Updated: 29-Nov-2002 NATO Speeches


22 November


by Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Minister for Foreign Affairs
of the Federal Republic of Austria
at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Summit Meeting

Mr. Secretary-General,
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 past.

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.

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