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Framework of the Programme
Strategic and political guidance for the SPS Programme is provided by the Political and Partnerships Committee (PPC). The PPC shall determine on an annual basis a work programme for the SPS. This will include a set of priorities consistent with the common security challenges identified in NATO’s Strategic Concept and in line with the Alliance Partnership Policy. The PPC also gives the final approval on the selection of projects recommended after peer-review by an Independent Scientific Evaluation Group (ISEG). The PPC is kept informed with updated progress reports on the SPS programme activities. The PPC meets when necessary.
The Independent Scientific Evaluation Group (ISEG) has been established in replacement of the former four Advisory Panels. The main role of the ISEG is to evaluate (peer-review) applications. Members of the ISEG are chosen from among the international scientific community; they are nominated by NATO nations but do not represent their individual countries; they are selected on the basis of their scientific and technical expertise in the areas of the SPS Key Priorities; they serve for a period of three years. This direct involvement of the scientific community is invaluable in maintaining the integrity and high scientific standard of the Programme. The NATO Political and Partnerships Committee (PPC) approves the nomination of ISEG members. NATO Nations, when formally invited through the PPC, submit their recommendations with the attached CV form.
The ESC/SPS Working Group, under the leadership of the Senior SPS and Partnership Cooperation Advisor, is responsible for monitoring and implementing the SPS Programme in the Emerging Security Challenges (ESC) Division. The Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges (ASG/ESC) is responsible for the management of the SPS Programme and reports to the Nations through the PPC.
The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) was inaugurated on 30 May 1997. The EAPC is a cooperative mechanism which builds upon the successful political and military cooperation established under NATO's Partnership for Peace programme. It provides the overarching framework for political and security-related consultations in NATO, including collaboration within the NATO SPS Programme. The countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council are the 28 NATO member countries, plus 22 Partner countries, as follows:
NATO countries: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.
Partner countries eligible for funding under SPS: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Serbia, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(1), Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
Partner countries not eligible for funding under SPS: Austria, Finland, Ireland, Malta, Sweden, Switzerland (scientists/experts from these countries can participate in the SPS Programme on a self-funding basis).
The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) was established in 2002 at a Summit meeting in Rome of Alliance leaders and the President of the Russian Federation. The NRC meets at least once a month at ambassadorial level and brings together the NATO Allies and Russia to identify and pursue opportunities for joint action as equal partners. The NRC Committee on Science for Peace and Security was established by the NATO-Russia Council with the aim of promoting, encouraging and coordinating cooperative projects involving experts from NATO countries and Russia on new threats and challenges to security bearing on scientific, environmental and technological topics of primary importance to both parties.
The NRC(SPS) Committee meets twice a year, bringing together representatives from all the NATO countries and Russia. Activities conducted under this Committee are based on an Action Plan which is approved for a period of three years.
In 1996, NATO initiated a Dialogue with seven countries of the Mediterranean region, reflecting the Alliance's view that security in Europe is closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean. Known as the Mediterranean Dialogue, the countries are:
Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
In this context, it has been agreed that scientists from the Mediterranean Dialogue countries may participate in SPS activities. Applications should be made in cooperation with scientists from one or more of the 28 NATO countries.
NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, launched in 2004, aims to contribute to long-term global and regional security by offering countries of the broader Middle-East region practical bilateral security cooperation with NATO. To date, four countries have joined the initiative:
Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
These countries may participate in SPS activities on a self-funding basis.
NATO cooperates with a range of countries which have expressed an interest in deepening relations with the Alliance. These countries are:
- Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan may benefit from NATO funding support in the framework of the SPS Programme;
- Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand may participate in SPS activities on a self-funding basis.
(1) Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name