the Alliance. In addition, the Council will provide the framework to afford Partner countries, to the maximum extent possible, increased decision-making opportunities relating to activities in which they participate.
The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council will retain two important principles which have underpinned the success of cooperation between Allies and Partners so far. It will be inclusive, in that opportunities for political consultation and practical cooperation will be open to all Allies and Partners equally. It will also maintain self-differentiation, in that Partners will be able to decide for themselves the level and areas of cooperation with NATO. Arrangements under the Council will not affect commitments already undertaken bilaterally between Partners and NATO, or commitments in the PfP Framework Document including the consultation provisions of its article 8.
The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council will meet, as required, in different formats:
- In plenary session to address political and security-related issues of common concern and to provide information as appropriate on activities with limited participation.
- In a limited format between the Alliance and open-ended groups of Partners to focus on functional matters or, on an ad hoc basis, on appropriate regional matters. In such cases, the other EAPC members will be kept informed about the results.
- In a limited format between the Alliance and groups of Partners who participate with NATO in a peace support operation or in the Planning and Review Process, or in other cases for which this format has been agreed. The other members of the EAPC will be informed as appropriate.
- In an individual format between the Alliance and one Partner.
The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council will meet, as a general rule, at Ambassadorial level in Brussels and on a monthly basis.
The Council will meet twice a year at both Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers level; additional meetings can be envisaged as required. It may also meet at the level of Heads of State or Government, when appropriate.
The Council will be chaired by the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance or his Deputy. The representative of a member country will be named President d'Honneur for six months according to modalities to be determined.
The work of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council will be supported regularly by the Political-Military Steering Committee (PMSC) and the Political Committee (PC) in their configurations at Alliance with all Partners. On an ad hoc basis an EAPC Senior Political Committee would address issues referred to it, as required. The EAPC will consider, based on evolving practical experience, whether this support could be improved by an EAPC Steering Committee (EAPC-SC) which would integrate the functions of the former enlarged Political Committee and the PMSC in NACC/PfP format. The PMSC will meet, as appropriate, in an Alliance with individual Partners or Alliance with groups of Partners (e.g PARP) configuration. The PMSC and PC with Partners will meet at least once a month, or more frequently if required. Other NATO Committees will expand opportunities for work with Partners on cooperation issues and will inform the EAPC on their work in this regard. Their activities will become part of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council framework. An important part of this framework will be new opportunities for Partner consultations with the Military Committee. The Military Committee will also play a major role in the expanded range of opportunities for consultation and cooperation provided by the future support structure for the EAPC.
The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council will adopt at the time of its establishment the NACC Work Plan for Dialogue, Partnership and Cooperation and will replace it with an EAPC Work Plan as part of its future work. The activities included in the Partnership Work Programme (PWP) will also come under the general purview of the EAPC.
- Specific subject areas on which Allies and Partners would consult, in the framework of the EAPC, might include but not be limited to: political and security related matters; crisis management; regional matters; arms control issues; nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) proliferation and defence issues; international terrorism; defence planning and budgets and defence policy and strategy; security impacts of economic developments. There will also be scope for consultations and cooperation on issues such as: civil emergency and disaster preparedness; armaments cooperation under the aegis of the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD); nuclear safety; defence related environmental issues; civil-military coordination of air traffic management and control; scientific cooperation; and issues related to peace support operations.
Present NACC members and PfP participating countries automatically become members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council if they so desire. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council is open to the accession of other OSCE participating states able and willing to accept its basic principles and to contribute to its goals. New members may join the EAPC by joining the Partnership for Peace through signing the PfP Framework Document and by stating their acceptance of the concept of the EAPC as laid out in this document. The EAPC would be invited to endorse the accession of its new members.