Updated: 30-Jun-2003 NATO Press Releases


3 June 2003

Final Communiqué

Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council
Held in Madrid on 3 June 2003

  1. Today, we are advancing the vision set out at our Prague Summit of an Alliance transformed, better able to meet 21st century threats and challenges to the security of our populations, territory and forces, from wherever they may come. At Prague, Heads of State and Government committed themselves to transform NATO with new members, new capabilities and new relationships with our partners. The process of transformation is now well underway. The North Atlantic Alliance, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law, remains the basis of our collective defence and the essential transatlantic forum for security.
  2. The accession of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to the Alliance will strengthen security for all in the Euro-Atlantic area and reinforce our community of shared values. We are pleased to be joined in Madrid today by our colleagues from these countries.
  3. NATO is taking on new operations which meet the common security interests of all Allies. We commend the participation of Allies in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan, and the present role of Germany and The Netherlands as lead nations in the mission. From August, NATO will take the leading role by assuming the strategic coordination, command and control of ISAF. ISAF will continue to operate under United Nations mandate. NATO’s enhanced role will strengthen ISAF’s effectiveness and sustainability, and, together with the Provincial Reconstruction Teams being deployed by several Allies and Partners, reinforce the international community’s commitment to building a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan. The decision to use NATO’s assets and capabilities to ensure ISAF’s continuity also demonstrates our readiness to support or lead operations and deploy forces, wherever the Alliance decides, to ensure our common security.
  4. The Alliance has just recently ended the deployment of surveillance aircraft, missile defence systems and nuclear, biological and chemical protection to defend Turkey against any possible attack by Iraq. NATO also assisted Turkey in preparing for possible humanitarian emergencies. We consulted regularly during the Iraq crisis, including in keeping with the Alliance’s role under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty.
  5. NATO has agreed to Poland’s request for support to the role it is taking on this summer in the stabilisation of Iraq. NATO’s Military Authorities are working with Polish officials so that the Alliance can assist in meeting their requirements. The North Atlantic Council will review NATO’s contribution to the stabilisation efforts on a regular basis.
  6. We welcome the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483. Allies stand ready and are examining ways to contribute to its implementation.

  7. Since Prague, a major landmark has been passed in the establishment of a genuine strategic partnership between NATO and the EU as agreed between our two organisations. The decisions in March to conclude the Berlin Plus arrangements represented the culmination of intensive work since NATO's proposals at the Washington Summit. We underscore our commitment to making a reality of our strategic partnership with the EU, starting with our co-operation in the former Yugoslavia, where the concerted efforts of the Alliance and the Union have transformed the prospects for the region. We note with satisfaction the establishment of an EU operation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1 with recourse to NATO assets and capabilities under the command of DSACEUR. We underline our commitment to pursue co-operation in the Balkans in a spirit of transparency in pursuit of our shared objectives.
  8. NATO and the EU share a common interest in assisting the countries of the Balkans towards their further integration in Euro-Atlantic structures. We expect that the 21 June EU-Balkans summit meeting in Thessaloniki will make a significant contribution to our common efforts in this regard. NATO will continue to play an essential role in regional security through its ongoing operations, PfP programmes, and by working with the EU. NATO and the EU are developing a framework for an enhanced dialogue and a concerted approach on security and stability in the Western Balkans. The development of the partnership between NATO and the EU in the Balkans is increasingly important for the further stabilisation of that region, and future planning should take this into account.
  9. Building on our successful cooperation in the Balkans to date, NATO and the EU are exploring ways to further develop our cooperation on questions of common interest relating to security, defence, and crisis management, including in civil emergency planning, capability enhancement and the fight against terrorism. We look forward to working with the EU to further develop NATO-EU relations in the spirit of transparency while respecting the autonomy of the two organisations.
  10. NATO’s continuing missions in the strategically important region of the Balkans are evolving, as improvements in stability and security continue. The NATO-led forces in the region are being, and will be, further restructured and reduced in number, as progress allows. Reflecting the significant challenges which remain, we confirm our continued presence in the Balkans, and we stand ready to assist the countries of the region to continue their progress, including in their security and defence sector reform.
  11. We reaffirm our support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all the countries in the Balkans. They must continue to build enduring multi-ethnic democracies, root out organised crime and corruption and firmly establish the rule of law. They must cooperate regionally, including by implementing the Common Platform agreed at the 22-23 May Ohrid Regional Conference on Border Security and Management. They must also comply fully with international obligations, including by bringing to justice in The Hague all those who are indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). We remain determined to help build, in close cooperation with the UN, the EU, the OSCE and other international organisations, a peaceful, stable and democratic South East Europe, where all countries in the region assume ownership of the process of reform, and are integrated into Euro-Atlantic structures.
  12. Terrorism continues to pose a grave threat to Alliance populations, forces and territory, as well as to international peace and security. It also poses a threat to the development and functioning of democratic institutions, the territorial integrity of states, and to peaceful relations between them. We express our sympathy for the victims of terrorism. We categorically reject and condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and we reiterate our determination to combat this scourge for as long as necessary. We are implementing a military concept for defence against terrorism, improving civil preparedness, and working closely with our Partner countries in this area. Alliance naval forces continue to patrol the Mediterranean, inter alia to help deter terrorist attack against commercial traffic in the Straits of Gibraltar. To fight terrorism effectively, our response must be multi-faceted and comprehensive. It will require full implementation of the Prague agenda for NATO’s transformation, and continued close cooperation with other international organisations and our Partners.
  13. We remain determined to deter, disrupt, defend and protect against any armed attack on us, including terrorist attacks directed from abroad, in accordance with the Washington Treaty and the Charter of the United Nations. Effective, modern military capabilities, contributed by all NATO countries, are essential to enable the Alliance to better carry out the full range of its missions. Recent operations have vividly illustrated the importance of the capability improvements identified as priorities in the Prague Capabilities Commitment (PCC). Progress in developing another Prague initiative, the NATO Response Force (NRF), is on track. At their upcoming meeting, our Defence Colleagues will review the implementation of the PCC and the NRF. They are also expected to agree new, streamlined command arrangements for the Alliance, which will meet the operational requirements for the full range of Alliance missions.
  14. We are encouraged by the improvements being made in other important areas, including increased civil preparedness against possible WMD attacks on civilian populations; stronger defence against cyber attacks; and progress in examining options for protecting Alliance territory, forces and population centres against the full range of missile threats in an effective and efficient way through an appropriate mix of political and defence efforts, along with deterrence. Our efforts in this regard will be consistent with the indivisibility of Allied security.
  15. The Alliance’s policy of support for arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation will continue to play a major role in the achievement of the Alliance’s security objectives, including preventing the spread and use of WMD and their means of delivery. The Alliance stresses the importance of abiding by and strengthening existing international arms control and disarmament accords and multilateral non-proliferation and export control regimes. In particular, we underline our commitment to reinforcing the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the pre-eminent non-proliferation and disarmament mechanism, and ensuring the full compliance with it by all states party to the Treaty. We will also strengthen our common efforts to safeguard nuclear and radiological material. The role of the WMD Centre, within NATO’s International Staff, is being enhanced to assist the work of the Alliance to tackle threats posed by weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
  16. The seven democracies that were invited at Prague to start accession talks with the Alliance are now well on their way to becoming members. We welcome the March 2003 signature of the Accession Protocols, and the progress in the ratification process. We congratulate the invited countries for their contributions to international security, in solidarity with the Alliance. We welcome the reform accomplishments by the seven countries and their timetables for completion of reforms, and encourage them to continue their reform efforts up to and beyond accession in order to enhance their contribution to the Alliance. We look forward to welcoming all seven countries into the Alliance at our Summit in May 2004.
  17. This round of enlargement will not be the last. NATO’s door remains open. We commend Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Croatia for their continuing reform efforts and their pursuit of regional cooperation. These countries will need to continue to implement the extensive political, economic, defence and other reforms identified through the MAP process, in order to advance their candidacies. We want them to succeed, and will continue to support and assist their reform efforts. The Membership Action Plan will remain the vehicle to keep aspirants’ progress under review, and we encourage each aspirant to take ownership of the reform process and to pursue vigorously their key reform objectives.
  18. NATO’s Partnership with countries across Europe, and in the strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia, has greatly contributed to security and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. Partner contributions in the Balkans and in Afghanistan are vivid proof of this, and will remain important, especially as NATO takes on a greater role in the ISAF mission. With NATO engaged in new operations, strengthened interoperability with Partners will take on added importance. We encourage Partners to work closely with the Alliance in implementing the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism.
  19. Realisation of the objectives of the Comprehensive Review of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council/Partnership for Peace is key to further developing our partnership, and we look forward to the report of the Review in the autumn. We encourage Partners to make use of the opportunity to develop Individual Partnership Actions Plans (IPAP) with NATO, and welcome the decision by some Partners already to take advantage of this useful new mechanism. The IPAP will ensure that our Partners’ reform efforts are supported in the most efficient manner. We will ensure that the 2004 Partnership Work Programme is robust and supports the efforts of Partners seeking closer cooperation with the Alliance.
  20. We are encouraged by Serbia and Montenegro’s heightened efforts to fight crime, arrest those indicted for war crimes, and combat political extremism, as well as its renewed commitment to defence and military reform. We also welcome the progress that has been made in strengthening state-level defence structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We expect Serbia and Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to participate in the PfP and the EAPC in future, once necessary progress is achieved, including full cooperation with the ICTY.
  21. The NATO-Russia Council (NRC), in which NATO member states and Russia are working together as equal partners in areas of common interest, continues to make substantial progress, including at a first meeting in Moscow last month. We have developed, inter alia, detailed assessments of the terrorist threat in the Euro-Atlantic area, and made progress in assessing proliferation dangers. We are exploring cooperation in theatre missile defence, and laying the foundations for future peacekeeping cooperation. We are engaged in a broad political dialogue with Russia, which has already included exchanges on areas of common interest. We have launched a far-reaching dialogue on shared challenges in the area of defence reform. We are enhancing cooperation in airspace management and safety, and in the area of civil emergency protection. For the coming year, we have placed emphasis on enhanced military-to-military cooperation, where we have agreed a framework for cooperation in search and rescue at sea, and are looking to a substantial programme of exercises and training. We also look forward to making progress on nuclear confidence-building measures, and on the safe management of nuclear and radiological material.
  22. We remain committed to stronger NATO-Ukraine relations under the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership and welcome progress to date in the implementation of the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan and Ukraine’s Annual Target Plan, which have given new substance and impetus to our relationship. Progress by Ukraine in achieving its reform objectives as identified in the Action Plan and the Annual Target Plan will determine the pace of its further integration with NATO. We encourage Ukraine to pursue all reforms necessary to achieve full Euro-Atlantic integration, including democratic reform, strengthening arms export controls, judicial reform, promoting a free and independent media, and implementing defence reforms. We will continue to assist Ukraine in these efforts, particularly in the important area of defence reform, and to consult on political, economic, military and other issues.
  23. Security in the Euro-Atlantic region is closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean. In that respect, we welcome and value the positive response of our Mediterranean Dialogue Partners to NATO’s decision to upgrade substantially the Dialogue’s political and practical dimensions. We received today a progress report which highlights the range of activities undertaken and progress achieved in the framework of the Dialogue, including on terrorism-related issues. Our efforts will continue to enhance the Mediterranean Dialogue, while complementing and mutually reinforcing other Mediterranean initiatives, including those of the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
  24. We remain committed to the CFE Treaty and reaffirm our attachment to the early entry into force of the Adapted Treaty. The CFE regime provides a fundamental contribution to a more secure and integrated Europe. We welcome the approach of those non-CFE countries, which have stated their intention to request accession to the Adapted CFE Treaty upon its entry into force. Their accession would provide an important additional contribution to European stability and security. We acknowledge Russia’s successful effort to reduce its forces in the Treaty’s Article V area to agreed levels. We urge swift resolution of the outstanding issues between Russia and Georgia as set out in their Istanbul Joint Statement of 17 November 1999. We welcome the important progress Russia has made in the withdrawal of its forces from Moldova since January and look forward to the fulfilment of this commitment by the end of 2003. We will continue, via the OSCE, to assist in this process. Recognising the progress made, we recall that fulfilment of the remaining Istanbul commitments on Georgia and Moldova will create the conditions for Allies and other States Parties to move forward on ratification of the Adapted CFE Treaty.
  25. At Prague our Heads of State and Government endorsed a package of measures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the headquarters organisation. As part of the follow-up we received today an Action Plan for improving gender balance and diversity in NATO’s International Staff. We attach high priority to this issue and look forward to receiving a progress report on the implementation of the Action Plan at our meeting in December 2003.
  26. We are committed to a broad approach to security and to intensify our efforts to promote effective cooperation with other international or regional organisations. NATO remains the essential forum for consultation among the Allies. We shall be guided by a coherent approach to crises affecting the security of the Euro-Atlantic area stemming from a wide variety of military and non-military risks, making full use of partnership, cooperation and dialogue.
  27. In the face of 21st century threats and challenges, effective transatlantic security cooperation remains essential. Through its new operations, new capabilities, new members and evolving political relationships, today’s transformed Alliance is demonstrating that Europe and North America are strong and enduring partners in pursuit of our common values, shared security and collective defence.
  28. We express our deep appreciation to the Government of Spain for hosting this meeting.
  1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.


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