Updated: 14-May-2002 NATO Speeches

At the NATO-EU


30 May 2001

Opening Statement

by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson

Welcome to this first formal meeting of NATO and EU Foreign Ministers. Due to the short time available I propose that we deal with agenda items 1 and 2 together.

This meeting is a first and exemplifies how far we have come since last summer. The dialogue between NATO and the EU has greatly intensified.

Particularly encouraged by the close cooperation and consultation between our two organizations and the mutually reinforcing steps taken by them in responding to the situation in the Balkans.

Shows that there are important synergies when NATO and the EU combine their efforts. And it also shows how rapidly we are moving from the theory of European defence to practical cooperation on questions of common concern relating to security, defense and crisis management.

Many positive developments in the Balkans over the last few months. Nevertheless, International Community still faces challenges on many fronts in the region. But strong international consensus, as reflected in common NATO and EU approaches, has been highly beneficial.

Problems in Southern Serbia and continued unstable situation in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) have been the occasion for enhanced NATO-EU crisis management cooperation. KFOR support for EUMM and close consultations on the matter a case in point. I commend Javier Solana for h is latest mission to Skopje and the agreement reached.

NATO and EU efforts in the region are complementary. We have common interest in enhancing peace and security throughout the area.

Welcome Yugoslavia’s reintegration to the international community. Foreign Minister Svilanovic will later today address the EAPC ministers. Co-operation with the ICTY and reforming the FRY armed forces important. EU has equally important role to play to help FRY reform process.

In Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina, too, security and democratic reforms, economic and political consolidations go hand-in-hand.

Regarding NATO and EU work on ESDI/ESDP, there is progress on the technical side, in particular with regard to Permanent Arrangements, the draft NATO-EU Security Agreement and Berlin Plus. Further work has also been carried out within the Alliance on Berlin Plus, Adaptation of Defence Planning and NATO-EU consultations in times of crisis.

NATO expert support is given in the context of the HTF Plus, with the NATO expert team now including national experts from Allied countries. This constitutes an important element of our relationship and we stand ready to provide further expert advice upon request by the EU, subject to the necessary decisions.

Substantial progress but further efforts are still needed. May I take advantage of the presence of Foreign Ministers here today to insist on four points which must govern our common work:

  • NATO and EU work on an equal footing
  • Coherence in defense planning no unnecessary duplication
  • Participation of non-EU European allies
  • Capabilities

Capabilities will be key to the success of this project. In this regard, objectives arising from the Alliance's DCI and the EU Headline Goal are mutually reinforcing. Each nation has only one set of forces. Therefore, it is essential that we find processes and arrangements that ensure the coherent development of capabilities, avoiding unnecessary duplication.

  1. Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

Go to Homepage Go to Index