Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process

  • Last updated: 03 Aug. 2023 12:25

The PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) aims to promote the development of forces and capabilities by partners that are best able to cooperate alongside NATO Allies in crisis response operations and other activities to promote security and stability. It provides a structured approach for enhancing interoperability and capabilities of partner forces that could be made available to the Alliance for multinational training, exercises and operations. The PARP also serves as a planning tool to guide and measure progress in defence and military transformation and modernisation efforts.

Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. View of the room.

PARP is a biennial process that is open to all Partnership for Peace (PfP) partners.  Following the review of NATO’s partnerships policy in April 2011, participation was also opened to all other partners on a voluntary and case-by-case basis subject to NAC approval.  Countries that wish to join NATO must participate in the PARP as a pre-requisite to join the Membership Action Plan (MAP). The MAP provides advice, assistance and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the Alliance. However, participation in the MAP does not prejudge any decision by the Alliance on future membership.

The PARP also provides a planning mechanism for Euro-Atlantic partners that are European Union (EU) members to assist them in developing capabilities for both NATO-led and EU-led operations.

  • Components

    In recognition of the value the Allies place on force-planning, the 1994 Partnership for Peace (PfP) Framework Document committed NATO to developing a Planning and Review Process (PARP) with partner countries. Launched in 1995, the intent of the first cycle of this PARP was to provide a structured basis for identifying partner forces and capabilities that could be available to the Alliance for multinational training, exercises and operations. This process further enhances interoperability with Allied forces and promotes transparency.

    Over time, the PARP has developed in several ways in order to serve different purposes. In addition to improving interoperability and increasing transparency, the Alliance also uses the PARP to support reform efforts in the context of the Membership Action Plans, the Comprehensive Assistance Package (CAP) for Ukraine, the NATO-Georgia Commission, Individual Partnership Action Plans and the Partnership Action Plans on Defence Institution Building.

  • Working mechanism

    The PARP is a voluntary process. The decision to take part in it is up to each partner country. In order to participate, the interested partner must first complete a PARP Survey, which clarifies the partner’s forces and capabilities available to the Alliance, its wider defence plans, the structure of its forces and its budgetary plans.

    Based on this information, staff from both the civilian and military sides of the Alliance then develop a package of draft Partnership Goals tailored to the need of each individual partner nation. Next, the partner participates in bilateral talks on these goals with the civilian and military staffs. They then amend them as necessary, followed by discussions between the partner and all of the Allies. Finally, once this process is complete, the Ambassadors of the Allies and the partner country approve the Partnership Goals.

    The PARP continuously reviews the progress of each country in implementing its Partnership Goals. To this end, based on an updated PARP Survey completed by the partner, the NATO staff produces a PARP Assessment which analyses the advancement of the partner in meeting the agreed Partnership Goals.  The PARP Assessment is then discussed with the partner, reviewed with the Allies and approved by the Allied Ambassadors and the partner concerned.

    The PARP itself is a two-year process.  The partners and NATO agree to a package of Partnership Goals in even-numbered years and the PARP Assessment in odd-numbered years.

  • Evolution

    Allies and participating partners jointly developed and agreed to the current PARP procedures and the collective documents related to the PARP. These collective documents, which continue to guide the PARP, include the PARP Ministerial Guidance, which the Allied and partner defence ministers approve; the Consolidated Report, which gives an overview of partners’ progress and contains a detailed section on the forces and capabilities that Allies could make available for crisis response operations; and the Partnership Goal Summary Report.

    The PARP has moved beyond its primary focus on developing interoperability to also addressing the development of new capabilities. It has the additional function of providing a planning mechanism for the participating partners who are also European Union (EU) members. In this respect, it also assists them in developing capabilities for, and contributions to, the European Union’s military capabilities which reflects the imperative that each nation has only a single set of forces on which it can draw for NATO-led, EU-led or other operations.

    In the past, the PARP was a vehicle for specifically encouraging defence reform, but has now extended to the wider security sector. For countries that agree, Partnership Goals now also cover reform and development objectives for Ministries of Interior and Finance, as well as Emergency Services, Border Guard Services and Security Services.