Updated: 04-Dec-2002 NATO Speeches


22 November


by H.E. Mr. Göran Persson, Prime Minister of Sweden,
at the EAPC Summit in Prague

Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Euro-Atlantic co-operation constitutes the basis of our common security. In this challenging time of great changes, we are now making decisions that will shape a Europe more truly at peace with itself and the world.

First, enlargement of the European Union and NATO - a divided Europe finally becomes history and every nation assumes its right to decide its own future.

I congratulate and compliment the countries now invited to join NATO. And soon we will welcome new members to the European Union.

Second, Russia is building a new relationship with other nations in the Euro-Atlantic community. We welcome the NATO-Russia Council as an evidence of this commitment.

Third, we now set a new course for our successful Partnership for Peace.

These historic steps form our new security order, built on the solid basis of common values, common challenges and common responsibilities.
For the first time, a true Euro-Atlantic Partnership is emerging involving all of Europe and its closest friends.

Sweden enjoys a solid and active co-operation with NATO, based on our EU membership and our military non-alignment.

The Comprehensive Partnership Review identifies the ways and means to move forward. I am pleased that the ideas presented by Finland and Sweden are part of the report we endorse.

Crisis management and conflict prevention are at the heart of Sweden’s partnership with NATO. New efforts are needed to jointly deal with civil emergencies and protection against threats. We also need to support security sector reform in the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Together, 46 nations sent a clear message of solidarity and unity against the scourge of terrorism. The tragedies of September 11 painfully reminded us about serious threats to open societies, which can only be met in co-operation.

The Partnership Action Plan Against Terrorism provides tools against terror and weapons of mass destruction. We resolve to make the best possible contribution to an effort, that by necessity is global and carried out under the umbrella of the United Nations.

PfP has good results to build upon. The EAPC can secure broad political agreement. Sweden looks forward to continue this shared effort.

As partners have different needs, the work must be flexible and make the most of each country’s capability and resources. I welcome NATO’s ambition to ensure an early, proportionate involvement of contributing partners in decision-making. Now, let’s move from words to deeds.

Finally, to Sweden close NATO-EU co-operation is yet another pillar in our partnership with the Alliance. The transatlantic link will become stronger to our mutual benefit. It will build on the roles, instruments and experience of each institution.

And - most importantly – collaboration will sharpen a common commitment to European and global security.

Thank you!

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