Updated: 10-Apr-2002 Week of 8-14 April 2002

5 April 2002

Retraining of redundant military officers in Croatia

NATO has decided (5 April) to support a comprehensive programme set up by the Croatian government to retrain redundant military officers, as part of defence reforms being introduced in the country. The Croatian Separated Personnel Care and Transition Programme (SPECTRA) aims to provide support to all groups concerned, whether it is to develop individual transition plans, train personnel to face the job market or create sources of pre-identified jobs in the private sector or in other governmental agencies.

At a meeting in Zagreb on 25 March, experts from NATO and the Croatian Ministry of Defence and other Croatian organisations assessed the programme, including its financial dimensions. Representatives from the Stability Pact and the World Bank were also present at the meeting. The Croatian Defence Minister, Mr Rozo Rados, stated that the reconversion programme was now being considered "as one of the main priorities of the Croatian Ministry of Defence and the government as a whole". He added that, at a later stage, he would also be asking for assistance in the field of base closure as part of the global defence reform process in Croatia.

The NATO Experts Team was composed of experts from France, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom and chaired by a representative of the NATO Economics Directorate. NATO is participating in this programme through its South East Europe Initiative (SEEI), in support of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. The SEEI aims to integrate countries of the region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzgovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1)) into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. It promotes regional cooperation, builds platforms for common crisis management and defence management and for transparency in defence planning by giving advice and expertise and setting up concrete projects. The SEEI supports the objectives of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. This Stability Pact was launched by the European Union, in cooperation with the World Bank, in May 1999, a month after NATO's initiative was introduced. It is financed by the World Bank and other donors and is now under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Additional information:
  1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name