Updated: 5 October 2000 NATO Basic Texts

Study on

Sept. 1995

Study on NATO Enlargement

Chapter 2 : How to ensure that enlargement contributes to the stability and security of the entire Euro-Atlantic area, as part of a broad European security architecture, and supports the objective of an undivided Europe

A. Introduction - NATO Enlargement in its Broad Context

  1. NATO plays an essential role within the developing European Security Architecture. NATO's membership of like-minded Allies dedicated to working together has, over the course of its forty-five year existence, helped fundamentally improve the nature of relations between member states. Moreover, the commitment by all Allies to defend one another's territory has proven its value, over more than four decades, as an anchor of stability and confidence in Europe. This commitment has helped Allied countries develop powerful and flexible military capabilities, firmly under political control. NATO's reliance on collective defence has ensured that no single Ally is forced to rely upon its own national efforts alone in dealing with basic security challenges. Sharing these benefits with new members can help extend security and stability in Europe. NATO's enlargement will occur as one element of the broader evolution of European cooperation and security currently underway. NATO's enlargement must be understood as only one important element of a broad European security architecture that transcends and renders obsolete the idea of "dividing lines" in Europe.

  2. The current discussion on enlargement is taking place in very different circumstances than those which prevailed during the Cold War. In this context, the decision to admit new members must reflect the fact that the security challenges and risks which NATO faces now are different in nature from those faced in the past. In 1991, the Strategic Concept stated, "The threat of a simultaneous, full-scale attack on all of NATO's European fronts has effectively been removed ....". Since then, the risk of a re-emergent large-scale military threat has further declined. Nevertheless, risks to European security remain, which are multi-faceted and multi-directional and thus hard to predict and assess. NATO must be capable of responding to such risks and new challenges as they develop if stability in Europe and the security of its members, old and new, are to be preserved. For their part, numerous countries aspire to NATO membership in the wider context of becoming part of existing European and Euro-Atlantic structures and strengthening their security and stability.

  3. Stability and security in Europe will be strengthened through an evolutionary process, taking into account political and security developments in the whole of Europe. NATO enlargement will be part of that process, threaten no-one and contribute to a developing broad European security architecture based on true cooperation throughout the whole of Europe, enhancing stability and security for all.

  4. The architecture of European security is composed of European institutions (such as the European Union (EU) and the Western European Union (WEU)) and transatlantic institutions (NATO). It also includes the OSCE, whose membership comprises all European as well as North American countries and is thus the most inclusive European security institution, in whose framework agreements of particular importance for European security (the CFE Treaty and the Pact on Stability) have been concluded. For its part, NATO has developed cooperation arrangements: the NACC and PfP. NACC/PfP cooperation will continue to play an important role in the European security architecture both in enlarging the Alliance and in strengthening Alliance relations with partner countries which may not join the Alliance early or at all. This is addressed in Chapter 3.

  5. Enlargement will have implications for all European nations, including states which do not join NATO early or at all. It will be important to maintain active, cooperative relations with countries which do not join the Alliance, in order to avoid divisions or uncertainties in Europe and to ensure broad, inclusive approaches to cooperative security. The Alliance should underline that there can be no question of "spheres of influence" in the contemporary Europe. NATO's relations with other European states, whether cooperation partners or not, are important factors to consider in taking any decision to proceed with the enlargement process as is building security for states which may not be prospective NATO members. Any such decision will have a significant impact on the European security environment and its timing, therefore, will require careful consideration.

    Implementation of Russia's Individual Partnership Programme under the PfP and of our dialogue and cooperation with Russia beyond PfP will together renew and extend cooperation between the Alliance and Russia which we believe will enhance stability and security in Europe, as part of our broad approach to developing a cooperative security architecture in Europe. Equally, we want to develop further our relations with all newly independent states, whose independence and democracy constitute an important factor of security and stability for Europe. In this context, we attach particular importance to our relations with Ukraine which we will further develop, especially through enhanced cooperation within the PfP.

B. NATO Enlargement and Other European Security Institutions, in articular the OSCE, EU and WEU

  1. There are several institutions with a critical role to play in the emerging European security architecture. It is important to assess NATO's enlargement in terms of how it can contribute to stability and security in conjunction with these other institutions.

  2. As the most inclusive institution in the European security architecture, the OSCE has a key role to play in maintaining security and transcending divisions in Europe and should continue to be strengthened independently of enlargement of NATO. A strengthened OSCE will help to provide reassurance to states which may not join NATO either early or at all. The OSCE has developed unique capabilities in its 20-year history to contribute to security and stability in such areas as early warning, conflict prevention and crisis management, confidence and security-building measures, economic cooperation and the advancement of democracy and human rights.

  3. The activities of the OSCE and of NATO are complementary and mutually reinforcing. NATO provides an important forum for political consultations among like-minded Allies as well as unique military capabilities to respond to security challenges. NATO's commitments to support, on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with Alliance procedures, peacekeeping activities under the responsibility of the OSCE and peacekeeping operations under the authority of the UN Security Council, will remain valid after enlargement. An enlarged Alliance would have greater capacity to support such peacekeeping activities and operations. OSCE discussions on a European security model for the 21st century should reflect the process of NATO enlargement but not delay it. A strengthened OSCE, an enlarged NATO, an active NACC and PfP would, together with other fora, form complementary parts of a broad, inclusive European security architecture, supporting the objective of an undivided Europe.

  4. The Pact on Stability in Europe, which was entrusted to the OSCE and comprises numerous bilateral agreements and treaties between European countries, is a fundamental underpinning for security and stability in the whole of Europe. The Pact on Stability is aimed at developing good neighbourly relations, advancing respect for the human rights, including those of persons belonging to national minorities, and resolving disputes between European states. As noted in Chapter 1, the resolution of such disputes would be a factor in determining whether to invite a state to join the Alliance. Implementation of the Pact on Stability as well as of other international agreements already concluded can contribute to creating the conditions necessary for enlargement of NATO. In turn, enlargement of NATO's membership will also facilitate the implementation of existing agreements and full compliance with the obligations they contain.

  5. Enlargement of the Alliance is aimed at extending stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and enhancing long-term security for all NATO member countries and others as well. The enlargement of NATO is a parallel process with and will complement that of the European Union. Both NATO and the EU share common strategic interests as well as a broad approach to stability and security encompassing political, economic, social and environmental aspects, along with the defence dimension. Both enlargement processes will contribute significantly to extending security, stability and prosperity enjoyed by their members to other, like-minded, democratic European states. Through the conclusion of Euro-agreements, the EU has given a number of European states a perspective of eventual EU membership and integration into EU structures.

    The enlargement of the two organizations will proceed autonomously according to their respective internal dynamics and processes. This means they are unlikely to proceed at precisely the same pace. But the Alliance views its own enlargement and that of the EU as mutually supportive and parallel processes which together will make a significant contribution to strengthening Europe's security structure. Thus, each organization should ensure that their respective processes are in fact mutually supportive of the goal of enhancing European stability and security. While no rigid parallelism is foreseen, each organization will need to consider developments in the other.

  6. European Union members are committed to a Common Foreign and Security Policy which shall include all questions related to the security of the Union, including the eventual framing of a common defence policy, which might in time lead to a common defence compatible with that of the Atlantic Alliance. The WEU is an integral part of the development of the Union. In its dual role as defence component of the EU and European pillar of the Atlantic Alliance, the WEU brings an important additional dimension to European security. Acknowledging this dual role, and wishing to contribute to its further development, NATO Heads of State and Government, in January 1994, expressed their readiness to make collective assets of the Alliance available, on the basis of consultations in the North Atlantic Council, for WEU operations undertaken by the European Allies in pursuit of their Common Foreign and Security Policy.

  7. All full members of the WEU are also members of NATO. Because of the cumulative effect of the security safeguards of Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty and of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, the maintenance of this linkage is essential. Both enlargement processes should, therefore, be compatible and mutually supportive. At the same time, the WEU is being developed as the defence component of the European Union, which strengthens the relationship between the two organisations. An eventual broad congruence of European membership in NATO, EU and WEU would have positive effects on European security. The Alliance should at an appropriate time give particular consideration to countries with a perspective of EU membership, and which have shown an interest in joining NATO, in order to consider, on the basis indicated in this study, how they can contribute to transatlantic security within the Washington Treaty and to determine whether to invite them to join NATO.

  8. All CFE States Parties acknowledge the Treaty's continued fundamental role in building and maintaining European stability and security. This is also shared by all other OSCE participating states. NATO Allies consider the CFE Treaty as the cornerstone of European security. Therefore, it is of fundamental importance to preserve the Treaty's integrity and to ensure its full and timely implementation. NATO as such is not a signatory of the CFE Treaty, nor of any other arms control agreement. Therefore, from a legal point of view, NATO's enlargement per se has no impact on the Treaty. In any case, possible implications of NATO's enlargement for the CFE Treaty can only be assessed when the actual enlargement is taking place. Since there is no decision as yet on the timing and the scope of NATO's enlargement, it would be premature to draw any conclusions at this stage.

  9. The existing confidence-building, disarmament and arms control agreements are fundamental underpinnings for security and stability in the whole of Europe. NATO must contribute to their continuing validity and relevance in the course of its enlargement process. Enlargement could strengthen the Alliance's ability to promote further arms control and disarmament measures and ways to control proliferation of WMD.

C. Relations with Russia

  1. Russia has an important contribution to make to European stability and security. We have agreed that constructive, cooperative relations of mutual respect, benefit and friendship between the Alliance and Russia are a key element for security and stability in Europe. In June 1994, we agreed that such relations should be developed in a way that reflects common objectives and complements and reinforces relations with all other states, is transparent and is not directed against the interests of third countries. Cooperative NATO-Russia relations are in the interest not only of NATO and Russia, but of all other states in the OSCE area.

  2. NATO and Russia have agreed to pursue a broad, enhanced dialogue and cooperation in areas where Russia has unique and important contributions to make, commensurate with its weight and responsibility as a major European, international and nuclear power.

  3. In June 1994, NATO and Russia agreed to set in train the development of a far-reaching, cooperative NATO-Russia relationship aimed at enhancing mutual confidence and openness. At that time Russia signed the PfP Framework Document. By December, agreement had been reached on Russia's Individual Partnership Programme and areas for pursuance of a broad, enhanced NATO-Russia dialogue and cooperation beyond PfP, which were formally accepted by Russia on 31 May 1995.

  4. The Alliance considers that it is desirable to develop the NATO-Russia relationship even further as part of our broad approach to developing a cooperative security architecture in Europe. NATO and Russia have initiated a dialogue, to be pursued in our newly established relationship beyond the PfP, on the future direction our relationship should take, with the aim of achieving by the end of this year a political framework for NATO-Russia relationselaborating basic principles for security cooperation as well as for the development of mutual political consultations. A stronger NATO-Russia relationship should form another cornerstone of a new, inclusive and comprehensive security structure in Europe. NATO-Russia cooperation can help to overcome any lingering distrust from the Cold War period, and help ensure that Europe is never again divided into opposing camps. This further development of the NATO-Russia relationship, and its possible eventual formalization, should take place in rough parallel with NATO's own enlargement, with the goal of further strengthening stability and security in Europe. The substance and form of this enhanced relationship will be developed through a NATO-Russia dialogue.

  5. NATO-Russia relations should reflect Russia's significance in European security and be based on reciprocity, mutual respect and confidence, no "surprise" decisions by either side which could affect the interests of the other. This relationship can only flourish if it is rooted in strict compliance with international commitments and obligations, such as those under the UN Charter, the OSCE, including the Code of Conduct and the CFE Treaty, and full respect for the sovereignty of other independent states. NATO decisions, however, cannot be subject to any veto or droit de regard by a non-member state, nor can the Alliance be subordinated to another European security institution.

  6. Russia has raised concerns with respect to the enlargement process of the Alliance. The Alliance is addressing these concerns in developing its wider relationship with Russia and the Alliance has made it clear that the enlargement process including the associated military arrangements will threaten no-one and contribute to a developing broad European security architecture based on true cooperation throughout the whole of Europe, enhancing security and stability for all.

D. Effects of the decision-making process on European security and stability

  1. The decision-making process on enlargement will be in accordance with the Washington Treaty. Each invitation will be decided on its own merits, case by case, and in accordance with the principles identified in this study, taking into account political and security related developments in the whole of Europe. It will be important, particularly in the meantime, not to foreclose the possibility of eventual Alliance membership for any European state in accordance with Article 10 of the Washington Treaty.

  2. Countries could be invited to join sequentially or several countries could be simultaneously invited to join, bearing in mind that all Allies will decide by consensus on each invitation, i.e. new Allies must join consensus for subsequent invitations. There could be two or more sets of simultaneous invitations. Sequential accession could reduce the implication that others might be excluded and make it easier to begin with one or more countries but could also risk extending the calendar of accessions and thereby diverting attention from other important Alliance business. Simultaneous accessions would avoid the possibility of veto by new members on others joining at the same time; any decision on simultaneous accession should take into account relations among the prospective new members concerned and the impact on other states, including their relationship with NATO. Legislative/ratification considerations in Allied countries related to the accession of new member(s) to the Washington Treaty should also be taken into account.

    Concerns have already been expressed in the context of the discussion of the enlargement of NATO that a new member might "close the door" behind it to new admissions in the future of other countries which may also aspire to NATO membership. Such a situation must be avoided; the Alliance rests upon commonality of views and a commitment to work for consensus; part of the evaluation of the qualifications of a possible new member will be its demonstrated commitment to that process and those values. We will invite prospective new members to confirm that they understand and accept this and act in good faith accordingly. The Alliance may require, if appropriate, specific political commitments in the course of accession negotiations.

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