Updated: 04-Jun-2003 NATO Press Releases


4 June 2003

Chairman’s Summary

of the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
in Foreign Ministers Session

  1. The Foreign Ministers and Representatives of the member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) met in Madrid today.
  2. The EAPC brings together 46 nations in a historically unprecedented coalition stretching from North America, across Europe, and into Central Asia. These nations are working together to deal with the risks and challenges which threaten our common security. As the Alliance transforms to meet the new threats to our security, so must the Partnership.
  3. Today’s meeting was the first EAPC meeting at the Ministerial level after the Prague Summit of November 2002, at which Allies decided to upgrade their relations with the EAPC countries. EAPC Ministers agreed that the Prague meeting had set the Euro-Atlantic Partnership on course toward the full adaptation to the requirements of today’s security environment, in keeping with the evolution of NATO and its own roles.
  4. Ministers discussed the current threats to security, in particular terrorism. They reaffirmed the resolve of their states to fight this scourge. They exchanged views on the results of NATO’s own work in combating terrorism and reflected on how to further develop the Partnership’s ability to contribute to, and complement, this effort. They stressed that cooperation with countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus was of key importance. They reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism and looked forward to further co-operative efforts in this framework. They welcomed the ongoing work on the protection of civilian populations against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents. They underlined the importance of a broad approach to security in the work of the EAPC and Partnership for Peace (PfP).
  5. Ministers reflected upon the situation in Afghanistan and implications for Partners of NATO’s new role in the International Security and Assistance Force. They noted that many Partners have already contributed to this operation and that NATO welcomes their continued role. In this context, they stressed the importance of enhanced political consultations on this issue in the EAPC and the role that Partners, especially those from Central Asia, could play in this respect.
  6. Ministers discussed the progress of, and challenges to, democratic transformation in the Euro-Atlantic area. They stressed that domestic stability, based on democratic institutions and respect for human rights, is a key condition of lasting international stability and security and an important factor in the success of the fight against terrorism. They agreed that reform of the defence sector and other institutions related to security is a key element of the democratic transformation. They reiterated Allies’ and Partners’ resolve to enhance the Partnership to better support such reform and contribute to larger policy and institutional reforms. They agreed to consult, and exchange experience, in the EAPC framework, on relevant issues related to democratic reform.
  7. EAPC Ministers also reaffirmed the commitment of the Euro-Atlantic community to peace, security and stability in the Balkans. They welcomed the further development of relations between NATO and Serbia and Montenegro and noted NATO’s decision to take additional steps to enhance relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina. They looked forward to these two countries’ future participation in the EAPC and PfP, once the necessary conditions had been met.
  8. Ministers welcomed progress in the implementation of the Prague Summit guidance on EAPC and PfP especially in relation to the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism and the Individual Partnership Action Plan. They stressed, however, that the Prague decisions provide the framework for the long-term development of Partnership and that further and continued attention and commitment would be necessary to appropriately consider and develop all elements of this guidance. They reiterated their full commitment to this endeavour and looked forward to a report on the implementation of the Comprehensive Review of EAPC and PfP, adopted in Prague, at their next meeting in the Autumn.

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