of the
Council (EAPC)

30 May 1997

Logo Sintra


by the Secretary General

(18 Kb)
I welcome you all to this historic inaugural meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Council. "Historic" because this meeting represents both an end and a new beginning.

It is now six years since the creation of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Our aim at the outset was to overcome decades of separation and division between European neighbours. I think we can safely say that we have travelled a long way - and successfully - along this path.

Today, the original goals of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council and Partnership for Peace have been fulfilled - indeed surpassed. We have seen the relationship between Allies and Partners grow and blossom.

Now it is time to close the NACC chapter and open a new one - the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. We have moved far beyond where we were in 1991. Cooperation has become a real two-way street. There is greater scope for joint decision-taking and coordination. And, as NATO has carried forward its transformation on the basis of a broad, cooperative approach to security, so have the content and the potential of our NACC and PfP cooperation evolved.

The creation of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council is a clear demonstration of our evolving, deepening partnership. But it is more than a symbol of achievement. It is the forum in which new patterns of cooperation, and new possibilities for consultation and joint action, will be developed and brought to fruition.

Indeed, the initiative to create a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and to enhance PfP has been developed in close consultation with Partners. Partners will have new opportunities to consult with the Alliance more regularly and more substantively.

The EAPC will oversee development of an enhanced Partnership for Peace. Through the enhanced Partnership for Peace we intend to expand the scope of PfP exercises and involve Partners in the planning and execution of PfP activities; Partners will even be involved in various Alliance Headquarters. These measures will allow our most active partners to come very close to NATO and enjoy many of the security benefits that in past have been the preserve of the Allies only.

We are moving to a new chapter of NATO's relations with Partner countries. We have worked together over the last months to set up the framework for a new quality of partnership. It is for all of us now to maintain this spirit of cooperation, and to add substance to our new creation.

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