of the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
- Defence Ministers of the member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) met in Brussels today.
- Ministers discussed the possible effects on Partnership policies and programmes of NATO’s transformation, which aims at adapting NATO’s structures, procedures and capabilities to the challenges of the 21st century and ensuring that the Alliance can undertake effectively its current and future operational commitments.
- Ministers reiterated their support for the development of co-operation aiming at further developing efficient and democratically responsible defence institutions. They welcomed the interest shown by Partners in the Individual Partnership Action Plans as a means to respond to the specific needs of individual Partners. Ministers also emphasized the value of the Partnership Action Plan on Defence Institution Building in facilitating exchanges of experience amongst Allies and Partners. They stressed the crucial role of education, targeting civilian as well as military leaders, in promoting Partnership and defence reforms.
- Ministers reiterated the importance of the PfP Planning and Review Process and the Operational Capabilities Concept in assisting Partners to develop operational effectiveness and interoperability with Allies. Defence Ministers of the Allies and participating Partners approved the Planning and Review Process Ministerial Guidance.
- Ministers discussed the Partnership's role in current and possible future operations. They recalled that, building on the operational capabilities and mechanisms developed in the Partnership framework, Partners and Allies have worked extremely well together in the NATO-led operations in the Balkans and in Afghanistan. They underlined that this successful and efficient cooperation should continue using the existing Partnership tools to the fullest extent.
- Ministers reiterated the commitment of Allies and Partners to unite against terrorism as expressed in the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism and discussed the future role of Partnership in countering terrorism and other asymmetric threats. Ministers expressed their support for Operation Active Endeavour and welcomed the decisions taken by the Alliance that allow for possible contributions by partners to the Operation.
- Ministers exchanged views on current issues of international security and stability, including those in Central Asia, especially Uzbekistan. Ministers welcomed progress to date of the initiatives on Partnership launched at NATO and EAPC Summits in Prague in 2002 and in Istanbul in 2004, especially on refocusing and renewal of the Partnership. They underlined the importance of their full implementation. They stressed the need to continue to work vigorously to ensure that the Partnership is fully adapted to respond to the requirements of the evolving security environment.