Updated: 5 October 2000 NATO Basic Texts

Study on

Sept. 1995

Study on NATO Enlargement

Chapter 3 : How NACC and PfP can contribute concretely to the enlargement process

A. Introduction

  1. The PfP and NACC can help to ensure that, in accepting new members, the Alliance will contribute to enhanced security and stability in an undivided Europe, fundamental goals of the Alliance, as discussed in Chapter II. As the enlargement process proceeds, NACC/PfP will continue to provide the fundamental framework for developing relations with partner countries. Dynamic NACC/PfP cooperation is an integral part of the European security architecture, deepening interaction and extending security and stability throughout Europe, and as a means to strengthen relations with partner countries, whether possible new members or not. In the context of enlargement, this will require particular attention and effort by the Alliance.

  2. PfP will play an important role both to help prepare possible new members, through their participation in PfP activities, for the benefits and responsibilities of eventual membership and as a means to strengthen relations with partner countries which may be unlikely to join the Alliance early or at all. There will be a need to ensure that appropriate human and financial resources are directed to support those activities in accordance with PfP funding policy.

  3. NACC will continue, as it has since its inception in 1991, to play a significant role in building confidence and drawing NATO Allies and cooperation partners closer together. In the context of enlargement, the importance of NACC will be enhanced, in particular, as a common forum encompassing NATO Allies and NACC/PfP partners for dialogue and consultation on political and security-related issues and for cooperation among its members to strengthen security.

B. The Continuing Role of the NACC and the PfP in Strengthening European Security

  1. The Partnership for Peace is a key element in NATO's political and military cooperation programmes with non-member OSCE countries which deepens interaction, cooperation and stability in Europe and contributes to the overall goal of transparency. PfP is only at the beginning of its development; its full potential has not yet been achieved; and its continuing importance will not be affected by enlargement.

  2. Within the broader PfP framework, a critical aspect is that partners reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of the UN and the OSCE and their readiness to develop cooperative military relations with NATO to strengthen their ability to undertake peacekeeping and other missions under the authority of the UN and/or the responsibility of the OSCE. The Alliance should ensure that PfP gets all due attention and credit in this regard.

  3. For countries that do not become members, NACC/PfP must constitute: a continuing vehicle for active cooperation with NATO; concrete evidence of NATO's continuing support and concern for their security; and their primary link to the Alliance, as a key Euro-Atlantic security institution, including for consultation with NATO in the event an active partner perceives a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence or security. The Alliance will maintain the importance, vitality and credibility of NACC/PfP as enlargement evolves to retain their value for countries which may be unlikely to join the Alliance early or at all. Maintaining the vitality of NACC/PfP may require new approaches and mechanisms to be devised in parallel to the Alliance's enlargement process. In this context, Ministers have instructed the Council to explore the scope for integrating the existing cooperative structures and procedures for NACC and the Partnership for Peace.

  4. PfP cooperation should be further developed in order to:

    • help partners to further develop democratic control of their armed forces and transparency in defence planning and budgeting processes, although this will largely depend on these countries' own efforts;
    • enhance the network of military and defence-related cooperation to provide effective support to partners in adapting their defence arrangements to the new security environment;
    • develop the cooperative features of PfP, e.g., through enhancing partners' involvement in developing, planning and implementing PfP activities, in particular by increasing their capability/readiness to contribute with others to peacekeeping, humanitarian, search and rescue and other activities to be agreed;
    • strengthen the confidence-building and transparent character of defence-related and military cooperation, both with Allies and among partners;
    • complement the development of interoperable forces by adequate mechanisms to duly involve partners in planning and carrying out joint peacekeeping operations.

    C. The Role of PfP in Preparing for Membership

  5. PfP activities and programmes are open to all partners, who themselves decide which opportunities to pursue and how intensively to work with the Alliance through the Partnership. This varying degree of participation is a key element of the self-differentiation process. Active participation in PfP will play an important role in possible new members' preparation to join the Alliance, although it will not guarantee Alliance membership. Active participation in NACC/PfP will provide the framework for possible new members to establish patterns of political and military cooperation with the Alliance to facilitate a transition to membership. Through PfP planning, joint exercises and other PfP activities, including seminars, workshops and day-to-day representation in Brussels and at Mons, possible new members will increasingly become acquainted with the functioning of the Alliance, including with respect to policy-making, peacekeeping and crisis management. Possible new members' commitment to the shared principles and values of the Alliance will be indicated by their international behaviour and adherence to relevant OSCE commitments; however, their participation in PfP will provide a further important means to demonstrate such commitment as well as their ability to contribute to common defence.

  6. For possible new members, PfP will contribute to their preparation both politically and militarily, to familiarise them with Alliance structures and procedures and to deepen their understanding of the obligations and rights that membership will entail.

    PfP will help partners undertake necessary defence management reforms as they establish the processes and mechanisms necessary to run a democratically controlled military organisation, in areas such as transparent national defence planning, resource allocation and budgeting, appropriate legislation and parliamentary and public accountability. PfP will assist possible new members to develop well-established democratic accountability and practices and to demonstrate their commitment to internationally-accepted norms of behaviour. Within the scope of the Framework Document, PfP also provides a means to promote and develop interoperability with Alliance forces by familiarising possible new members with important elements for interoperability.

  7. The PfP Planning and Review Process and PfP exercises will introduce partners to collective defence planning and pave the way for more detailed operational planning. A biennial PfP Planning and Review Process has been offered to all Partners on an optional basis and provides a means of self-differentiation. Participation in the process will be the most effective way to develop, in the longer term, Partner forces that are better able to operate with those of the NATO Allies. Cooperation between Partners and the Alliance in the process will be broadened and deepened over time as appropriate. Results of this process should be incorporated in Partner defence plans and reflected in PfP IPPs and the Partnership Work Programme as appropriate. While new members will not be required to achieve full interoperability with NATO before joining the Alliance, they will need to meet certain minimum standards essential to a functioning and credible Alliance. These standards will continue to be developed by NATO and will be based in part on conclusions reached through the Planning and Review Process. Partners' own efforts will largely determine how quickly they progress in preparing for possible NATO membership, although outside assistance may facilitate progress.

  8. The preparation of possible new members interested in joining NATO can be facilitated by an appropriate reinforcement and deepening of their Individual Partnership Programmes. Such a reinforcement and deepening is a key to self-differentiation. Among other things, it would allow partners to distinguish themselves by demonstrating their capabilities and their commitment with a view to possible NATO membership and to contribute to Alliance missions. Concerning the process of preparing for membership, the premature development of measures outside PfP for possible new members should be avoided. A clear distinction should be maintained between participation in PfP and an eventual invitation to join the Alliance. There will come a point, after a country has been invited to join the Alliance, when specific measures for preparing the accession of that country will have to be devised.

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