Meeting of the

8 Dec. 1998

Remarks by H.E. Bronislaw Geremek

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Ministerial Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council

Mr. Secretary General,
Dear Colleagues,

This is the last ministerial meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in which Poland participates as a Partner nation. However, as a future NATO Ally, we remain strongly attached to this forum. In Polish perception the best way we can meet our international responsibilities is through active contribution to various forms of co-operation. This was also how I understood my mission as the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I well remember scepticism with which we received the Partnership for Peace initiative in 1994. However, four years of active participation in Partnership initiatives has allowed us to establish new co-operative links and to know better NATO, its principles and values that guide the Allies. Military co-operation programmes enhanced interoperability of our defence system, at the same time showing the scope and parameters of the adaptation tasks that lay ahead of us.

The elaborated co-operation mechanisms were beneficial for a smooth transition from interoperability goals developed within the Partnership for Peace framework to the participation in the Allied defence planning. The framework of EAPC and PfP allowed also NATO to better know the candidates.

In the future the development of EAPC and PfP programs must be based on maintenance and strengthening of two features, which have already become evident. The first relates to the role of EAPC and PfP in providing for operational Partnership which improves ability of both Allies and Partners to contribute to European security and stability through political consultations and multifaceted practical co-operation.

Second, for those states, which apply for NATO membership, EAPC and PfP should enhance their character of an instrument allowing these nations to better conduct their preparations. This is the reason why these programmes should support the practical implementation of the "open-door" policy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A particular stress should be put today upon the practical dimension of programmes developed under the auspices of the EAPC. By working together, sharing experience and knowledge, working out common procedures, we build day by day, mutual understanding as well as military, political and intellectual interoperability. This interoperability proves its value every moment we need a concerted action for the sake of peace and security. Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, FYROM and Kosovo form an appropriate link between the future I have just referred to and different types of actions, the development of which was possible thanks to the EAPC.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Comprehensive Progress Report on PfP Enhancement and Implementation of the EAPC Basic Document and the EAPC Action Plan presented to us at this meeting, provide both a thorough evaluation of activities we undertook this year as well as a road map for further operational development of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership, which Poland fully supports and wishes to contribute to as a future NATO member.

We closely follow the progress of the work on the political-military framework for NATO-led PfP operations. Its completion will intensify future co-operation and broaden Partner involvement in all practical aspects of common activities. We also welcome a new Concept for PfP Training Centres which will enhance interoperability through education and training. We note with satisfaction that this operational development of Partnership is further marked by the expansion of Planning and Review Process and existence of Partnership Staff Elements. All this brings Partner states closer to the Alliance, its structures, procedures and the ways it works. It also makes the Euro-Atlantic Partnership more operational and better prepared to meet challenges facing it.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is our last meeting before the forthcoming Washington Summit. Giving a new shape to the Alliance in the next century, the Summit should also provide a new impulse to the Partnership. The Alliance and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership developed under its auspices constitute a strong co-operative security community, bringing together all European and North American democracies to address common challenges.

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