12 June 1998


by H.E. Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Minister of National Defence of Poland

Mr Secretary General,
Dear Colleagues,

Poland welcomes and fully appreciates the active development of EAPC and the significant progress in implementation of enhanced PfP. One year after their endorsement, these initiatives have proved their value both for partner countries and for the process of NATO's adaptation and renewal. That is clearly visible from the reports on this subject presented to us and to our foreign minister colleagues.

Dear Colleagues,

During the past year EAPC has been truly developed as a vigorous overarching framework for PfP. It gave partners increased access to Alliance's structures, including regular consultations with Military Committee. Together with the successful creation of Partner Missions to NATO, this provides a really good basis for further implementation of the EAPC Basic Document and expansion of political and defence cooperation among allies and partners. Several initiatives under the EAPC Action Plan have just been implemented. Many other proposals, such as the US idea to create a PfP Consortium of Defence Academies - which we support - , are being currently discussed. In Poland's view it is of crucial importance for all of us to sustain the momentum gained by EAPC. Celebrating the first anniversary of the creation of our Council, we have to realise that EAPC has not yet reached its full potential, so there is a lot of room for further progress.

A crucial and continuos test for EAPC will be its ability to recognise specific security and defence concerns of individual EAPC members, independent of their geographic location. An excellent example that such an approach is both possible and fruitful is provided by a special assistance programme developed for Albania.

Poland also welcomes the process of strengthening the PfP programme. With particular satisfaction we have noted the ongoing implementation of the decision to establish PfP Staff Elements at strategic and regional levels of NATO's command structure. Poland is committed to continuing to contribute substantially to PSE and other PfP activities. This especially applies to the increasing regional cooperation within Partnership and to the development of political-military framework for NATO-led PfP operations. We fully support a goal of making Partnership even more operational and looking forward to increasing partner's involvement in PfP decision-making processes.

Building upon our own experiences, we attach a great importance to the development of the Planning and Review Process, one of the most successful elements of PfP. PARP is an extremely useful tool for expanding the ability of the Euro-Atlantic community to address the challenges of the whole spectrum of peace support operations. It provides partner countries with the framework for developing interoperability with allied forces and substantially contributes to their preparations for eventual membership in NATO. To give a concrete example, I would like to emphasise that during the current accession process Poland truly found how helpful was the PARP mechanism in preparing the country for joining NATO's force planning. In this context we welcome with satisfaction the further expansion of the Planning and Review Process and the adoption of its new procedures aimed at making PARP becoming more like Alliance's defence planning system.

Mr Secretary General,
Dear Colleagues,

After joining the Alliance Poland will spare no efforts to contribute to the further development of EAPC and PfP. I would like to reaffirm that we consider these mechanisms as one of the most important elements of our future activities within the Alliance. We believe that both our experiences of the period of being a NATO partner and our advanced political and defence cooperation with the countries of our region will help us to meet this challenge. In this context Poland is particularly satisfied with the broad consensus among allies on the neccesity to fully reflect EAPC, PfP and other NATO's outreach activities in the updated Strategic Concept of the Alliance.

The EAPC and the enhanced PfP create a new context and new patterns of cooperation across a wide range of security and defence issues. They are not an artificial public relations or defence diplomacy exercise, they have a real, practical value. I am deeply convinced that neither Nato's continuing mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina nor recent decisions concerning stabilising the situation in Kosovo and neighbouring countries would not have been possible without the cooperative climate built through EAPC and PfP and without the practical tools of peace support and crisis management elaborated within these initiatives.

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