Updated: 11-Dec-2003 NATO Press Releases


11 Dec. 2003

Press Statement from NATO Secretary General

Lord Robertson, the Secretary General of NATO, today welcomed the proposals on European Security tabled by the EU Presidency.

Lord Robertson commented: “The acid test of all proposals for change, whether in NATO or the EU, is whether they add real value and real capabilities to our overall ability to deal with today’s threats and challenges.

These proposals put the stronger EU arrangements for civil-military coordination firmly within the context of Berlin Plus, and underline formally in an EU document NATO’s position as the natural choice for operations involving European and North American allies. These proposals confirm that the EU will only consider undertaking operations where NATO as a whole has decided not to be engaged, and make clear that there will be no duplication of NATO’s standing operational planning capabilities. Finally, these proposals commit the EU to much greater transparency and deeper cooperation with NATO through an EU cell at SHAPE, NATO’s military headquarters, and reciprocal NATO liaison arrangements at the EU Military Staff.

NATO countries needed to know that the fundamentals of ESDP would not change, that there would be no permanent EU operational planning staff, and that the new EU arrangements would be fully transparent. These proposals provide all of that. If they are agreed and implemented in the spirit of complementarity between the two organisations underlined by all EU members in recent days, this will be a good deal for the EU and for NATO.

NATO is prepared to begin work at once on the modalities for the EU cell at SHAPE, NATO liaison at the EU Military Staff, and the full transparency between the EU and NATO sought in the Presidency proposals.”

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