Updated: 01-Apr-2003 NATO Speeches


31 March 2003


by Secretary General Volis of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
at the ceremony marking the ending of
NATO's Operation Allied Harmony and trasnfer of authority to EU

Mr President, Prime Minister, NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, EU High Representative Solana, ministers, excellences, Minister of Defence from France, officers, men and women of NATO and EU For.

The launching of the EU Force first operation is a great moment for both the European Union, this country and NATO. Operation “Concordia” marks an important milestone in the development of EU Security and Defence Policy.

The multi-facet significance, which should not be underestimated or understated. For us in the EU, operation “Concordia” is a further sing of our strong commitment to this country, and we very much appreciate your cooperation, Mr President, and your Government, in making this takeover as smooth as possible.

I want to emphasise that the European Union is fully committed to preserving the sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and stability of your country. Your Government has, from the beginning, taken a resolutely positive attitude towards the EU, and has given a very high priority in moving your country closer to the European Union.

This is indeed a great day because NATO today gives passes to the European Union, the Euro Force its first operation, and, as Mr Solana has indicated, we are absolutely certain that it will be a success.

We prey for the safety of all the men and women who served, we wish them well and we thank them for serving their countries, for serving NATO and for serving the European Union.

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