7 Dec. 2001
Dr. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of
Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria
"Current Security Challenges in the Euro-Atlantic Area"
- The terrorist attacks of 11 September have clearly shown that international
cooperation and solidarity are the only possible answers to the fundamental
security challenges of today. The invocation of Art. 5 Washington Treaty
by the Allies as well as the statement of the EAPC, both on 12 September
have been important signals in this regard.
I am sure that 11 September will have an important impact on our
work within EAPC and PfP. This does not only apply to our activities
in the military field. The menace of terrorism threat-ens us in many
ways. There are links with international crime, and acts of terrorism
can also be the cause of ecological disasters of a so far unforeseeable
dimension. (The scenario of a terror-ist attack on a nuclear power
plant is one that comes to mind.) For all these reasons Austria supported
the Swedish-Finnish initiative. We hope that these issues will also
become a key concern of our work in such bodies as the Committee on
the Challenges of Modern Societies and the Senior Civil Emergency
In view of the dynamic developments that next year's Summit Meetings
in Prague are likely to bring about, we shall also have to begin a
substantial reflection on the future of the EAPC. In this context
I should like to draw your attention to Austria's specific concerns
as a non-allied Member State of the European Union.
As you know the European Council in Helsinki decided to use existing
defence planning pro-cedures, including the Planning and Review Process
(PARP) of the PfP. For a country like Austria the PARP represents
an essential instrument in its effort to make an optimal contribu-tion
to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the Union; a mechanism
that helps to avoid unnecessary duplications.
Finally, I should also like to refer to this year's celebration of
the 10th anniversary of Partner-ship and Cooperation. The creation
of a structure where NATO and partner countries are able to closely
cooperate has proven to be of highest relevance to the security environment
in the Euro-Atlantic area. Right from the start of the Austrian PfP-participation
in 1995 we always tried to be active and committed players. Austria
is determined to maintain this stance.