by Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Minister for Foreign Affairs
of the Federal Republic of Austria
at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Summit Meeting
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. This summit is of course a special event for the seven states that
were yesterday invited to begin accession talks with NATO. Although Austria
herself is not a candidate for membership in the Alliance, we believe
that this further enlargement of NATO can make an important contribution
to peace, security and stability in our region and in the Euro-Atlantic
area as a whole.
2. The enlargement processes of the European Union and NATO are autonomous
in nature; they follow their respective logic and procedure. But in a
more general sense both these processes are key components of the security
architecture of a new Europe that has overcome the dividing lines of the
Cooperation between the European Union and NATO is essential in the interest
of a fully functioning European crisis management. We hope that a solution
to the problems in organizing this cooperation will be found soon.
3. One of the areas where we need to intensify our efforts is the fight
against the scourge of terrorism. In the framework of the EAPC we will
now be able to base this cooperation on the “Partnership Action
Plan against Terrorism”. It is important that the countries participating
in NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue will be involved in some of the
activities of this Action Plan.
4. The “Report on the Comprehensive Review of the EAPC and PfP”
represents a very useful road map for the future development of our partnership.
Individual partners and groups of partners will be able to avail themselves
of mechanisms that are tailored to their respective needs.
5. Increasing the contribution of the EAPC to security and stability at
the sub-regional level is another priority. This certainly holds true
for the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia. The Balkans should also remain
at the centre of our attention. My country hopes that conditions for the
full involvement of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as well as Bosnia
and Herzegovina in our Partnership will soon be met.
6. All efforts to increase the interoperability of our forces in the field
of crisis management remain a core concern of our partnership. For Austria,
a further enhancement of the “Planning and Review Process”
is also of great importance against the background of our participation
in the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union.
7. Let me finally thank our Czech hosts for their generous hospitality
in this beautiful city. As a neighbour Austria is particularly pleased
that Prague was chosen as the venue of this truly historic Summit meeting.