6 Dec. 2000
Scheibner, Minister of Defense of the
Mr. Chairman, Colleagues:
Federal Republic of Austria
at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
at Defense Minister Level
We are very pleased that in regard of Yugoslavia an important step from
isolation towards stabilization and peace in the region could now be achieved
by the decisions just taken in Vienna. Nevertheless, apart from such developments,
further efforts especially in the field of solidarity are required to demonstrate
the willingness to establish a complete restoration of stability. Besides
the required military efforts, the consolidation of civil management in
the whole region will be indispensable. Especially the case of the Kosovo
demonstrates, that, after the overall situation will show an improvement,
a well working civil crisis management will be the main task for a long
time to come.
The recent experiences in the Kosovo also indicated how important the
cooperation with the various organizations are, especially the ones which
work in the field of security policy. The events in Bosnia and in the
Kosovo force us to draw and to implement the necessary lessons to be prepared
for future challenges. Successful crisis management will only be possible,
if it based on a quick and extensive evaluation of the military dimension.
Austria contributes to the peacekeeping at the Balkans since 1995 and
participates in the recent operation in that region, as well. About 500
troops are deployed within the framework of the Multinational Brigade
South, which operates as a part of KFOR for maintaining peace in the Kosovo.
We have adapted our forces in KFOR to the operational modalities and local
requirements to obtain the needed flexibility.
Within the given framework and possibilities, Austria will also in the
future participate with troops in the current KFOR operation in the Balkans.
Since it was established, the Partnership for Peace went through a dynamic
development. Let me therefore express my congratulation to all those,
who made all this possible, either by establishing the aspired goals or
by working countless hours and solving of all the details.
For a similar positive balance in the future - concerning the enhancement
of the interoperability - within the framework of EMOP, some further effort
will be required. To guarantee the preconditions of the interoperability,
the extended and adapted PARP is significant for us, because this process
is especially relevant for the framework of the Partnership for Peace
as well as on the European level.
We therefore welcome the current developments, which make use of the
PARP as a planning mechanism for forces of non-allied EU-countries. In
my opinion, this process represents essential relations between the NATO
and the efforts of the EU to contribute forces for future crisis response
operations, without resulting in unwanted duplications. This unifies the
Euro-Atlantic and the European efforts and improves the interoperability
of our forces.
The objective of an enhanced interoperability for NATO-led PfP operations
as well as for crisis management operations within the framework of the
ESDP requires harmonization of the planning goals. In this process we
would like to see a higher degree of transparency within the framework
of DCI, so that also Non-NATO states, but member-states of the EU, would
have access to relevant areas of the planning and can work better on the
required standardization of the forces.
We intend to adapt our forces for international operations for future
challenges of possible crisis management operations. The Austrian contribution
will contain a total of 3500 troops, of which 2000 troops will simultaneously
be ready for the whole spectrum of crisis response operations. This is
the reason why we focus our efforts primarily on the quick implementation
of these forces.
Besides Austria´s engagement and because of our concern for the
further development of Europe, we will continue to work for the realization
of the initiatives of the Partnership for Peace. In times of limited resources
I consider this to be an excellent opportunity to consolidate and to complete
our efforts. The aim must be, by avoiding any unwanted duplication, to
achieve a meaningful allocation of resources, and by doing so to improve
our capabilities to react to any kind of crisis.