Pope Renews Appeal to EU Leaders on Constitution

Staff Reporter
Malta Independent
August 26, 2003

Pope John Paul II on Sunday issued a fresh appeal to EU leaders to ensure that a draft constitution under discussion for an enlarged European Union makes a clear reference to Europe's Christian heritage.

“The Catholic Church is convinced that the gospel of Christ, which has been a unifying element for the European people through centuries, still remains an unfailing source of spirituality and brotherhood today,” the pope said, renewing an appeal he has made on several occasions this summer.

He has urged European leaders, who failed to insert a mention of Christianity in the draft document when it was finalised in July, to ensure that an enlarged EU “rediscovers its true identity”.

Addressing pilgrims at the weekly angelus prayer at his summer residence south-east of Rome, the 83-year old pontiff said that incorporating Christianity in the European draft constitution would be “an advantage for all”.

“The explicit recognition in the treatise of the roots of Christianity in Europe would become the principal guarantee of the future of the continent,” he added.

Europe's leaders forged a draft constitution for an expanded 25-state EU earlier this year. To the Vatican's chagrin, and despite an intensive campaign by Church leaders, it makes no specific mention of what the pope has called “Europe's Christian roots”.

The final text is due to be hammered out by an Intergovernmental Conference from 4 October hosted by EU president Italy, one of the EU's most staunchly Catholic countries.

The president of the EU body which agreed the draft, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, has defended the absence of the reference on the grounds that some member states would not have accepted it.

He noted that the preamble referred to spiritual feelings in Europe, and said it was obvious that the reference was to Christianity.

High-ranking officials from the Church of England and Orthodox churches across eastern Europe, including Greece, Romania and Russia, have backed the pope's stance.

Solana Backs Fixed EU Seat on the Security Council

By Michael Mann
November 17, 1999

Strasbourg (France) - The European Union's foreign policy supremo on Wednesday supported calls for the EU to be granted a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. "I think it's a good idea.," Javier Solana, the formcr NATO secretary general, told a news briefing during a European Parliament session in Strasbourg.

Asked whether Italian calls to give the EU a permanent seat would mean France and Britain losing theirs, he said: "The Italian position doesn't foresee the French and British seats disappearing, but does foresee an EU seat." Solana, the EU's High Representative for its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), said he did not expect changes soon to the makeup of the Security Council, which has five permanent members France, Britain, the United States, China and Russia. "It would need time to have the possibility of turning such an idea into reality," he said. His comments coincide with debate about whether it is appropriate for France and Britain to keep their permanent seats on the Security Council, particularly as the 15 member EU strives to develop a coherent foreign policy identity.

Acknowledging that refom of the Security Council would be a long process, Solana told reporters that the current format "is probably not adapted to the realities of today. "It would be a step in the right direction if the international community achieves agreement for reform of the Security Council, European policy will have to have some representation. I do not say at this moment," he said. British European Affairs Minister Keith Vaz told reporters during a visit to Strasbourg that any change in Britain's role in the UN was "not on the agenda".

Europe Must Upgrade its Military Capabilities

Solana reiterated his belief that Europe must modernize its military, and that this would cost money. "I'm very convinced that if we want to be credible, one of the most important things is to upgrade our military capabilities. This may mean putting in some fresh money," He said recent events such as the Kosovo conflict illustrated the shortcomings in the ability of some European countries to provide hardware and personnel, compared with the United States which led a NATO bombing campaign. "European countries have a million soldiers on paper, but yet we bad problems to deploy 40,000 in Kosovo. That's the type of problem we face."

Solana and the EU's foreign and defence ministers met on Monday to consider how to forge a stronger foreign and security identity for Europe and consider creating a European force to tackle crises. Solana forecast significant developments in security and foreign policy in the next few months. EU leaders are supposed to decide how to move forward in this area during a summit of EU leaders in Helsinki next month.

EU set to demand permanent seat at UN

Written by Richard Carter
EU Observer

A report from the European Parliament suggests that the EU should have a permanent seat on the UN security council

The EU will soon demand its own permanent seat on the UN security council as a part of a wide-ranging reform paper to be presented by the European Parliament this week.

The paper, reported by German daily Die Welt, proposes that four new permanent seats be established, one for the EU and one for a representative of Africa, Latin American and Asia.

This would bring the number of permanent members of the security council up to nine. The council currently comprises five members - the US, France, the UK, China and Russia.

The document also suggests reform of the veto system. Under the present system, any one country can veto a UN resolution. But the EU is set to propose a "double veto" system, whereby two countries would need to use their power of veto to block a resolution from being passed.

According to the paper, the increased power would "reflect the present situation in the world and the European Union". The EU currently contributes 300 million euro for UN programmes around the world. If contributions from individual member states are included, then the EU makes up 37 percent of the UN's budget. In comparison, the US contributes 23 percent and Japan 20 percent.

The EU getting its own seat in the UN formed part of substantial deliberations in the Convention that drew up the draft EU Constitution.

It proved a very controversial issue. However, the new post of EU foreign minister (from 2006) could represent an important step towards eventual representation of the Union at the UN.

The Holy See and the U.N.


This past November, in an interview with a leading Italian daily, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, said that he "would not exclude" the possibility of the Holy See becoming a full member of the United Nations, where it presently is a "permanent observer."

(Cardinal Angelo Sodano)

The cardinal’s suggestion may have come in response to a campaign orchestrated by the the anti-Catholic lobby, "Catholics for a Free Choice," aimed at stripping the Holy See of its "permanent observer" status. The success of any such campaign seems very unlikely. But perhaps Vatican officials think that altering the Holy See’s form of participation at the U.N., from “permanent observer” to “member,” would torpedo this entire (blatantly bigoted) exercise. It is important to remember that the Holy See, not Vatican City State, exchanges diplomatic representation with over 175 countries, holds permanent observer status at the U.N., and is represented diplomatically at the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Organization of American States. What is the “Holy See”? Here, some legal technicalities are unavoidable.

According to a centuries-long development of understanding, recognized in international law and diplomatic custom, the “Holy See” is the juridical embodiment of the worldwide pastoral ministry of the Bishop of Rome as the head of the Catholic Church — itself a “sovereign” community, in the specific, technical sense that it has, of itself, all the means necessary to achieve its (spiritual) ends. Because of this, the Holy See has “legal personality” for purposes of international law and diplomacy: it can send and accept diplomatic representatives; it can sign international treaties; it can

The “legal personality” of the Holy See does not depend on the fact that Vatican City is an independent state. Diplomats are normally said to be accredited to “the Vatican,” but this is journalistic shorthand for the Holy See, for it’s to the Holy See that diplomats are in fact accredited. Indeed, in the years between 1870 (when the Pope became the “prisoner of the Vatican”) and the Lateran Treaty of 1929 (which created an independent Vatican City State), the Holy See continued to send out nuncios and receive ambassadors. During those fifty-nine years, the Holy See’s legal personality wasn’t changed by the fact that the Pope no longer ruled a defined piece of territory; the Pope remained the sovereign head of the Catholic Church, which is the essential element in the equation.

This arrangement has many advantages. The fact that the Holy See speaks in international organizations underscores the fact that the Church’s presence is one of moral witness and service. The Holy See is not a state, and the way it functions in international meetings, through “permanent observer” status, helps underline that. In a word, the Holy See is a uniquely disinterested party in international public life, speaking for the universal common good and not for any particular national “interest.”

These may seem utterly arcane matters, of interest only to international lawyers and diplomats. In fact, though, what is at stake here is the Church’s public witness on the international plane. How is that witness to be exercised in the world of international diplomacy, and in a way that communicates the Church’s distinct mission? Would the Church’s moral voice be muted or confused as another “member” of a club of states?

The Church has a right to a place at the table where the “ought” question of the human future are being debated. How it sits at that table will inevitably color what it says and how it is heard. Cardinal Sodano has raised some very large questions indeed.

George Weigel "The Holy See and the U.N." The Catholic Difference. 2003


Following is the opening part of the statement, as delivered by Assembly President Jan Kavan (Czech Republic) to today’s concluding meeting of the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly:

The United Nations has been through a very difficult year. During this fifty-seventh session, the General Assembly discussed a wide range of issues from conflict prevention to more effective implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, from more coordinated and integrated follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits to one of the most important issues on the UN agenda -– reform of the United Nations system. We have reached consensus and adopted many resolutions and decisions, however, some of the ideas and proposals have not been finalized. I expect that consideration of these ideas will continue in the fifty-eighth session. However, I also hope that the United Nations will focus not only on General Assembly matters, and its revitalization, but also on further involvement of the United Nations in guiding the world’s affairs. I am convinced that the role of the United Nations should be far more decisive than it has been in recent times and that it should correctly reflect the role assigned to it in the Charter. This obviously applies also to the Security Council and its responsibilities in areas of maintenance of international peace and security, today particularly including Iraq.

For the United Nations to be better equipped for such a key role it has to implement major reform. I hope that some time in the not too distant future, the Security Council will reflect both the needs and the geopolitical situation of the beginning of twenty-first century. I also expect, as I made clear in my Note of the President of the General Assembly, dated today, on revitalization of the General Assembly, that the General Assembly will be strengthened and become more effective and action-oriented. Moreover, I hope that the General Assembly will unequivocally embark on the road leading, in time, to what the former Permanent Representative of France, Ambassador Jean-David Levitte, called the parliament of the world.

‘Time is ripe’ to reform UN institutions, Annan tells world leaders

58th UN General Assembly
23 September 2003

Calling for wide-ranging United Nations reform in order to win the respect of the peoples of the world, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today exhorted the leaders of the world to grapple resolutely with the issue after a decade of indecision, particularly in reshaping the Security Council.

"I believe the time is ripe for a hard look at fundamental policy issues, and at the structural changes that may be needed in order to strengthen them," Mr. Annan said in an opening address to the General Assembly on the first day of its annual general debate attended by scores of Heads of State and Government.

NATO Parliamentary Assembly - 'Developing concensus'






1. 2003 was a very "interesting" year for the United Nations, the European Union and NATO. The lack of a shared threat perception among European member countries significantly contributed to the transatlantic rift over the war in Iraq last year. A number of American strategic analysts criticised America's European allies not only for their continuing unwillingness to invest in the necessary military capabilities but also for a lack of strategic thinking. The European Security Strategy (ESS) has thus been born out of the EU's disagreements over Iraq and is an attempt to ensure that Europe holds a common view of international security challenges. The adoption of the first ever ESS at the December 2003 Rome European Council represents a large step forward towards a better co-ordinated European Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

2. The ESS, titled "A Secure Europe in a Better World", is significant because it implies a paradigm change as the EU now considers itself a global actor which is prepared to play its part for global security. Moreover, the ESS represents a common European response to counter today's security risks. Before this, European security activities were "reactive, without a strategy" as a senior French Foreign Ministry official commented to the Sub-Committee last year.

3. While the ESS has been widely welcomed, it is important to look at its possible implications for the Alliance and particularly for what NATO allies consider the three most important security threats, i.e. those posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), by terrorists and those by failed states. In this context, this report will briefly relate the ESS to NATO's Strategic Concept and the US National Security Strategy (NSS), which has instigated considerable transatlantic discussions over "pre-emption" and "multi-lateralism".


4. The ESS consists of three sections, the first of which presents a European analysis of the current security environment. The second part identifies three strategic objectives for the EU. Finally, the third section maps out the policy implications for the EU.

5. With regard to the current security environment, the ESS begins by listing the negative aspects of globalisation, arguing that poverty, disease, competition for scarce resources and global warming could have a negative impact on the security of EU member countries. Anticipating that "large scale aggression against any member state is now improbable" the ESS identifies five key threats that are interconnected, namely:

* terrorism, which has become global in its "scope and is linked to religious extremism"; Europe "is both a target and a base for such terrorism", the ESS notes;

* proliferation of WMD, "potentially the greatest threat to our security";

* regional conflicts, both worldwide and in the EU's neighbourhood, which has an impact on "European interests directly and indirectly" and which "can lead to extremism, terrorism and state failure";

* state failure, which "undermines global governance and adds to regional instability" and which "can be associated with obvious threats, such as organised crime or terrorism"; and

* organised crime, which can be linked to terrorism and is "often associated with weak or failing states"; organised crime has thus an "important external dimension" such as "cross-border trafficking of drugs, women, illegal immigrants and weapons".

6. In essence, the EU's analysis of security threats is largely similar to those identified by NATO's Strategic Concept and the US NSS. Nonetheless, the ESS's comprehensive approach towards security contrasts with the Strategic Concept, agreed upon at the 1999 Washington Summit, and, to a lesser degree, the NSS, adopted in September 2002. While NATO's approach to security was broadened after the end of the Cold War, the Strategic Concept is comparatively narrower in focus, reflecting its role as an alliance of collective defence. The 1999 Washington declaration identified the following as the Alliance's core functions: providing the basis for a stable Euro-Atlantic security environment; a forum for transatlantic consultation; deterrence and defence; and strengthening the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area through conflict prevention, partnership, co-operation and dialogue. At the 2002 Prague Summit, NATO recognised terrorism, WMD, and failed states as the defining security challenges of the 21st century. Heads of State and governments of NATO member countries adopted a package of measures designed to strengthen NATO's readiness and ability to take on the full spectrum of security challenges, including sending forces to wherever they are needed to meet these challenges.

7. Threats are dominant throughout the NSS, which considers all policy areas in the light of the fight against WMD proliferation, rogue states, and particularly the "war against terrorism"1. The EU talks about failed states, whereas the US language towards these regimes is much stronger and far more explicit. In contrast to the US, the EU does not seem to make such a strong connection between terrorism, WMD and so-called rogue states. However, the EU does recognise the frightening scenario of terrorists gaining access to WMD. The NSS, too, acknowledges the importance of environmental and health issues for security and advocates an active development strategy, which states that the US and other developed countries should "halve the size of the world's poorest economies within a decade". The NSS states that "sustained growth and poverty reduction is impossible without the right national policies". Similarly, the ESS says that "bad governance" is often at the heart of regional conflicts and poverty, and stresses that "security is a precondition for development". Both the NSS and the ESS refer to the underlying sources for terrorism. The NSS, for instance, states "that the US will support moderate and modern governing to ensure that conditions [...] that promote terrorism do not find fertile ground in any nation, and that it will try to diminish the underlying conditions that spawn terrorism".

8. It should be noted that the ESS's first draft had a much stronger emphasis on threats, especially on terrorism and WMD, and was thus closer to the NSS. In comparison to the June 2003 draft, the final and adopted version of the ESS has been broadened and toned down. It now pays more attention to the effects of globalisation, while state failure and organised crime have become separate entries in the list of key threats. The ESS also added regional conflicts as a key security threat. Moreover, while the Solana draft considered WMD proliferation "the single most important threat", the adopted ESS considers it as "potentially the greatest threat to our security".


9. "To defend Europe's security and to promote its values" the ESS puts forward three strategic objectives. Accordingly, the EU must 1) "address the threats", 2) "build security in its neighbourhood", and 3) help establish "an international order based on effective multilateralism".

10. With regard to the first objective, the ESS lists the initiatives the EU has already taken, particularly

- the European Arrest Warrant and measures addressing terrorist financing and an agreement on mutual legal assistance with the US; * the EU's longstanding non-proliferation policies, highlighting its commitment to strong and verifiable multilateral treaty regimes; * its interventions to help deal with regional conflicts, notably in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

11. The ESS identifies "building security in our neighbourhood" as a second strategic objective, which requires the promotion of a "ring of well-governed countries to the East and on the borders of the Mediterranean." In this context, it specifically refers to the "still fragile Western Balkans"2 and stresses the need to extend benefits of economic and political co-operation to future neighbours such as Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, and the countries in the Southern Caucasus. It also refers to the Mediterranean area and the Arab-Israeli conflict.


12. The ESS declares the establishment of "an effective multilateral system", as well as "a stronger international society, well-functioning international institutions, and a rule-based international order" as a "strategic objective". In comparison with the NSS, the ESS explicitly refers to the UN Charter and puts a stronger emphasis on international law and international institutions. In contrast, by emphasising that "the US NSS will be based on a distinctly American internationalism" the NSS seems to reflect greater sense of uniqueness.

13. It is important to note that the US Security Strategy devotes considerable parts to international co-operation. It stresses that "in today's globalised world we need support from allies and friends" and "there is little of lasting consequence the United States can accomplish in the world without the sustained co-operation of allies and friends in Canada and Europe". The ESS highlights the importance of transatlantic ties and the need for the US and the EU to work as equal partners. It emphasises the EU's commitment to NATO and states that a "balanced" partnership between the EU and the United States should be incorporated into the future European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).

14. Although the NSS also mentions diplomatic, economic and other tools to tackle security challenges, it puts a stronger emphasis on military power and identifies areas in which the establishment of an American defence needs to adapt to the new security environment. In comparison, the ESS recognises that the strategic environment has radically changed and that the traditional concept of self-defence is no longer valid. Hence, the first line of defence is now often abroad: "Conflict prevention and threat prevention cannot start too early. [...] None of the new threats is purely military; nor can be tackled by purely military means". The European strategy also recognises that the EU may have to use force to prevent the construction of WMD and indicates support for pre-emptive strikes. In doing so, the EU clarifies that it no longer merely considers itself as a civilian power, but that it acknowledges the need for using military muscle, if necessary. Although the EU has moved closer to the US administration's views on pre-emption, it retains a different view on pre-emptive action. More specifically, with regard to coercive military action as a means of last resort, the ESS requires a mandate from the UN Security Council before joint action can be undertaken. In addition, the final version of the EU Security Strategy puts a stronger emphasis on "confidence building and arms control regimes".

15. In comparison, the US security paper anticipates that some of the US' enemies cannot be deterred: "Deterrence based only upon the threat of retaliation is likely to work against leaders of rogue states more willing to take risks. [...] Traditional concepts of deterrence will not work against a terrorist enemy". One of NSS's key sentences is that the US "will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defence by acting pre-emptively". The language of the NSS implies a stronger emphasis on military aspects of pre-emptive action (as a means of last resort); the ESS highlights preventive engagement with a stronger emphasis on non-military tools, including a wide range of economic and diplomatic tools, as well as aid and trade.


16. What are the implications of the ESS for combating the proliferation of WMD and internationally active terrorist groups? Fighting terrorists effectively requires the fullest possible international co-operation, especially in sharing intelligence, law enforcement, border security and the tracking of terrorist finances. The vast majority of activities designed to defeat internationally active terrorist groups are diplomatic, economic and financial. But the military, too, has a role to play either because terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda operate at an ever-increasing level in the spectrum of violence, blurring the distinction between terrorism and warfare or because the difference between internal and external security is also fading, and the military may have to deal with challenges that police forces are simply unable to handle.

17. As an alliance originally set up for the collective defence of its member nations, NATO did not have a comprehensive strategy against terrorism. However, in the process of its ongoing post-Cold War transformation, and particularly after 9-11, the Alliance has made - and continues to make - substantial contributions to the fight against internationally active terrorist groups. A general compilation of NATO's efforts in the defence and military realms provides the following picture.

18. Shortly after 9-11, NATO assisted in the global fight against terrorism with a number of measures, including enhancing intelligence sharing, providing access to ports and airfields, granting blanket over-flight clearance, increasing security for US bases on allied territory, "backfilling" selected US and allied military assets withdrawn from NATO's area of responsibility, and providing assistance to allies and other states that were subject to increased threats due to their support of the war against terrorism. Operation Eagle Assist provided NATO Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft. The UK and France contributed support aircraft to the air campaign over Afghanistan, deployed ground troops inside the country before the Taliban regime was overthrown and dispatched naval forces to the Indian Ocean for maritime surveillance/interdiction operations. Other NATO nations also sent naval forces to the Indian Ocean and deployed special forces inside Afghanistan. NATO has also taken charge of the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in August 2003, its first ever mission outside the NATO area.

19. As part of Operation Active Endeavour the Alliance has sent its Standing Naval Force Mediterranean to the eastern Mediterranean to demonstrate, resolve and establish a NATO presence in the region. This mission was extended in early March 2003, as NATO maritime forces began escorting designated merchant ships from NATO member countries through the Straits of Gibraltar. Active Endeavour was expanded in March 2004 to cover the entire Mediterranean Sea.

20. NATO has also agreed on a new military concept to fight terrorism in which the alliance does not exclude a pre-emptive use of military force. What is more, the Alliance has made the fight against terrorists a key issue in its partnerships including, among others the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), and its Mediterranean Dialogue. For example, the Allies have agreed on intelligence assessments of various aspects of the problem and is examining closer co-operation in airspace management to prevent terrorist threats to civil aviation. In addition, the Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism provides a framework document for NATO-Partner co-operation on terrorism, defining partnership roles as well as instruments for fighting terrorism and managing its consequences. NATO's seven Mediterranean Dialogue partners participate in activities under the plan on a case-by-case basis.

21. The Alliance has approved a request from Greece to provide anti-terrorist protection during the Olympic Games and a similar appeal from Portugal for the European Football championship. Moreover, at their informal spring meeting in 2004, foreign affairs ministers agreed on a declaration on terrorism. At the Istanbul Summit this year, NATO decided to strengthen its contribution to the fight against terrorists. The enhanced package of measures on the fight against terrorism building on those agreed by the Alliance Heads of State and Government at Prague in November 2002 includes, among others:

* improved intelligence sharing between Allies, as well as intensified exchanges of information and intelligence with other international organisations and with the Partners;
* enhanced and more rapid response to national requests for NATO support (e.g. through the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Co-ordination Centre and use of NATO chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence assets) to help protect against and following a terrorist incident;
* further development of the contribution of Operation Active Endeavour to the fight against terrorism;
* strong support for the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI);
* supporting the continued determination of Allies to address the threat posed by terrorist use of civil aircraft; and * enhancing capabilities to defend against terrorist attacks;
* increased co-operation with NATO Partners, including through the implementation of the Civil Emergency Action Plan and the Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism and with other international and regional organisations, including the active pursuit of consultations and exchange of information with the EU.


22. To combat the threat posed by terrorism, the EU has agreed on a set of broad political measures of co-operation that were introduced after 9-11. The EU's "Plan of Action to Combat Terrorism", put forward the responsibility of the member states and made the fight against all forms of terrorism a priority for the EU. The EU has incorporated the fight against terrorism into all aspects of its external policy. The Union has undertaken various initiatives with a view to gradually introducing an integrated and co-ordinated management of its external borders. Internally, the criminal law of the 25 EU member states has been aligned so that terrorism is prosecuted and punished in the same manner throughout the EU. The EU has also introduced a European-wide search and arrest warrant, new extradition procedures, agreement on data sharing, and more prominent roles for the European police office, Europol, whose anti-terrorist cell is already supposed to allow information to be exchanged, and Eurojust, the European unit, which is supposed to co-ordinate investigations and prosecutions between national prosecuting authorities. The EU has also assisted the US in the areas of police and judicial co-operation, in particular regarding regulation on extradition and police surveillance. At the EU-US Summit this June, both sides agreed to work together to deepen the international consensus and enhance international efforts to combat terrorism through the support of the United Nations. They also agreed to share data on lost and stolen passports, to have a regular dialogue on terrorist financing, to identify areas for closer co-operation in dealing with the consequences of terrorist attacks and to focus assistance programmes on the enhancement of counterterrorist capacity and commitment in priority third countries.

23. While the EU makes a meaningful contribution to tackling terrorism, it identified a number of shortcomings at the March Council. For example, none of the instruments adopted after 9-11 have been implemented by all EU member states. For example, even though the ESS explicitly refers to it, five EU member countries have not yet implemented the European arrest warrant, which has replaced the previous, sometimes cumbersome extradition procedures. Moreover, as the Madrid bombings on 11 March 2004 demonstrated, co-operation among European agencies in the field of intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism is underdeveloped and the European Commission has criticised EU governments for not implementing agreements. In particular, the Commission bemoaned that only four member states have ratified the EU Convention on Mutual Assistance (2000) and the Additional Protocol (2001) and that three EU member countries still refuse to report on the implementation of the landmark framework decision of the fight against terrorism (which was adopted in the wake of 9-11 to ensure that the definition of terrorist crimes is similar across the European Union). The Commission has also complained about the lack of information it receives from EU members in connection with money laundering and criminal funding.

24. Moreover, the framework decision on joint investigation teams, designed to tackle cross-border criminal activities, has not yet been implemented. Similarly, the Commission encourages EU governments to give attention to the decision establishing Eurojust, the decision on the implementation of specific measures for police and judicial co-operation to combat terrorism, the framework decision on the execution in the EU of orders freezing property or evidence, and the existing legislation on maritime and aviation security.

25. In order to strengthen EU activities, the EU Council meeting in Brussels this March appointed an anti-terrorism co-ordinator to bring together all anti-terrorism policies and efforts within the EU. The EU Counter-terrorism Co-ordinator reports on official EU policy and progress in this field to the EU's High Representative Javier Solana and to the member states on a regular basis. However, a proposal to establish a European intelligence agency, something like a "European CIA", was not consensual. Despite intensified co-operation in the field of counter-terrorism, sharing sensitive information remains a cumbersome, and sometimes controversial issue between the different European governments and their security services. There is, for example, the fear that sharing information with 25 countries might jeopardise operations and special relations with non-EU partners, including the United States.

26. Likewise, in late March 2004, EU foreign ministers endorsed a draft declaration calling counter-terrorism "a key element of political dialogue" and saying it would be a factor in "all relevant external assistance programs". Hence, the EU can threaten to withdraw economic support for countries that fall short in the fight against terrorism. As the world's biggest trading block and supplier of development aid this adds a powerful instrument to the EU's developing toolbox for combating terrorism.


27. In the area of proliferation, both NATO and the EU have gradually developed their roles to prevent the spread of WMD and their means of delivery. Recognising that WMD and their means of delivery can pose a direct military threat to NATO territory, populations and forces, NATO foreign ministers issued the "Alliance Policy Framework on Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction" in 1994 which states that the principal goal of the Alliance and its member states is to prevent proliferation or reverse it by diplomatic means. Since then, the Alliance has increasingly focused on the range of defence capabilities needed to devalue WMD proliferation and use. NATO's WMD centre, created after the 1999 Washington Summit, is already helping to improve consultations on non-proliferation, arms control, and disarmament issues, and supports defence efforts to improve the readiness of the Alliance to respond to the risks of WMD and their means of delivery. Of course, intelligence sharing is a very sensitive and tricky issue: even on a national level, intelligence services may disagree on threats. Moreover, assessing and acting upon intelligence is subject to political interpretation. Also, intelligence services tend to be very reluctant to share estimates for several reasons. Intelligence exchange very much depends on trust and reciprocity and can only develop gradually over time.

28. At the Prague Summit, NATO adopted a number of initiatives, including the five nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (NBC) defence initiatives that derive from the WMD Initiative (WMDI) of the 1999 Washington Summit and that enhance NATO's capabilities against WMD attacks. These are a Disease Surveillance System, an NBC Event Response Team, a Deployable NBC Analytical Laboratory, a NATO Biological and Chemical Defence Stockpile and a continued training in NBC defence. In this field, NATO continues to complement its work with that of other international organisations such as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the World Health Organisation.

29. While the EU has long provided financial and technical assistance to co-operative threat reduction (CTR) programmes in Russia, it was only in December 2003 that it agreed on a more comprehensive strategy against WMD proliferation4. Together with the ESS, the "EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction" forms the basis of Europe's response to the dangers of WMD proliferation. Thus, for the first time, the EU has moved beyond traditional European approaches to the problem of WMD proliferation by acknowledging that there may be occasions when it is necessary to resort to force. The EU's WMD proliferation strategy, also adopted by the European Council in December 2003, consists of two stages. The first includes strengthening the multilateral non-proliferation treaties and export control regimes, notably with regard to verification, and, in the longer perspective, dealing with the underlying causes of proliferation by pursuing political solutions to tensions and disputes and regional arrangements for arms control and disarmament. Only when these instruments have failed can "coercive measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and international law" be envisaged, as a last resort.

30. The EUs WMD strategy is based on the concepts of responsibility, prevention, and partnerships. For example, the strategy also includes strengthening monitoring agreements with traditional allies such as Japan. Japan and the EU have recently adopted a joint statement promoting, among other things, co-operation on disarmament and non-proliferation in Asia. The EU specifically recommends the strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) by working to ensure "concrete outcomes" from the work of the expert groups. This is in direct contrast to the Bush administration's stance on the treaty.

31. One of the most important advances is a commitment to developing common European threat assessments rather than national analyses. To that end, the EU established a Situation Centre that prepares and continuously updates threat assessments. It is also planned to have a Monitoring Centre on WMD Disarmament and Non-Proliferation to ensure that the Action Plan is implemented, to collate information and intelligence, to liaise with international bodies, and to propose measures to prevent and combat WMD proliferation.


32. A significant section of the EU security document focuses on WMD proliferation and international terrorism. This in itself is important because Europeans have never before seriously discussed WMD proliferation amongst themselves at the EU level. While the ESS is rather similar in its assessment of security risks, this does not necessarily mean that Europeans will move closer to the Bush administration's thinking on these issues. Two fundamental differences between the US and its allies remain: firstly, the United States feels "at war" after 9-11, while most allies do not. The Madrid bombings have not significantly changed this. Secondly, in contrast to the United States, Europeans have not considered the war in Iraq as a part of combating terrorist groups. Therefore, it appears likely that the EU's policy mix will be different from Washington in the balance between strengthening international treaties, improving inspection and verification mechanisms, implementing sanctions, and using military force.

33. With regard to WMD proliferation, non-compliance with international agreements to counter the spread of dangerous weapons and their delivery means and illegal trade pose key problems, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and proliferation experts informed the Sub-Committee during its visit to the United States this spring. Denying access to highly enriched uranium, especially to terrorist groups, is absolutely vital, which could be achieved by placing enrichment and reprocessing of fissile material under international control. Unless and until they can produce their own nuclear materials, terrorists must look to steal (or buy stolen) weapons-grade uranium or plutonium that exists in national stockpiles. Experts at the Monterey Center for Non-Proliferation Studies informed the Sub-Committee that international efforts should focus much more on securing nuclear materials, especially in Russia, which possesses the largest and most vulnerable stocks of these materials.

34. While international programmes to help Russia keep its weapons and nuclear materials secure, especially the US-led CTR and the G-8 Global Partnership Initiative, have improved the situation, securing nuclear sites remains a challenge that must be addressed more effectively. Progress in tackling weak accountability, insufficient on-site security, and the disastrous state of physical protection of material has been very slow. Moreover, there is a pressing need to expand the efforts made in Russia to other countries of the CIS and beyond. However, the EU non-proliferation policy suffers from an imbalance between the means and efforts devoted to dealing with proliferation issues in the Russian Federation on the one hand and other states of concern, already identified as priorities by the member states of the EU, NATO and the G-8 on the other. Better co-ordination and more financial resources are needed to tackle the problems, also to globally convert research reactors away from highly enriched uranium.

35. Similar issues need to be solved in the realm of Biological Weapons (BW), where the problems are even worse, partly because of the lack of co-operation inside Russia. Moreover, as the Sub-Committee learned during its recent visit to the US, Europe was "absent" in the area of tackling BW. The ESS, and the two EU non-proliferation documents can provide an impetus for stronger EU-action in this area. However, the ESS, and the WMD Action Plan, also need to be improved, as they are weak on internal responses to proliferation (such as monitoring, border controls, responding to an attack).

36. The ESS strongly argues for strengthening international agreements in the realm of arms control and non-proliferation. Although recent developments have illustrated serious gaps in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime, it has overall been remarkably successful. The two main shortcomings of the NPT are that membership is not comprehensive (India, Pakistan and Israel are not part of the treaty) and it is impossible to detect the intentions of governments. President Bush's speech of February 11 was a positive step towards filling these gaps. The measures he announced would, overall, help forge a stronger, more effective and more international non-proliferation policy. However, non-proliferation policy should not be limited to rogue states and terrorists that seek nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. The easiest route for proliferators to acquire nuclear weapons is to go to those states that already possess them. The US administration also introduced at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) a draft resolution on Non-Proliferation. The resulting UNSC Resolution 1540, adopted on 28 April 2004, strengthens international anti-proliferation laws and co-operation as it holds sovereign states are responsible for writing and implementing laws and for closing the loopholes exploited by black market WMD networks.

37. Last year's crisis over Iraq highlighted a key strategic dispute concerning the imminence of threats posed by WMD and the wider issue of the adequacy of arms control regimes and diplomacy to deal preventively with these threats. Some analysts have argued that crevices have opened up resulting from different attitudes toward the use of force and the ability of regimes to solve WMD problems. One of the key problems is the availability and the interpretation of risks. The fact that no WMD have been found yet in Iraq, has not only severely undermined the credibility of governments, which have argued that Saddam Hussein's regime posed an "immediate threat" but also that of intelligence as a whole. A common EU strategy that provides, over time, a common threat assessment can be crucial in re-establishing lost credibility.

38. With regard to terrorism, NATO assists in combating international terrorist groups, but does not play a leading role, because it is not primarily a military task. Although NATO has initiated numerous activities, it does not have a comprehensive concept. It would be important for member countries to define more clearly what exactly NATO's contribution to the fight against terrorism could be. NATO foreign ministers' agreement on a definition of terrorism is a first step in this direction. Moreover, because the Alliance remains the pivotal forum for transatlantic security dialogue, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) could be used more effectively to devise common approaches towards terrorism.

39. Full implementation of the UNSC resolutions on terrorism is an important issue, especially because not all UN member countries have complied with the obligations of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC). Close diplomatic co-operation of NATO and EU member countries could be helpful to press reluctant countries to meet the requirements. Moreover, NATO and EU member countries could work together to tackle legal issues, for example how the international community could deal with non-state actors.

40. The ESS could help to establish and improve, respectively, a policy dialogue between NATO and EU on key issues related to WMD, especially in the areas of tackling rogue states and ways to strengthen non-proliferation agreements, as well as counter-proliferation tools such as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Likewise, the ESS could generate a better co-ordination of efforts among EU member countries in the realms of anti-terrorism and counter-proliferation approach efforts. The ESS could thus lead to a strengthening of the "European pillar" within NATO. It is important to add, however, that any co-ordinated European stance must not be detrimental to NATO decision-making procedures in the sense that a position taken by EU member countries would block NATO consensus. Regrettably, apart from informal staff-to-staff meetings, consultations and exchange of information between NATO and the EU are hampered because of the unresolved issue of Cyprus and the format of NATO-EU meetings. Your Rapporteur hopes that the EU will soon find a compromise, which allows improved co-operation and exchange of information.


41. The EU strategy "A Secure Europe in a Better World" offers a good basis to further develop Europe's CFSP and to reduce European policy and capability redundancies. However, as the EU no longer considers itself as a merely civilian power, the ESS must be further developed to answer the question under which conditions the EU would consider using military force to meet its political objectives and, particularly under which conditions it would be prepared to employ pre-emptive military action.

42. The ESS rightly stresses the need for Europe "to develop a strategic culture that fosters early, rapid and - when necessary - robust intervention". Of course, CFSP is and remains an intergovernmental process based on unanimity. Therefore, national governments and national parliaments continue to play an important role in formulating foreign and security policy. Until recently, strategic debates, to the extent they have been conducted in EU member countries, have been primarily national ones. Although the ESS argues for the development of an "EU strategic culture" it provides only little specification with regards to this issue, with the exception of four areas for initial action, identified by the December 2003 European Council meeting in Brussels:

* "effective multilateralism with the UN at its core" to which the EU-UN joint declaration of 24 September 2003 has given new impetus;
* "the fight against terrorism" which the EU sees primarily as a matter of law enforcement;
* "a strategy towards the region of the Middle East"
* "a comprehensive policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina".

For many years, the members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly have addressed these and other relevant issues of Euro-Atlantic security. Therefore, the Assembly can make a meaningful contribution to reinvigorate a strategic debate between Europe and the United States, and the EU and NATO in particular. In this context, your Rapporteur wants to suggest to further deepen the Assembly's interaction with European institutions, particularly the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council.

43. In analysing the possible implications of the ESS for NATO and the EU, your Rapporteur has found it useful to relate to NATO's Strategic Concept and the NSS for "compatibility reasons". However, it is important to point out the differences between the three documents. The ESS attempts to set out how EU member countries, some of which are non-aligned, plan to advance their common security. The Strategic Concept is the basic document of common threats of an organisation whose core mission is the collective security of its member countries. The NSS is an outline of how a sovereign state views its own security. Neither the ESS nor the NSS or the Strategic Concept are immediately operational documents in the sense that they do not provide a detailed plan for action. Rather, they lay out the principal objectives and the main ways to achieve these. Thus, they constitute a set of policy choices. The dispute over Iraq among EU member countries was primarily about agreeing to military intervention. However, another underlying issue was that of the positioning of Europe towards the US. The fact that EU member countries were able to agree on a security consensus relatively shortly after their disagreements over Iraq is a positive development. But it must be ascertained that EU positions are not designed to create a "counterweight" to the United States, and that they are fully compatible to the consensus of NATO member countries. In this sense, it is necessary that the ESS is further developed to put forward a possible division of labour between the EU and NATO.

44. Adoption of the ESS provides an opportunity to establish a more comprehensive approach to security, both in a regional and topical sense. With regard to the former, it can help to improve transatlantic co-operation concerning the stabilisation of the Mediterranean and the so-called "Broader Middle East", especially in Afghanistan and Iraq. With regard to the latter, it could foster better collaboration on how to handle rogue states; Iran is a case in point.

45. In the area of WMD proliferation, the current problems posed by Iran's nuclear enrichment programme is something like a litmus test for the ESS in action: The question is whether the EU and NATO Allies can agree on a realistic and sustainable common policy approach on this issue. In the view of your Rapporteur, the Allies need to devise a policy that supports Iran's political development but explicitly avoids the rhetoric of regime change, which only stirs up nationalist feelings in Iran. The immediate goal should be to move Iran to fulfil its promise made in the fall of 2003 to the EU-3, namely to verifiably terminate all work on enrichment and reprocessing. In the longer term, agreement must be reached on the permanent abandonment of uranium enrichment and other capacities of the nuclear fuel cycle, ratification of the IAEA Additional Protocol and the acceptance of further safeguards that make it possible to determine the civilian nature of the nuclear programme.

46. The issue has once again exposed the differences between the US and Europe, with the latter reluctant to take the matter to the Security Council and ultimately to impose sanctions. Iran has capitalised on the lack of consensus between the US and Europe to block verification attempts and play each side off against the other. It demanded extensive concessions from the Europeans in order to cease enrichment, which it claims is for civilian purposes only. Continuing US pressure and its presence in Afghanistan and Iraq may have forced Iran's hand. Repeated talk by hardliners of a possible pre-emptive military strike by the United States or Israel, which has recently bought 500 "bunker buster" bombs from the United States which could be used to penetrate underground Iranian facilities, appears to have added to Iranian leaders intransigence. Iran has thus far failed to fulfil its promises of the fall 2003 agreement with the EU and has hidden important aspects of its nuclear programme. Subsequently, the Europeans appear to be moving closer to the US position.

47. In addition to possible sanctions, the international community needs to offer incentives, especially the prospects of establishing economic relations. Opportunities for influencing Iran are particularly presented by the country's economic situation, especially as a huge number of jobs need to be created for the younger generation and this will require an increase in foreign private investment. Thus far, led by the EU-3, comprising the United Kingdom, France and Germany, the Europeans have successfully managed to speak with one voice in dealing with Iran, an important development. If the ESS's vision of effective multi-lateralism is to function successfully, EU and NATO Allies will have to agree on a strategy of escalation. Europe has relied on soft power to negotiate but, if Iran fails to commit to the suspension of all nuclear weapons-related activities by the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in late November, the three must decide whether to take a harder line. The main challenge is whether they are prepared to escalate pressure on Tehran in response to broken promises.

48. Concerning the fight against terrorist groups, closer co-operation within the EU, but also with partners such as the United States and Canada, and, of course, the UN will be essential. Implementation of the ESS also requires quicker implementation of EU agreements into national legislation as well as further improvements in the co-ordination of EU activities. For example, the EU member countries two most important working groups on terrorism, the Terrorism Working Group and the Working Party on Terrorism meet only once a year and work separately. What is more, they are not integrated in the Brussels decision-making process. Also, the EU still lacks a committee that deals with terrorist financing, and there is no body that co-ordinates the activities of different committees, many of which are involved only in aspects of terrorism. Your Rapporteur supports the proposal put forward by, among others, the EU's Anti-terrorism Co-ordinator Gijs de Vries to streamline existing committee structures and to authorise EU Member states Permanent Representatives (COREPER) to co-ordinate work more effectively.

49. The transatlantic partnership remains absolutely vital to Euro-Atlantic security. Its future will be defined not to a small degree by Europe's active contributions to our common security. In this context, the EU member countries must be clear about the role of NATO and the EU for European security. As both organisations continue to change, there is an increasing possibility of overlap in competences and tasks. Both organisations must be complementary, and it is important to make the best use of both organisations' inherent strengths. NATO has a comparative advantage in the field of security and defence, while the EU holds a comparative advantage in all issues related to the economic field, especially in trade and development assistance. The ESS acknowledges this, but further work remains necessary to fine tune the priorities as well as the instruments of EU member states in the area of security. However, whether the EU will be able to really become a global security provider, and develop a truly balanced partnership with NATO, will eventually depend on the political will - and resources provided - of its member states.

1 It should be noted that the term "war against terrorism", although widely used, is incorrect. Zbigniew Brzezinski rightly pointed out that terrorism is a technique for killing people and that waging a "war against terrorism" would be similar as if to say that World War II was not against the Nazis but against Blitzkrieg.
2 The report of the Sub-Committee on NATO Partnerships, presented by Mr Marco Minniti (Italy) analyses the EU and NATO's contributions to the security in this region.
3 In the view of your Rapporteur it would be helpful to differentiate the threats posed by these weapons as the catastrophic effects of a nuclear and, to a lesser degree, biological attack is likely to have much more catastrophic consequences than a chemical one.
4 Basic Principles for an EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction" and an "Action Plan for the implementation of the Basic Principles for an EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction" were already agreed upon in June 2003.


NATO Parliamentary Assembly





1. Over the past few years, this Sub-Committee has closely monitored the development of NATO's strategic partnership with the European Union. Since its start in 1991, when the Maastricht Treaty introduced the concept of a common foreign and security policy (CFSP) for the new European Union, the EU has gradually taken on a more prominent role in European security matters.

2. The Alliance, too, underwent profound adjustments in the same period, thereby greatly expanding its contribution to Euro-Atlantic security. As NATO's transformation process continues, it puts greater emphasis on its relations with international organisations, particularly with the European Union. While the development of its partnership with the EU has not been without complications, the closer co-operation with the EU has allowed NATO to shift its attention beyond its traditional area.

3. However, despite the present climate of improvement and strengthening of transatlantic relations stressed by the visit of President Bush to Europe in February this year, the NATO-EU dialogue has stalled. This is primarily due to pending political and institutional issues. With regard to the former, there are different views on how to promote building European capabilities and structures that could allow for European independent action, if necessary, and on how this could affect NATO-EU co-operation. Institutionally, after Cyprus' EU accession there has been no agreement to have meetings between NATO and the EU at 25 outside the "Berlin Plus" arrangements. As known, the arrangements limit NATO-EU in the framework of military operations with recourse to NATO assets and capabilities to EU countries that are also members of NATO's Partnership for Peace. Your rapporteur welcomes the decision by the EU to begin accession negotiations with Turkey (and Croatia). He hopes that this will help remove existing constraints to NATO-EU collaboration and will further deepen and develop the existing security co-operation. It is remarkable that the negotiation document adopted by the EU mentions explicitly Cyprus' application to PfP and in this perspective the agreement on the declaration made by the British Presidency could be seen as an impulse to co-operation in the full respect of the autonomy of each organization or state.

4. The agenda of joint NATO-EU meetings is currently limited to the implementation of the "Berlin Plus" arrangements, i.e. the EU-led operation Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and capabilities in the NATO-EU Capability Group. Crucial security areas, for example on terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), cannot be formally addressed in the NATO-EU security dialogue. On the NATO side, some progress has been made during their April 20-21 informal meeting in Vilnius, NATO Foreign Ministers agreed in principle to broaden the Alliance's political dialogue with the EU by tackling a wider range of strategic issues. In addition, the Ministers also agreed to strengthen NATO - EU co-operation, including through joint informal meetings of NATO and EU Foreign Ministers.

5. This report briefly reviews the NATO-EU partnership and will make some general observations on its current state. As such it will look at some key areas of co-operation and put forward specific proposals to reinvigorate the NATO-EU security partnership.


6. When the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) saw the light of the day in the mid-1990s it was agreed that Europeans should be able to act without US involvement in a future Balkans-style scenario, in a manner that was "separable but not separate" from NATO. However, resolving the dilemma of institutional overlap has become the predominant issue of EU-NATO relations. Madeleine Albright expressed early concern in identifying the "3 Ds" where ESDP and NATO threatened to overlap. Decoupling (of NATO and EU actions), duplication (of capabilities) and discrimination (of non-EU NATO members), had to be avoided, she said in a column in the Financial Times.

7. The "right of first refusal" remains a controversial issue. In the December 2002 NATO-EU declaration on ESDP, NATO and the EU welcomed the EU undertaking crisis management operations, including military operations" where NATO as a whole is not engaged." The US takes the view that the 2002 declaration and the crisis consultation arrangements between NATO and the EU give NATO the first right to consider a military operation. The EU could undertake operations only after "NATO as a whole" has decided not to be engaged. The EU, on the other hand, has not recognised that right for NATO. Today there are three agreed means by which Europeans may undertake military action: within NATO; through Berlin-plus; or an autonomous operation (with a lead nation or European headquarters).

8. Despite the potential divisions, NATO and EU threat assessments remain similar. Both the European Security Strategy (ESS), and NATO's Strategic Concept, further strengthened by the 2002 Prague Summit, recognised terrorism, the proliferation of WMD, and failed states as principle security challenges. Additionally, both explained the need for non-military policy dimensions in relieving insecurity, though, inevitably for a collective security organisation, NATO remains more focused on military means.

9. Agreeing a comprehensive complementarity between the EU and NATO will be important in maintaining co-operation. As the ESDP develops further, that need is more pressing. EU operations in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1, the Congo and most recently in Bosnia, where EU replaced NATO troops, demonstrate an emerging role for the EU.


10. The "Berlin Plus" arrangements, in operation since March 2003, form the basis for practical work in crisis management between the two organisations. "Berlin Plus" allows the EU assured access to NATO operational planning, presumption of availability to the EU of NATO capabilities and common assets, NATO European command options for EU-led operations (including the European role of Deputy SACEUR), and adaptation of the NATO defence planning system to incorporate the availability of forces for EU operations.

11. Furthermore, NATO and the EU have established regular exchanges at different levels. NATO and EU foreign ministers theoretically meet once per semester. In practice, however, this has proven difficult since the last wave of EU enlargement because of the Cyprus-Turkey issue. NATO and EU Ambassadors (the North Atlantic Council [NAC] and the EU's Political and Security Committee - PSC) meet a minimum of three times per semester. Moreover, the NATO and EU Military Committees meet twice every semester, while regular information exchanges have also been agreed at a committee level as well as at a staff level. Unfortunately, this pattern is now undermined by the issue of the participation of the EU at 25.

12. "Berlin-Plus" and the "Framework for an enhanced NATO-EU dialogue and a concerted approach on security and stability in the Western Balkans", agreed in July 2003, are the only formal agreements between the two organisations. "Berlin-Plus" provides the framework for NATO-EU co-operation, including crisis management and consultations. In the "Framework" NATO and the EU agreed to exchange relevant information and keep each other regularly informed at all levels, including possible military options. In addition to co-operation in the area of conflict prevention and crisis management, the Framework document lists the following areas where the two organisations plan to co-ordinate their assistance to the countries of the region: defence and security sector reform, strengthening the rule of law, combating terrorism, border security and management, and arms control and removal of small arms. The Framework also provides for consultation mechanisms between the two institutions, for example between the NAC and the PSC, between the Military Committee and the EU Military Committee and between the Policy Co-ordination Group and the Politico-Military Working Group.


13. The EU's first operation according to "Berlin Plus" was the takeover of the small NATO mission in the FYR of Macedonia on 31 March 2003. The smooth transition from NATO's Operation Allied Harmony in the FYR of Macedonia to Operation Concordia, which had recourse to NATO assets and capabilities, has demonstrated the effectiveness of the "Berlin Plus" arrangements for the collaboration of the two organisations. Concordia was not an EU-only mission; it also included 14 non-EU states.

14. In some ways, the FYR of Macedonia served as a test case for Bosnia and Herzegovina and possibly for the future transformation of the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. As the security continued to improve, the EU operation, Proxima, initially composed of 200 police officers, was reduced to 140 in December 2004. As a result of the increasingly stable security situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, NATO concluded the SFOR mission and handed the mission over to the EU (EUFOR mission Operation Althea) in December 2004. With 6,800 troops, Althea constitutes the largest EU military mission to date. A revision of the operation took place in May this year, a further review will take place by the end of this year and it is likely that Althea, which is described as a 'great success', will be scaled down perhaps to 5,000 troops. NATO retains a small presence in the country, namely a 150-strong headquarters in Sarajevo, to assist with defence reforms, counter-terrorism efforts, and the apprehension of wanted war crime suspects. Recent agreement by the Serbian, Croatian, and Muslim communities to create a single army under one chain of command and financed from a unified budget is a major achievement. This NATO-sponsored defence reform will not only create a sense of security within the country but also has a stabilising impact on its neighbouring countries. Your Rapporteur also welcomes that agreement on police reform that was reached early October. Consequently, the EU has announced that negotiations on a Stabilisation and Accession Agreement (SAA) with Bosnia and Herzegovina can start on 12 December.

15. Approximately 80 per cent of the EU force has been derived from SFOR, and EU commanders aim to provide the same level of security in the country as SFOR. The main difference is in the chain of command of the new peacekeeping mission and, perhaps, in the duality of the EUFOR and NATO missions which share some operational tasks, but where EUFOR has the primary stabilisation role. A continued NATO and US presence was considered crucial by Bosnian officials, as ESDP had a relatively untested record and because of Europe's failure to handle the 1990s Balkan crises on its own. The first nine months of activities of EUFOR have proved the effectiveness and credibility of the mission.

16. The EU already had experience in fielding police training and advisory missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the FYR of Macedonia, both undertaken in the ESDP framework. In Bosnia, approximately 450 international police personnel are serving in the EU Police Mission (EUPM).

17. Success in handing over the stabilisation mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina from NATO to the EU has been important not just for the country's future, but also for the precedent it may set for future potential handovers from NATO to the EU, for example in Kosovo and perhaps in Afghanistan. Moreover, Althea is an important test for the EU's ability to integrate its military, political and economic instruments. As such, it may shape the future development of ESDP.

18. The future status of Kosovo remains a pivotal and contested issue. The Albanian majority largely favours full independence, while the Serb minority in the province and the Serbian government in Belgrade oppose this. The development of local autonomies, in the perspective of decentralization, seems to be an important step in order to re-build reciprocal confidence and to induce the Serb refugees to come back. The Standards Review policy of 2003 remains the international community's agreed policy approach, despite the setback of the March 2004 violence in which 19 Serbs were killed and more than 900 people injured. To quell the violence, NATO had to deploy 3,000 additional peacekeepers to back up KFOR (Kosovo Force).

19. Following the Alliance's 78-day air campaign, the NATO-led KFOR was deployed in June 1999 to monitor, verify and where necessary, enforce compliance with the agreements that ended the conflict. Moreover, KFOR's task is to provide for a secure environment and to assist the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). As security gradually improved, KFOR was able be reduced from originally 46,000 troops to currently 17,000.

20. The UN-administered province continues to experience political tension and uncertainty. While the government has made progress in building its own institutions and police, improvements have fallen short in making Kosovo's Serb minority feel safe outside the small enclaves in which they live. On the eve of possible status talks on the future of the province, Kosovo also faces a potential leadership problem: President Ibrahim Rugova, the most considerable political and moral figure in Kosovo, has been diagnosed with lung cancer and in early March Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj had to resign following his indictment for alleged atrocities during the 1998-1999 war but he is still influent in the new cabinet. Most future potential leaders in Kosovo have their power basis rooted not in institutions, but in their home regions, their clans or their old UCK network. Within Albanian Kosovar public opinion there is increasing discontent towards international presence in the province, particularly because of some bribery cases that media have revealed.

21. There are talks of the change of the form of international presence administering the Serbian province (where the EU would possibly take the lead). The greatest obstacle for the further stage of the development of NATO's role in the region will, however, depend on the ability of the peacekeeping mission to secure a sustainable living environment for the non-Albanian minorities (i.e. the Serbs) which is, again, to an extent, related to the unresolved territorial status of the province as well as standards and institutional mechanisms for the protection of non-Albanian minorities. The UN Secretary General's Special Envoy, Norwegian Ambassador to NATO Kai Eide, has delivered his review of Kosovo to Kofi Annan. The report, made public on 7 October, recommends that talks on Kosovo's final status begin soon "even though the international community's standards have not been completely met". Endorsing the study's recommendations, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said that "while standards implementation in Kosovo has been uneven, the time has come to move to the next phase of the political process." Your Rapporteur agrees with the general conclusion of Ambassador Eide, under the condition that the final decision on status of the province depends on achievement of the benchmarks identified by the international community. The Eide paper will certainly open the debate on the future of Kosovo among the international community.

22. The handover of operations in the Balkans is generally viewed as successful. Initial problems on the ground have meanwhile been overcome, the handing over of operations in the FYR of Macedonia was at first hampered by the sharing of information and in the co-ordination phase. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, political differences over the mandate (in particular the issue of policing) delayed practical implementation of the handover from NATO to the EU. Much more serious problems arose due to so-called "national caveats", or restrictions, which have severely hampered NATO's military ability in a number of operations. For example, only a third of KFOR troops were eligible to use force against rioting crowds during the March 2004 crisis in Kosovo.

23. Naturally, NATO's reduced presence coincides with the changing security situation but also because NATO and NATO member countries' troops are stretched to the limit in other areas of operation like Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. The EU's higher visibility of the security of the Balkans also reflects an eagerness of the EU Security and Defence Policy to assert its role. The application as new members of the European Union is the best opportunity for all countries of the region to implement their democratic development, as well as the open door policy adopted by NATO. Full co-operation with the International Criminal tribunal (ICTY) is, however, still relevant for the former Yugoslavia.


24. Due to unresolved territorial issues which have drained economic resources and political energies from the impoverished societies the South Caucasus stands out as a region with major strategic, economic and political challenges. The 'frozen conflicts' over Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Abkhazia all involve core issues of national sovereignty, which provide a breeding ground for political instability and terrorism. International efforts, mainly sponsored by the UN and the OSCE, to end the conflicts, have not brought concrete results. However, the contentious issue of the remaining Russian military bases in Georgia has been settled with the agreement between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Georgian Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili to close the Russian bases in 2008: The withdrawal of Russian forces began on July 30.

25. NATO has gradually expanded its activities in the South Caucasus and following the 2004 Istanbul Summit has put special focus on developing ties with the countries of the region. Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia participate in PfP and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). In fact, the creation of an Ad Hoc Working Group on the Caucasus within the EAPC was considered one of the significant achievements in terms of promoting regional co-operation. The three countries also submitted Individual Partnership Action plans (IPAPs), joined the Planning and Review Process (PARP) and ratified PfP SOFA's (Status of Forces Agreement) and contributed to KFOR.

26. The EU, too, is assisting the Southern Caucasus countries, particularly in helping the three governments to develop their economies and promote regional co-operation. In July 2004, it established the first Rule of Law Mission in the ESDP framework, EUJUST THEMIS, for an initial 12 month period to assist the Georgian government in its efforts to strengthen the rule-of-law. So far, the EU Commission has provided €1 billion in assistance, primarily through TACIS (Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States), TRACECA (Transport-Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia) and INOGATE (Interstate Oil and Gas Transport to Europe). EU Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, have been in force since July 1999.

27. Both NATO and the EU agree on the vital strategic importance of the Southern Caucasus and have increased their assistance as well as their presence there. Both are also helping to address security issues. However, there is still no institutional co-operation between the Alliance and the EU in the Caucasus region. Apart from Partnership for Peace (PfP), both organisations have only lately begun to increase their activities in this region. PfP has been very successful in helping countries carry out necessary defence reforms. Moreover, the programme comprises a wide range of activities from purely military co-operation to crisis management, peacekeeping, civil emergency planning, among others. Particularly in South-Eastern Europe, PfP participation has been a very effective tool in transforming and stabilising the region. Your Rapporteur proposes that NATO and the EU should reach an agreement on a concerted approach for the Southern Caucasus.


28. Geographically, both NATO and the EU have become increasingly active outside Europe. Since the end of the Cold War, but particularly after 9 11, NATO has projected security beyond its traditional area of responsibility. The Alliance's most important missions are in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

29. In Afghanistan, NATO is running the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission, which is tasked to assist the Afghan government in maintaining security. Initially restricted to providing security in and around Kabul, the Alliance is now in the process of expanding the mission to cover other parts of the country. Moreover, elements of the NATO Reaction Force (NRF) were successfully deployed to Afghanistan in October 2002 to help provide security during the Presidential elections. In addition, to provide security for the September 18 parliamentary and provincial elections, the Alliance has deployed an additional three battalions, a quick reaction force, and an "over-the-horizon" force. In Iraq, NATO provides intelligence, logistics expertise, movement co-ordination, force generation and secure communications support to Poland, which commands the Multinational Division (MND) Central South as part of the international stabilisation force. Moreover, NATO has set up a Training Mission in Iraq and will establish a training centre for senior security and defence officials.

30. At the February 2005 Summit, all 26 NATO member countries agreed to contribute to NATO's assistance to Iraq. Responding to a request by the African Union (AU) for logistical support to its operation in the Sudanese province of Darfur, NATO, as well as the EU, is providing airlift assistance. NATO is also training AU troops in running a multinational military headquarters and managing intelligence. An effective co-operation has been established among the three Organisations. The EU, for its part, is continuing to support the AU in terms of military and civilian personnel, logistics and airlift.

31. Building closer ties between NATO and the Middle East has become a "strategic imperative". NATO has elevated the Mediterranean Dialogue into a genuine partnership involving the seven Mediterranean participating countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. Designed to strengthen security and stability in the Mediterranean, the Dialogue's existing political dimension has been enhanced. Among its main pillars are achieving inter-operability, assisting in defence reform, and contributing to the fight against terrorism. The Istanbul Co-operation Initiative (ICI) aims to enhance stability and security in the Middle East through the promotion of practical co-operation between NATO and interested countries in the region, starting with the Gulf Co-operation Council)

32. The EU, too, has sought to play a security role out of area. Between June and September 2003, responding to a request by the United Nations, the EU led an international 1,400-strong peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo to protect aid workers and stop rebel fighting and atrocities. In 2005, the EU has deployed a small police mission to the Congo to assist in setting up a Congolese police unit and in June 2005 it deployed a small Security Sector Reform mission to the same country to support the building up and the proper functioning of the new Congolese army.

33. Moreover, it has launched an integrated rule-of-law mission for Iraq (EUJUST LEX). The mission falls under the scope of the ESDP and will consist of integrated training in the fields of management and criminal investigation for senior officials and executive staff from the judiciary, the police and the prison services.

34. At the request of the parties, a civilian monitoring mission, including personnel with military background, has been launched in Aceh, together with ASEAN countries and the participation of Norway and Switzerland, to support the implementation of the Agreement concluded on 15 August 2005 between the Government of Indonesia and the Aceh Liberation Movement (GAM).

35. The Arab-Israeli conflict is seen as pivotal for tackling other problems in the Middle East, hence its resolution is a strategic priority, both for Europe and for all transatlantic partners. In this framework, and in co-operation with the US within the "Quartet", the EU has launched an initiative to support the Palestinian Police, the European Union Co-ordinating Office for Palestinian Police support (EUCOPPS). The Mediterranean area continues to undergo serious problems of economic stagnation, social unrest and unresolved conflicts. The EU's interests require a continued engagement with Mediterranean partners in the framework of the Barcelona Process which this year will have to make an assessment of its first decade of operation.

36. The EU's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) will address the strategic objective of the EU set in the ESS of "building security in our neighbourhood" after the 2004 enlargement. The ENP is designed to prevent the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours. The ENP is a complement to the Barcelona Process/Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP), whose objective is to strengthen political, security, economic and socio-cultural partnerships between EU and the 12 individual Mediterranean countries. It aims at offering them the chance to participate in various EU activities, through greater co-operation on political, security and economic issues as well as in culture and education. Action Plans were drafted in 2004 in order to strengthen "the stability, security and well-being for all concerned". It lists crucial instruments in the process of bringing each neighbour closer to the Union. The purpose of the Action Plans, based on individual country reports, will be to define a joint agenda for relations with the EU for the following three to five years, with the objective of deepening political co-operation and economic integration. Action Plans have already been negotiated with Israel, Jordan, Moldova, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia and Ukraine. The Commission has adopted country reports on and follows closely the developments in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and the countries of South Caucasus.


37. Both NATO and the EU have identified the proliferation of WMD and terrorist groups as today's key security threats. Both institutions have decided to co-operate to combat both internationally active terrorist groups and the proliferation of WMD. They have pledged to work toward concerted planning of capabilities development. In this context, they have exchanged information on the protection of civilian populations against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.

38. Further co-operation between the EU and NATO in the area of WMD proliferation could be in the fields of intelligence sharing, consequence management, NBC defence capabilities as well as non-proliferation policies.

39. A multinational co-operation that brings together France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania has signed a declaration of interest and adopted an Action Plan for 2005 on maritime surveillance, civil protection and air safety to enhance security and fight terrorism in the Mediterranean. This initiative aims at complementing existing multilateral dialogue between these Maghreb countries, the EU in the context of the Barcelona Process and NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue.

40. Except in circumstances like those in Afghanistan and Iraq, military means are primarily complementary in combating terrorist groups. Hence NATO as well as ESDP play more of a back-up role than that of a crucial part. However, the EU has a number of instruments outside ESDP that are important in this area, such as the European arrest warrant, agreement on data sharing via Europol's anti-terrorist cell, and Eurojust, designed to co-ordinate investigations and prosecutions between national prosecuting authorities. At the March 2005 Madrid anti-terrorism conference, EU President José Manuel Barroso said that the EU Commission is preparing additional terrorism initiatives, such as a centralised alert network, an alert network for the forces of order, a proposal for the information exchange between the forces of order and a network for the surveillance of critical infrastructures.


41. The question of capabilities has been central to the NATO-EU relationship. At the Prague Summit of November 2002, NATO approved the Prague Capabilities Commitment (PCC), a more focused document than the 1999 Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI). PCC focuses on eight capability goals, targeting the Allies' principal deficiencies, particularly in the areas of strategic air and sealift, air refuelling, precision-guided munitions, secure communications, ground surveillance systems and special forces. The Prague Summit also agreed on the establishment of a NATO Response Force (NRF) consisting of primarily European high-readiness troops. The NRF reached initial operational capability in October last year and is expected to reach Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2006 allowing it to take on the full range of missions where and when the Alliance decides to use it. The NATO force, which will have approximately 25,000 personnel at FOC, combines elite land, air and sea units into a single force whose lead elements can deploy anywhere in the world five days after being given notice to move.

42. The EU's Helsinki summit of December 1999 established the "Helsinki Headline Goal", which called for establishing by 2003 the potential availability of up to 60,000 troops, deployable within 60 days and sustainable for up to 12 months, capable of fulfilling the entire spectrum of Petersberg tasks (humanitarian and peacekeeping operations). In 2003 the Member States declared that the Goal had been met but recognised significant capability shortfalls. A new "Headline Goal 2010" was established in May 2004 to address these and to take into account the changes in the strategic situation, concentrating on deployability, sustainability and inter-operability.

43. To overcome existing capability gaps, the European Capability Action Plan (ECAP) has been initiated to devise strategies for remedying capability shortfalls. NATO experts provided military and technical advice starting from the preparations to the implementation of the ECAP. As both NATO and the EU strive to improve their capabilities, it is important that efforts made by both organisations are neither duplicative nor incompatible. NATO and EU capabilities planning and mutual reinforcement between the PCC and the ECAP are being addressed in the NATO-EU Capability Group, established in May 2003.

44. The EU has announced the creation of a new concept in February 2004, which would lead to the launch of rapid reaction units, composed of national and multinational "battle groups". In November 2004, EU Member States offered contributions to a total of 13 battle groups of 1,500 troops deployable in 5-10 days, to provide the EU by 2007 with a capability to run two concurrent battle-group-sized missions. A EU Defence Agency (EDA) that would focus on the development of defence capabilities, research, acquisition and armaments has been established. In effect, the "Headline Goal 2010" aims to identify and provide the military capabilities required to meet the security goals set out by the ESS.

45. Some pundits have expressed concern that NATO and the EU might "compete" for the use of forces if there were simultaneous crises. In fact, the issue of which organisation should have the right of first choice has not been addressed. Another issue that needs to be addressed is rules of engagement and national caveats for joint NATO-EU operations. As SACEUR General Jones told members during the NATO PA's 2004 Venice Plenary, troops that are earmarked for NATO and the EU missions are sometimes trained to different standards, with member nations tending to place more restrictions on their forces for EU missions than for NATO-led operations.

46. In the context of ESDP, the EU also has decided to create civilian capabilities for crisis management. These include the creation of a 5,000-strong civilian police force (of which 1,000 can be deployed within 30 days), 200 rule-of-law experts, including international prosecutors, lawyers and judges (including a rapid response group capable of deployment within a month), civilian administrators, and civil protection consisting of 2 - 3 rapidly deployable assessment teams in case of natural and man-made disasters with a further 2,000 strong civilian protection intervention contingent.

47. The creation of the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) as agreed by France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and The Netherlands late September 2004 is a case in point. The EGF, initially 900 police officers strong and designed to be ready for deployment on 30 days notice, can significantly improve the EU's peacekeeping capabilities. The EGF, which is not an EU force per se, has its headquarters in Italy and could be used as a follow-up force to the battle groups and other EU forces, thereby making an important contribution to managing post-conflict situations. The five contribution member states have already announced that the EGF could be available to other international organisations, including NATO.

48. The April 2003 summit between Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg broached the idea of establishing a distinct European headquarters. At the height of transatlantic tensions over Iraq, it was seen as a statement of intent to establish greater EU autonomy. In December 2003 the European Council welcomed proposals for the establishment of a civil/military cell for strategic-level planning particularly of joint civil/military operations. It will have the capacity to generate an ad hoc Operations Centre for running ESDP missions where neither NATO's SHAPE nor an appropriate national HQ is available and where such a non-standing HQ can handle the level of risk involved. The agreement also provided for a permanent EU cell in SHAPE and a NATO liaison team at the EU Military Staff. The EU civil/military cell has become operational in June 2005 and will have a staff of 40.

49. As both NATO and the EU are hampered by capability shortfalls in a several key areas, to meet the PCC and the ECAP's identified goals, a significant increase in defence investments appears unlikely in the short run, Europeans should "spend smarter" and try to cut duplication wherever possible. The European Defence Agency (EDA) can make an important contribution to that end.

50. It is designed to enhance European armaments co-operation by, among other things, harmonising military requirements, co-ordinating defence research and development and encouraging the convergence of national procurement procedures. However, because of established national structures and processes, as well as due to vested interests that will have to be overcome, progress is likely to be only gradual. The EDA will be successful if governments and parliaments muster the political will to build more efficient and effective forces. While the NATO-EU Capabilities Group has been successful in information sharing, a formal harmonisation of NATO's Prague Capabilities' Commitment and the ECAP could advance co-operation further.


51. Despite their institutional and other differences, NATO and the EU share very similar, if not identical, goals. Both are working together to prevent and resolve crises and armed conflicts in Europe and beyond. Both share common strategic interests and co-operate in a spirit of complementarity and partnership.

52. Except for the generally smooth running operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the NATO-EU security partnership is currently experiencing serious difficulties. However, your Rapporteur welcomes the progress on the NATO-EU security dialogue that was achieved among NATO Foreign Ministers during the informal meeting in Vilnius. EU and NATO must deepen consultations on security challenges on all levels to achieve a maximum of policy co-ordination, particularly on key areas like Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Southern Caucasus. In the view of your Rapporteur, increasing policy co-ordination requires close and regular consultation between the NAC-PSC as well as staff-to-staff contacts between NATO and the European Council and the Commission. Your Rapporteur calls on all NATO and EU members to show maximum flexibility to allow for the realisation of the full potential for NATO-EU co-operation.

53. Regular joint NATO-EU exercises would be an additional means to improve and deepen the security co-operation between the two organisations. The exercises could be either joint exercises or NATO exercises that include EU military staff. Areas of particular interest include post-conflict operations and perhaps disaster relief, among others. The importance of the latter was underlined by the support and assistance provided by NATO and the EU in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina which struck the southern United States this September.

54. The issues that both need to discuss also include the enlargements of NATO and the EU. Though the enlargement processes are quite different, there is significant overlap in the criteria applicant countries need to meet as well as in current membership: 19 members of the Alliance are also members of the EU. Addressing the future enlargements of NATO and the EU is particularly important as the failure of the ratification of the EU constitution may lead to a more "inward-looking" EU. The Union and its member states are likely to be preoccupied with finding responses to the budget and enlargement issues as well as the "future of Europe", namely which Europe member states want to build. Both organisations need to develop co-operation further. For example, both should work together to secure and stabilise the regions in Europe's neighbourhood. Therefore, NATO and the EU could agree on framework agreements on, for example, the Southern Caucasus, the Mediterranean, Afghanistan and, perhaps, Iraq. Framework agreements could avoid unnecessary duplication and promote complementarity between NATO and the EU. On Kosovo, NATO and the EU must insist that negotiations on the status of the province can only begin after the standards before status process has been fulfilled. Concerning Afghanistan, both organisations need to address the "post-Bonn" process. Moreover, the EU could consider funding and implementing programmes to tackle drug production and to help advance civilian society. As NATO is increasingly engaged in areas outside Europe, the EU could take on more responsibilities from NATO, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. Improved co-operation between NATO and the EU is also feasible in the defence against WMD attacks. NATO could include the EU in the information exchange on WMD proliferation as organised by its WMD Centre.

55. The Alliance remains the platform for collective defence as well as for projecting credible military power in Europe and beyond. At the same time, the EU makes an increasingly important contribution to our common security. In addition, the EU could focus on homeland defence as well as on post-conflict stabilisation and reconstruction. NATO should engage the EU in co-ordinating assistance more effectively in the areas of defence reform, rule-of-law and other capabilities that will enhance security and stability in the areas bordering Europe. While NATO projects security and stability beyond its borders, the EU is also transforming societies in its neighbourhood. The prospect of EU membership is a powerful incentive for accepting EU norms.

56. The nature and complexity of today's security challenges call for a deeper co-operation between NATO and the EU. What the respective missions of both organisations will be in the future and which of the two will take the lead in which operations will very much depend on the instruments required to deal with upcoming crises. Both NATO and the EU must increase their capabilities. As the European pillar of NATO and the EU's ESDP increasingly draw from the same pool of forces, it is essential that these capabilities, including the NATO Response Force and EU's Battlegroups, are interoperable, and mutually reinforcing.

57. In today's world NATO and the EU need to co-operate closely and productively, without political hindrance, on a wide range of security issues, and to be mutually complementary and compatible. In conclusion, your Rapporteur recommends developing co-operation between NATO and European Union to achieve the following priority objectives :

* Strengthening the activity of the Capability Group;
* Pursuing a greater inter-operability, namely with respect to the mobilisation of the rapid reaction force;
* Promoting the European Defence Agency, with a view to rationalising expenditure, with an obvious positive impact on national budgets;
* An institutional agreement to combat terrorism and weapons of mass destruction;
* A feasibility study to perform missions similar to those carried out in the Western Balkans and in other neighbouring areas, if necessary.

1 Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

A new NATO

Speech by NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
At the Norwegian Atlantic Committee,

3 March 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Let me first of all thank YATA, the Norwegian Atlantic Committee and the University of Oslo for the opportunity to speak to you today.

I entitled my remarks today “a new NATO”. I am aware, of course, that attaching the label “new” carries some risk. It evokes parallels to washing powder or soft drinks – things that are labelled “new” almost every year – and yet we all know that it is still the same old stuff.

As far as NATO is concerned, however, the term “new” is both legitimate and appropriate. Because for the past few years, NATO has indeed undergone a massive transformation – a transformation of its entire security outlook. This transformation – which is still ongoing -- has five broad dimensions that I want to briefly set out for you today.

The first dimension has to do with the way we view security challenges today, and how we use NATO to address them.

The second relates to how we prepare ourselves militarily, how we need to change heavy metal armies into much more agile forces.

A third dimension is NATO’s evolving relationship with other major institutions, notably the European Union and the United Nations.

A fourth dimension is the need to look at nations and regions that used to be well beyond our radar screens.

And finally, I want to say a few words about the need to reinforce NATO’s role as a political forum, in addition to its role as a military instrument.

First, a word about security today. After the relatively static security environment of the Cold War, we now face a whole range of new and complex threats: a lethal breed of terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, failed states spreading instability, and criminal networks trafficking in people, drugs and weapons. We must be prepared to deal with those threats when and where they emerge, or they will escalate and land on our doorsteps. A reactive approach may have been adequate during the Cold War. Today, it is simply no longer good enough.

NATO has learned this lesson. In the Mediterranean, NATO ships are patrolling to prevent terrorists or weapons of mass destruction from entering our countries through that vital sea lane. The Alliance is leading extensive stabilisation operations in the Balkans as well as in Afghanistan. We are training security forces in Iraq, and assisting the African Union with its peacekeeping mission in Darfur. Moreover, over the past half year, in response to first Hurricane Katrina and then the earthquake in Pakistan, NATO’s unique assets have been used to provide vital humanitarian relief.

Now, whenever I explain this broader orientation of NATO, I am careful to note that we are not turning into some sort of globocop – ready to deal with emergencies all over the world. We simply do not have that ambition, let alone the necessary means. However, all 26 Allies do now look at NATO as a very flexible instrument, that we can use wherever our common security interests demand it. And that new conception of the Alliance offers new, unprecedented opportunities for transatlantic security cooperation well beyond this continent.

The second area of NATO’s transformation is in the military realm. If we want to be prepared to tackle challenges to our security when and where they occur, then we need the forces to do so. What we need, in particular, are forces that can react quickly, that can be deployed over long distances, and sustained over extended periods of time. And we need the right mix of forces capable of performing combat tasks and post-conflict reconstruction work.

Within NATO, we have made good progress in modernising our forces, making them more agile and usable for modern operations. We have, for example, streamlined the Alliance’s military command structure. We have also established a NATO Response Force to be able to react quickly to any emerging crises, including natural disasters. And we are looking into ways to better plan and resource future operational engagements. Of course, military transformation never happens quite as quickly and comprehensively as we all would like to see it. There is always room for improvement. But the overall direction of our military modernisation is very clear indeed.

The third area of NATO’s transformation relates to our relationship with other institutions. In order to tackle today’s complex security challenges, we must apply military, political, economic, and other instruments in a well-coordinated way. This means that NATO will increasingly act in concert with other institutions. On the ground, whether in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq or Darfur, this is already a reality. But we also need structured relationships at the institutional level – to be able to coordinate strategically, not just tactically. And this is a major dimension of NATO’s current transformation as well.

We have made good progress in developing our cooperation with the United Nations. What we need above all, however, is a much stronger partnership between NATO and the European Union. A former US Ambassador to NATO once said that, even though NATO and the EU were based in the same city, it often seemed as though they were on different planets. And it is true that, in the past, our relationship has been characterised by considerable nervousness, and even a degree of suspicion.

I think we are seeing greater realism now on all sides. A realisation that, the Union is bound to become a stronger security actor. But a realisation, also, that the EU can only be an effective security actor when it is a partner for NATO, and not a counterweight. Where that should lead to is a much more pragmatic, transparent partnership between the EU and NATO, which extends well beyond crisis management to cover the full range of security issues before us. This will be a boon for all of us – NATO and EU members alike.

The fourth area of NATO’s transformation that I wish to highlight is the geographic dimension. Now more than ever before, we need to look at certain countries and regions through a common transatlantic lens. This is true for Russia and Ukraine, for the Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as for Northern Africa and the so-called Broader Middle East. Finding ways to help positive change in these different regions, to foster democracy and stability, should be a joint transatlantic effort – or it won’t stand much chance of success.

Again, we are using NATO to promote this common transatlantic approach. We are intensifying our cooperation with Russia and Ukraine, and indeed have opened an intensified dialogue with Ukraine on its aspiration to join the Alliance. We are deepening relations with our Partners in the Caucasus and Central Asia, which are both regions of vital strategic importance. We are enhancing our dialogue and cooperation with a string of countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East – ranging from Morocco to Israel. We are building new ties with countries from the Gulf region. And we are developing closer contacts with countries in Asia and the Pacific – to work together in meeting security challenges that affect them as much as they affect us.

These four key areas of NATO’s transformation that I have highlighted – conceptual, military, institutional, and geographic – all underscore the comprehensive approach to security that NATO has adopted. But I would like to mention yet another aspect of transformation – a challenge that in fact cuts across all other areas of NATO’s evolution: I am talking about the challenge of making NATO more political.

We face new, complex and truly global threats to our security. Parts of the world that used to be well beyond NATO’s radar screens are rapidly growing in relevance. We must discuss new approaches to the broader Middle East, the Caucasus and other regions. And we must take our cooperation with other nations and organisations to a new level.

Those are all enormous challenges. They demand that we exploit NATO’s unique role as a structured, permanent forum for transatlantic political discussion to the maximum extent possible. Ever since I took office, I have been promoting such an enhanced political role for NATO, and I am pleased that the Alliance is now moving in that direction. Over the past year, we have had more regular, and increasingly constructive, political discussions at different levels on issues such as Iraq, Darfur and the Middle East. And I am pleased that NATO is also increasingly seen and respected as a political player – for example in the discussions on the future of Kosovo and Afghanistan.

I believe that there are many more issues that we should consider bringing to the NATO table. And one that leaps to mind is energy security. NATO’s Strategic Concept includes elements of the protection of vital supply lines as one area critical to the security of Allies. Today, for reasons that are obvious – including the potential of terrorists targeting our energy supplies – it makes sense to me that the Allies should discuss this issue. Of course, here in Norway I don’t have to explain at length why this is an important subject. But I want all Allies to engage in a frank and open discussion. To anticipate future trends. And to develop a common perspective.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Back in 1949, your country, Norway, was a founding member of NATO – and for the past 56 years, it has been a real pillar of strength in the Alliance. Norwegian forces have made substantial contributions to NATO’s operations in the Balkans during the 1990s, and continue to show that same commitment in Kosovo and Afghanistan today. But politically, as well, this country has made major contributions. I wish to highlight the crucial role played by Kai Eide, the Norwegian Permanent Representative to NATO, in moving forward the political process in Kosovo. More generally, this country has been a major driver behind NATO’s post-Cold War transformation – the opening of our Alliance, our partnership policy and enlargement process, our engagement in crisis management, and our more recent adaptation to the new, 21 st century security environment.

I want, in this context, to extend a word of appreciation to the Norwegian Atlantic Committee – and to its Secretary General, Chris Prebensen, who is very well remembered back in Brussels from the time he spent at NATO Headquarters. During the Cold War, and even the 1990s, it was relatively easy to explain the international security environment, the risks and threats that we faced, and NATO’s role in meeting those challenges. The last few years, that task has become much more difficult – but also much more important. National organisations such as the Norwegian Atlantic Committee play a vital role in explaining how the Alliance is responding to the new security environment -- and how member countries like Norway are both contributing to, and benefiting from, that critical transformation process.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends

NATO’s transformation continues. In November, when NATO’s Heads of State and Government will meet in Riga, we will take the adaptation of our Alliance another major step further. We will confirm NATO's expanding commitment to Afghanistan; we will welcome the full operational capability of our NATO Response Force, and agree on other measures to better support our operations; regarding NATO enlargement, we will reaffirm the logic of NATO’s open door policy; we will also look at the future of our Partnerships, including at how we can build closer ties to other countries, such as Australia or Japan; and we will deepen the political dialogue among Allies about all subjects of common concern.

I hope that I have made it clear why this is indeed a “new” NATO. A NATO that provides security in new ways and new places. An Alliance that undertakes new missions, and that features new members as well as new partners. This is the new NATO of today. An Alliance that provides Norway with tremendous opportunities to shape the strategic environment in line with its interests and values. And an Alliance that – I am sure – can continue to rely on Norway’s strong political and military support and engagement.

Thank you.

Russia need not fear NATO enlargement: Scheffer

11-10-2006, 19h17

TALLINN, Estonia (AFP)

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer(R) shakes hands with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves prior to their meeting in Tallinn. The further enlargement of NATO will bring stability to potential new member states and Russia should not fear such expansion, Scheffer said. (AFP)

The further enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) will bring stability to potential new member states and Russia should not fear such expansion, the NATO chief said.

"NATO enlargement has brought more security, stability and democracy to the borders of Russia than ever before," Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told reporters in Tallinn after meeting with Estonian officials.

"There is no need to be afraid of the enlargement," he said.

Russia was already unhappy when the former Soviet Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined NATO in 2004.

But Moscow is now expressing increased concerns that the alliance is encroaching further onto its former stamping ground because of links with Georgia and Ukraine.

Visiting Tallinn in the run-up to a NATO summit in the Latvian capital Riga at the end of the month -- the first one to be hosted by a former Soviet republic -- Scheffer said the meeting would address closer ties with countries aspiring to tighten cooperation with the alliance.

"There will be no decision on NATO enlargement at the Riga summit," he said.

"But there will be encouraging signals to the countries of Western Balkans, and to Ukraine and Georgia."

He said tense relations between Georgia and Russia would not hold back NATO's "intensified dialogue" -- a form of close partnership -- with the former Soviet Caucasus republic.

Russia has cut off transport ties with Georgia and deported hundreds of Georgian citizens in the worst dispute between the two since a 2003 revolution brought a pro-Western leadership to power in Tbilisi.

Georgia has long been irked by what it sees as Russian support for its breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while Moscow accuses Tbilisi of planning military action there.

"The Riga summit will see a reconfirmation of the intensified dialogue with Georgia," Scheffer said.

"De-escalation of tension is important and required both by Georgia and Russia," he added.

Scheffer acknowledged that there was disagreement between NATO and Moscow.

"It's a partnership of adults," he said.

"In any relationship between adults, you have disagreements, and then you need to breed trust to overcome them."

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said NATO members needed to continue offering support to Georgia on the Western-leaning path it has chosen.

"There are no doubts among NATO partners about that," Paet said.

"We need to continue supporting Georgia."


Afghanistan shows challenges for more global NATO

10 Nov 2006
By Arshad Mohammed

WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) - The United States is pushing NATO to shoulder more global burdens but the alliance's Afghan deployment illustrates the challenges of getting the 26-nation group to project its power beyond its borders.

Ahead of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Nov. 28-29 summit in Riga, U.S. officials are making the case that Afghanistan is a model for the Western alliance to take on more security challenges around the world.

But analysts argue, and U.S. officials acknowledge, that NATO has had trouble getting some members to send troops to the south of Afghanistan, where British, Dutch and Canadian forces are fighting a revived Taliban insurgency.

NATO's top commander called on Sept. 7 for 2,000 to 2,500 more troops to go to Afghanistan. Most members of the alliance -- which has about 32,500 troops in the country, including about 11,800 U.S. forces -- have not jumped to fill the gap, although Poland has committed to provide about 1,000 soldiers.

"Only a handful of NATO members are prepared to go to the south and east and to go robustly -- mainly the U.S., UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Romania, Australia and Denmark," the International Crisis Group said in a report issued this month.

"Hard questions need to be asked of those such as Germany, Spain, France, Turkey and Italy who are not," it added.

"Obviously, there is some concern in capitals that there is, in fact, a shooting war going on," said a U.S. official who asked not to be named given the sensitivity of the issue.

There is a feeling of "whoa -- you guys are in an insurgency -- is that what we signed up for?" he added.

More than 3,100 people, about a third of them civilians, have died in the fighting this year, the bloodiest since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban's strict Islamist government in 2001 after the Sept. 11 attacks.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried argued the alliance should honor its commitment to Afghanistan both to help the Afghan people and to protect its members' interests.

Fried painted a nightmare scenario if the Taliban, which harbored al Qaeda before the Sept. 11 attacks, went unchecked.

"Suppose the Taliban had remained in Afghanistan and not attacked the United States on Sept. 11 but strengthened their base, spread into Pakistan, spread into Central Asia ... and then attacked. How much greater would the problem have been? How much more horrible the result?" he told Reuters.

"The downside risk is real," he said.

The Afghan deployment is part of a larger debate over how to adapt NATO -- whose original mission was protecting its members from Soviet attack -- to confront global threats.

"It's a challenge for NATO ... I concentrate on what NATO has achieved but my job is to push for more," Fried said.

"The Bush administration is not very well positioned to make this plea because .... it has walked into a huge debacle in Iraq that is an object lesson in what could go wrong," said Loren Thompson, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute.

"The Europeans watched what happened to the Soviet forces in Afghanistan and, given how remote and backward Afghanistan is, they must be wondering whether there is any chance over the long run of changing the culture of the place," he added.

Rand Corporation analyst Seth Jones said it typically takes 14 years to defeat an insurgency and questioned whether many NATO members would have the patience for such a deployment.

"I just have doubts that over the long run either the Dutch or the Canadians are going to be willing to stick this out over let's say a decade," he said, saying the effort may turn out to be "NATO in name, but a coalition of the willing in the end."

Fried said NATO's lengthy deployments in Kosovo and Bosnia showed its stamina. "I will accept that analysis of it taking a while. I have not heard anybody debate that we ought to be pulling out. The debate is how best to succeed," he said.

But another U.S. official said there is already some worry among NATO members about whether they are getting sunk in an Afghan quagmire, even though he disagreed with that view.

"We already hear it on the margins. Some senior leaders in some countries are already saying, 'no you can't do it, you can't win this, this is history repeating itself,'" he said.

International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers unload humanitarian aid from the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health off a military plane at the Heart's Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) air field, southwest of Kabul November 18, 2006. At least 56 people have been killed and scores more are missing after severe flooding in northwestern Afghanistan this week, and NATO airlifted emergency aid on Saturday, officials said.

U.S. sets ambitious "global" NATO summit agenda

30 Oct 2006 17:17:50 GMT
By Paul Taylor

BRUSSELS, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The United States set out an ambitious agenda on Monday for transforming NATO into a global security organisation at a summit next month but acknowledged that some European allies have misgivings.

U.S. NATO ambassador Victoria Nuland said the 26-nation alliance had gone beyond debates about whether to act outside its Euro-Atlantic area, deploying forces on four continents in the last 18 months, most importantly in Afghanistan.

NATO is already performing missions in practice for which it has yet to adapt its theory, she said, forecasting tough drafting debates before the Nov. 28-29 summit in Riga, Latvia.

"We want NATO to be able to demonstrate when our heads meet four weeks from now that we have an alliance that is taking on global responsibilities, that it increasingly has the global capabilities to meet those responsibilities, and that it is doing it with global partners," Nuland said in a speech to the Centre for European Policy Studies think-tank.

The alliance is fighting Taliban guerrillas in Afghanistan, supporting African Union peacekeepers in Darfur, patrolling former Yugoslav battlefields in Kosovo and has flown relief supplies to earthquake victims in Pakistan.

"For the next four weeks, allies are going to spend a lot of time arm-wrestling and mud-wrestling about the words that we use in our NATO documents ... to reflect today's reality.

"It's going to be a tense conversation as we head towards Riga," she said without identifying which allies objected to stating such global ambitions in the summit documents.

"But today, I would argue that the reality of what's going on in NATO is outstripping our ability to encapsulate it in NATO doctrine in theory here in NATO headquarters," Nuland added.


Diplomats said France was most reticent about accepting a global role for the U.S.-led alliance, of which it has been a prickly, semi-detached member since General Charles de Gaulle pulled French forces out of allied military command in 1966.

Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain also had reservations about appearing to rebrand NATO as a world policeman, they said.

Nuland said European allies were coming to realise in Afghanistan that they needed to spend more on defence and develop long-range airlift and more special commando forces to cope with 21st century security challenges.

Many European allies were spending less than NATO's unofficial minimum of 2 percent of gross domestic product.

The NATO Reaction Force, designed for rapid deployment to high-intensity combat situations, will not be fully operational in time for the Riga summit because of the strain on national defence resources, Nuland acknowledged.

"We are not all the way yet but we are making progress," she said.

But the summit will see progress on strategic airlift, with 14 allies and non-NATO Sweden signing a joint deal to acquire long-range C-17 heavy lift aircraft, and on joint training and communications for special forces.

Politically, Nuland said the NATO council was now discussing global issues far beyond the Euro-Atlantic area, such as the nuclear programmes of Iran and North Korea.

France blocks Nato bid to create a global terror force

By Stephen Castle in Brussels
Published: 04 November 2006

Plans to boost Nato's co- operation with countries such as Australia and Japan in an effort to forge a partnership against terrorism have been blocked by France.

The moves were to have been at the centre of a summit of the alliance's leaders to be held in Riga this month. Nato officials now accept that only a loosely worded pledge to increase contacts with partners in Asia and Australasia will be included in the communiqué, which will be agreed by President George Bush and other leaders in the Latvian capital.

NATO to include Counter-Terrorism in its Role

Thu Nov 23, 2006

LONDON (Reuters) - NATO countries will endorse a plan next week to widen the alliance's role to include counter-terrorism, prevention of cyber attacks and security of natural resources, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

The newspaper said it had obtained a copy of the plan, which sought to "provide a framework and political direction for NATO's continuing transformation ... for the next 10 to 15 years".

The plan said terrorism and weapons of mass destruction "are likely to be the principal threats to the alliance" over that period, the newspaper said.

The Financial Times said the plan would be signed by the leaders of the 26-nation alliance who are due to meet in Riga, Latvia on November 28-29.

The plan, which would be made public next week, had already been endorsed by NATO defense ministers, it said.

Setting out strategy goals, the plan said NATO should be ready to fight more than one big operation at a time, as well as an increasing number of smaller engagements.

It said NATO should put a premium on "the ability to deter, disrupt, defend and protect against terrorism, and more particularly to contribute to the protection of the alliance's populations, territory, critical infrastructure and forces".

Other areas for the alliance to concentrate on included defending information from "cyber attacks".

New threats push Nato to revise strategy

By Daniel Dombey and Stephen Fidler
Financial Times
Published: November 23 2006 22:02 | Last updated: November 23 2006 22:02

The Nato alliance, stretched by operations in Afghanistan, should further expand its role to include counter-terrorism, cyber-security and the security of natural resources, according to a classified document to be endorsed by presidents and prime ministers next week.

At a summit in Riga, Latvia, that begins on Tuesday, leaders including US President George W.?Bush, France’s President Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair, British prime minister, will give their backing to an attempt to update and revise Nato’s strategy for the 21st century.

The document, which has been obtained by the Financial Times and will be made public next week, seeks to “provide a framework and political direction for Nato’s continuing transformation ... for the next 10 to 15 years”.

It adds that terrorism and weapons of mass destruction “are likely to be the principal threats to the alliance” over that period, adding that instability due to failed states, more sophisticated conventional weaponry and the disruption of the flow of vital resources will be among the main challenges for Nato.

The document has previously been endorsed by defence ministers but has remained classified until now. Described by diplomats as building on Nato’s strategy goals, last elaborated in 1999, the document says that Nato should be ready to fight more than one big operation at a time, as well as an increasing number of smaller engagements.

It says “this requires forces that are fully deployable, sustainable and interoperable and the means to deploy them”.

Nato defence ministers want 40 per cent of the alliance’s land forces to be available for overseas missions. At present, Nato officials admit, the proportion is much lower, since many European forces are still structured to defend western Europe against a now non-existent Soviet threat.

This week, General James Jones, Nato’s military chief, said he was hopeful but still not sure that the alliance’s showpiece rapid reaction force would be fully operational as scheduled by January 1. Gen Jones is expected to make an announcement on the force’s readiness at next week’s summit. A group of 15 Nato countries and Sweden is also planning to address Nato’s long-standing problems with long-distance airlift by joining together to buy at least three C17 aircraft.

The classified document – officially called the “comprehensive political guidance” – says Nato should put a premium on “the ability to deter, disrupt, defend and protect against terrorism, and more particularly to contribute to the protection of the alliance’s populations, territory, critical infrastructure and forces”. Some US officials are keen to open the door to a greater Nato role in helping with “homeland security”, although this remains controversial within the alliance.

The document adds that Nato should focus on “the ability to protect information systems of critical importance to the alliance against cyber attacks” as well as “the ability.?.?.?to identify hostile elements, including in urban areas, in order to conduct operations in a way that minimises unintended damage as well as to the risk to our own forces”.

Other priorities it identifies are greater flexibility to respond to crises, more protection against weapons of mass destruction and the ability to carry out operations in difficult terrain.

The document emphasises the importance of Nato co-operation with other international organisations, such as the United Nations and the European Union.

It says, however, that collective defence, the original reason for the founding of the alliance which has now grown to 26 members, would remain Nato’s core purpose. “Large-scale conventional aggression against the alliance will continue to be highly unlikely,” it says.

However, as shown by the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, which prompted the alliance to invoke its article 5 collective defence clause, “future attacks may originate from outside the Euro-Atlantic area and involve unconventional forms of armed assault”.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2006

Poland Proposes An EU Army Tied To Nato

By Jan Cienski and Stefan Wagstyl in Warsaw
Financial Times
Published: November 5 2006 22:10 | Last updated: November 5 2006 22:10

Poland has proposed the creation of 100,000-strong European Union army tied to Nato for use in global trouble spots or for European defence, according to Lech Kaczynski, the country’s president.

“At the moment we have the situation where the EU needs about 8,000 troops in Lebanon and there is a problem where to find them,” Mr Kaczynski told the Financial Times in an interview with the Financial Times.

“Forces are needed which would not replace the armies of individual states, but which could be gathered without a problem when not just 8,000 but as many as 25,000 to 30,000 soldiers are needed.”

Mr Kaczynski said that he hoped to raise the issue with Tony Blair, the British prime minister, in the course of a two-day visit to the UK which begins on Monday.

The Polish president said he had discussed the idea twice with José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, and that his twin brother, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland’s prime minister, had raised the matter with the German chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to Berlin last week.

Both the EU and Nato have set up rapid reaction forces and have deployed troops to countries as far outside Europe as Congo, and Pakistan. Althougth the two organisations have agreed a mechanism to share assets, under which Nato officers can lead EU operations, many diplomats achknowledge that this set up could be improved.

However, Warsaw does not seem to have prepared the ground well for its initiative, because German officials said they were surprised by the Polish prime minister’s proposal the last week.

They were particularly concerned about suggestions that an EU force could operate within Nato, which raised issues over whether it would be under European or US control.

The concept has also sparked off confusion within Poland. On Friday, Jaroslaw Kaczynski denied ever having mentioned the idea to Ms Merkel, calling it “strange information”.

In his FT interview, President Kaczynski sought to clarify Poland’s EU policies, which have developed a eurosceptic tone since he won office last year and his Law and Justice party triumphed in parliamentary elections. The president said the EU should remain a union of states, not a federation. “I think the nation state has still not ended its mission,” he said. He was robust in defending Warsaw’s new-found assertiveness with EU partners, arguing that, if pushed, Poland would not hesitate to stand alone against other EU members to defend its interests. “I know that it is very uncomfortable in the Union to be alone but that does not mean we are afraid of that.”

Mr Kaczynski said that, even though Warsaw was a net financial beneficiary of the EU, Poland did not need to feel grateful about its membership.

It had earned its place by participating in the victorious coalition in the second world war. It was later left under communist rule “thanks to decisions over which we had no influence”.

Speaking about plans for a new constitutional treaty, now under debate in the EU, Mr Kaczynski said some sort of new fundamental pact was required to steer a union of 27 states.

Polish proposals were likely to be ready in the first quarter of next year and “would be much more compact than the current constitutional treaty”. Mr Kaczynski said Warsaw hoped for more “European solidarity” in dealing with Russia.

While acknowledging that Russia did not pose an immediate military threat, Mr Kaczynski was worried about the dependence on Russian energy and foreign investments by state-owned Russian companies, as well as Moscow’s “continuing powerful military”.

He criticised Germany over the planned German-Russian natural gas pipeline under the Baltic, which would skirt Poland and potentially give Moscow more leverage over Warsaw in future energy disputes.

“We understand the need for compromise but in this area it cannot be that a single European country, even a very powerful one, decides on a particular solution, almost as if it had stepped momentarily outside of the Union, and then says it will not change even if that solution contradicts the interests of other EU countries.”

The president said that Poland would never agree to simply following along with the priorities of larger EU countries.

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 8, 2006

President Bush Nominates Dr. Robert M. Gates to be Secretary of Defense
The Oval Office

President's Remarks

3:30 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, and welcome to the White House. Earlier today I announced my intent to nominate Robert Gates to be the next Secretary of Defense. And now I'm pleased to introduce him to the American people. I also am looking forward to paying tribute to the man he will succeed.

America remains a nation at war. We face brutal enemies who despise our freedom and want to destroy our way of life. These enemies attacked our country on September the 11th, 2001; they fight us in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they remain determined to attack our country again. Against such enemies, there's only one way to protect the American people: We must stay on the offense and bring our enemies to justice before they hurt us again.

In this time of war, the President relies on the Secretary of Defense to provide military advice and direct our nation's Armed Forces as they engage our enemies across the world. The Secretary of Defense must be a man of vision who can see threats still over the horizon, and prepare our nation to meet them. Bob Gates is the right man to meet both of these critical challenges.

Bob is one of our nation's most accomplished public servants. He joined the CIA in 1966, and has nearly 27 years of national security experience, serving six Presidents of both political parties. He spent nearly nine years serving on the National Security Council staff. And at the CIA, he rose from an entry-level employee to become the Director of the Central Intelligence. And his experience has prepared him well for this new assignment.

Bob understands the challenges we face in Afghanistan. As President Reagan's Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, he helped lead America's efforts to drive Soviet forces from Afghanistan. Success in these efforts weakened the Soviet regime and helped hasten freedom's victory in the Cold War.

Bob understands the challenges facing our nation in Iraq. He served as Deputy National Security Advisor to the first President Bush during Operation Desert Storm as American troops repelled Iraqi aggression and drove Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait. More recently, he served as a member of the Iraq Study Group, a distinguished independent panel of Republicans and Democrats led by former Secretary of State Jim Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. As part of this commission, he has traveled to Iraq and met with the country's leaders and our military commanders on the ground. He'll provide the department with a fresh perspective and new ideas on how America can achieve our goals in Iraq.

Bob understands how to lead large, complex institutions and transform them to meet new challenges. As Director of Central Intelligence, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, he was responsible for leading all the foreign intelligence agencies of the United States. And he's brought that same leadership and abilities as his work as President of our nation's sixth largest university, Texas A&M. When the A&M board of regents interviewed him for the job, he described himself as an agent of change. As president, he delivered on that promise, initiating wide-ranging reforms to almost every aspect of campus life. He'll bring that same transformational spirit to his work in the Department of Defense.

Bob Gates is a patriot whose love for country was nurtured in the Kansas community where he was raised. He's worn our nation's uniform. He's a strategic thinker who was educated at three of America's finest universities, receiving his bachelor's degree from William & Mary, a master's degree in history from Indiana University, and a doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown.

He's a leader in the business community who served on the boards of several major corporations. He's a man of integrity, candor and sound judgment. He knows that the challenge of protecting our country is larger than any political party, and he has a record of working with leaders of both sides of the aisle to strengthen our national security. He has my confidence and my trust, and he will be an outstanding Secretary of Defense.

Bob follows in the footsteps of one of America's most skilled and capable national security leaders, Donald Rumsfeld. Don is the longest-serving member of my Cabinet, and next month he will reach another milestone when he becomes the longest-serving Secretary of Defense in the history of our nation. I appreciate his willingness to continue serving until his successor is in place, because in a time of war, our nation cannot be without a strong and steady hand leading our Department of Defense.

Don has served in times of great consequence for our nation. Few will forget the image of Don Rumsfeld as he helped rescue workers carry the victims from the rubble of the Pentagon on September the 11th, 2001. In the weeks that followed, he directed the effort to plan our nation's military response to an unprecedented attack on our soil. Under his leadership, U.S. and coalition forces launched one of the most innovative military campaigns in the history of modern warfare, driving the Taliban and its al Qaeda allies from power in a matter of weeks.

In 2003, on my orders, he led the planning and execution of another historic military campaign, Operation Iraqi Freedom, that drove Saddam Hussein from power and helped the Iraqi people establish a constitutional democracy in the heart of the Middle East. History will record that on Don Rumsfeld's watch, the men and women of our military overthrew two terrorist regimes, liberated some 50 million people, brought justice to the terrorist Zarqawi and scores of senior al Qaeda operatives, and helped stop new terrorist attacks on our people.

America is safer and the world is more secure because of the service and the leadership of Donald Rumsfeld. As he led the Pentagon in an unprecedented war, Don never took his eye off another vital responsibility, preparing America for the threats that await us as this new century unfolds. He developed a new defense strategy. He established a new Northern Command to protect the homeland, a new Joint Forces Command to focus on transformation, a new Strategic Command to defend against long-range attack, and transformed the U.S. Special Operations Command for the war on terror.

He led our efforts to create a new NATO Response Force that allows NATO to deploy rapidly anywhere in the world. He undertook the most sweeping transformation of America's global force posture since the end of World War II. He revitalized America's efforts to develop and deploy ballistic missile defenses, and led a comprehensive review of America's nuclear forces that has allowed us to undertake dramatic reductions in offensive nuclear weapons.

Don's work in these areas did not often make the headlines. But the reforms that he has set in motion are historic, and they will enhance the security of the American people for decades to come.

Over the past six years, I've relied on Don Rumsfeld's advice and counsel. I've come to know his character and his integrity. As the Secretary of Defense, he has been dedicated to his mission, loyal to his President, and devoted to the courageous men and women of our Armed Forces.

Don once famously said, "There are known knowns; there are known unknowns; and there are unknown unknowns." Well, Mr. Secretary, here is a known known: Your service has made America stronger, and made America a safer nation. You will be missed, and I wish you and Joyce all the best in the years to come.

Don Rumsfeld is a tough act to follow. That's why I picked a man of Bob Gates's caliber to succeed him. When confirmed by the Senate, Bob will bring talent, energy and innovation to the Department of Defense. He'll work every day to keep the American people safe and to make our nation more secure. And he'll do a superb job as America's next Secretary of Defense.

Bob, I appreciate you agreeing to serve our nation again, and congratulations.

DR. GATES: Thank you, sir. Mr. President, thank you for this high honor and for your confidence. And let me add my thanks to Secretary Rumsfeld for his service.

I entered public service 40 years ago last August. President Bush will be the seventh President I have served. I had not anticipated returning to government service, and have never enjoyed any position more than being president of Texas A&M University. However, the United States is at war, in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're fighting against terrorism worldwide. And we face other serious challenges to peace and our security. I believe the outcome of these conflicts will shape our world for decades to come. Because our long-term strategic interests and our national and homeland security are at risk, because so many of America's sons and daughters in our Armed Forces are in harm's way, I did not hesitate when the President asked me to return to duty.

If confirmed by the Senate, I will serve with all my heart, and with gratitude to the President for giving me the opportunity to do so.

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: Bob Gates, my congratulations to you on this nomination. My very best wishes. Look forward to working with you in the transition.

Mr. President, thank you for your kind words, and the wholly unexpected opportunity you provided me to serve in the Department of Defense again these past years -- six years. It's been quite a time. It recalls to mind the statement by Winston Churchill, something to the effect that "I have benefitted greatly from criticism, and at no time have I suffered a lack thereof." (Laughter.)

The great respect that I have for your leadership, Mr. President, in this little understood, unfamiliar war, the first war of the 21st century -- it is not well-known, it was not well-understood, it is complex for people to comprehend. And I know, with certainty, that over time the contributions you've made will be recorded by history.

I must say that it's been the highest honor of my life to serve with the talented men and women of the Department of Defense, the amazing men and women -- young men and women in uniform. It's a privilege. And their patriotism, their professionalism, their dedication is truly an inspiration. They have my respect; they will remain in my prayers always.

Thank you.

END 3:42 P.M. EST

EU needs to press on with enlargement, Prodi warns

By Tony Barber and Quentin Peel
Financial Times
November 7, 2006

Enlargement of the European Union must continue by pressing ahead with negotiations for the countries that used to be part of Yugoslavia, as well as Turkey, Romano Prodi, the Italian prime minister, said in London yesterday.

Speaking just before the European Commission is due to publish a report on EU enlargement strategy, in-cluding the "absorption capacity" of the Union, Mr Prodi warned that any attempt to halt the process for countries such as Croatia and Macedonia threatened to halt the entire exercise.

In an interview with the Financial Times, he warned that negotiations with Turkey would be slow "because it is a very complex negotiation". "If you want to make it in a hurry it will fail," he said. "But certainly you must not stop it.

"There is an idea in some parts of Europe to stop it all," he said. "But I think this is a great historical challenge."

Mr Prodi, who was formerly president of the European Commission, said he had told both Tony Blair, prime minister, and Gordon Brown, chancellor of the exchequer, that "if we want to have a dialogue with Turkey, we cannot miss our mission with the Balkan countries that are ready".

"We cannot stop enlargement vis-a-vis Croatia and Macedonia, otherwise we stop everything. It is impossible to imagine a negotiation with Turkey going on if we stop negotiations with Croatia and Macedonia."

He refused to be drawn on the suggestion that the Turkish membership negotiations be suspended in December, unless or until Turkey agreed to extend its customs union with the EU to include Cyprus.

"This will depend on short-term behaviour," he said. "I have not [received] the report of the European Commission. If this report is absolutely negative, of course [negotiations] will be suspended. But I hope not."

He said that Turkey must meet the same conditions in its enlargement negotiations as those expected of any other accession candidate. "We must treat Turkey like Poland or Hungary," he said.

The Italian prime minister made it clear that a relaunch of the process of constitutional reform in the EU was an essential part of theenlargement process, in the view of his government.

"Last year was the year of mourning [for the constitutional treaty]," he said. "This year is the year of reflection. Next year will be the launching."

Germany, Italy and Spain would be vital players in the relaunch, he said, but France must also become involved after next year's presidential election, "because it is impossible to have any progress without France".

He admitted that he had not discussed the EU constitution with Mr Blair, although "we hinted to Gordon Brown that next year we will talk about it". Instead, they talked about making practical progress on questions such as common strategies for energy and the environment.

He said that the weekend electricity blackout that affected Germany, France and Italy, among other European countries, was an example of the failure to agree on a common energy policy, and common procedures, to support the shared electricity grid.

"There was no warning from Germany [about the blackout] because there was no procedure," he said. "This situation is absolutely unsustainable.

"If we have a common grid, we must have a common European [energy] authority."

Mr Prodi said he also discussed European policies in the Middle East with Mr Blair, including both Lebanon and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Italy was contributing 3,000 troops to the expanded United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, and was prepared to do more, he said, in conjunction with other EU member states.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2006

NATO chief tells EU not to 'replicate' army tasks
06.11.2006 - 16:15 CET | By Mark Beunderman EU

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The EU should not "replicate" NATO's military tasks and do more instead to help the alliance with civilian work like policing in Afghanistan, NATO secretary-general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has urged.

"We need to break the deadlock between the EU and NATO," the NATO chief said on Monday (6 November), while sketching a far-from-perfect picture of global security co-operation between the two organisations.

Speaking at a meeting of the Security and Defence Agenda, a Brussels think-tank, Mr De Hoop Scheffer stated that "it is remarkable how narrow the common agenda of the two institutions remains."

The two Brussels-based organisations - both engaged in security and peacekeeping operations around the globe - too often try to do the same thing rather than complement each other, according to the Dutchman.

"We should get away from replicating each other's initiatives," he said pointing to recent irritation between EU and NATO on help to the Sudanese region of Darfur as one example.

The two bodies last year clashed on who should co-ordinate an airlift for African Union peacekeepers to the war-struck region, a discussion which Mr De Hoop Scheffer said was "very unhealthy" as it was clear this was a NATO, not an EU task.

The NATO chief said he is "in favour of the EU developing its own defence identity," but added that much of the added value of the union lies in civilian tasks.

The training of police in Afghanistan, for example, is "typically something the EU could do" but which is "not enough on the EU's radar screen," he said, with Germany already making efforts in this area.

Formal co-operation stagnating

Mr De Hoop Scheffer's call on the EU to better complement NATO fits into his vision of "transforming" NATO itself which he also outlined on Monday.

He said the alliance, which currently has 50,000 soldiers deployed in missions in three continents, should work closer together with international organisations which specialise in reconstruction and development of conflict areas.

Again pointing to the example of Afghanistan - where NATO operates under a UN mandate - he said this country needs a "civilian answer" but added "we are neither a relief organisation nor a reconstruction agency."

He called upon European NATO ministers to also take the alliance's concerns into account when meeting in an EU or other multilateral capacity.

"I need their support even more when they meet in an EU framework...or in international donor conferences," he said.

EU-NATO co-operation is currently formalised under the so-called Berlin-plus arrangements which include EU access to NATO planning capabilities in crisis operations as well as the exchange of classified information.

But Mr De Hoop Scheffer suggested these official channels are stagnating, proposing informal meetings of EU and NATO defence ministers to break the deadlock.

"If it can't be done in a formal way, let's then find any formula," he said.

Poland moots EU army

The NATO chief's proposals follow more ambitious plans by Polish president Lech Kaczynski, who suggested a 100,000-strong EU army, tied to NATO.

The Polish leader told the Financial Times on Monday that "at the moment we have the situation where the EU needs about 8,000 troops in Lebanon and there is a problem where to find them."

The EU should be prepared for situations when "not just 8,000 but as many as 25,000 to 30,000 soldiers are needed," he said.

Mr De Hoop Scheffer also referred to the Lebanon troop shortages, pointing to the fact that there is an "increased competition" for troops with several multilateral operations going on at the same time across the globe.

The UN force in Lebanon is comprised of "exactly the same forces used in Afghanistan," he said.

Last week saw clear indications of military "overstretch" among EU states with Germany and the UK considering pulling out troops from Bosnia and Herzegovina due to engagements elsewhere in the world.

The EU is currently running a 7,000 strong military force in the Balkan country having taken over the task from NATO in 2004.

Polish, Baltic presidents urge open door at NATO

By Nerijus Adomaitis
06 Nov 2006

VILNIUS, Nov 6 (Reuters) - The presidents of Poland and the three Baltic states on Monday called on NATO to continue expanding, saying the military alliance should not close its doors to aspiring ex-Soviet states.

The presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia -- meeting in Vilnius -- discussed the NATO heads of state summit to be held in Riga on November 28-29. U.S. President George W. Bush will be among the participants.

In a joint communique the east European leaders said NATO should have an open door policy to new members.

Some NATO members have balked at the continued expansion of the alliance to include such aspirant members as Ukraine.

In late September, the United States told Ukraine it would back an application by the former Soviet republic to join NATO, even though the country's Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich had put membership of the alliance on hold.

The communique said the four presidents welcomed intensified dialogue with Georgia and pledged to support modernisation of Ukraine's defence and security sectors.

"The Riga summit will not be an enlargement summit -- no announcements will be made to that effect -- but all four countries represented here today feel very strongly that the Riga summit should give signs of encouragement," said Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

"We have common views on the priorities NATO is facing and we intend to speak with a common voice at the debates," she added.

Washington wants NATO to expand its activities.

On Oct. 30 the United States, looking to the Riga summit, set out an ambitious agenda for transforming NATO into a global security organisation.

U.S. NATO ambassador Victoria Nulund said the 26-nation alliance had gone beyond debates about whether to act outside its Euro-Atlantic area, deploying forces on four continents in the last 18 months, including in Afghanistan.

NATO is already performing missions in practice for which it has yet to adopt its theory, she said.

Diplomats have said France is most reticent about accepting a global role for the U.S.-led alliance. Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain also had reservations, they said.

Bush to propose new ties for NATO

By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer
Tue Nov 21, 6:06 PM ET
Yahoo News

WASHINGTON - President Bush plans to propose an expanded partnership with NATO for five countries including Japan, Australia and South Korea at a summit of the alliance next week in Latvia.

But NATO will not be expanded at this year's summit beyond its 26 present member countries, said officials at the White House and the State Department.

Bush will also renew his push at the gathering in Riga, the capital of Latvia, for NATO members to raise their levels of defense spending, particularly for the Afghanistan mission, Judy Ansley, a White House National Security Council Official, told reporters Tuesday.

The Afghanistan conflict has intensified in recent weeks, particularly in southern Afghanistan, with a resurgent Taliban and a central government struggling to assert authority.

The president will talk to other NATO leaders about the importance of supporting the mission in Afghanistan, Ansley, the NSC's director of Eastern European Affairs, told reporters in a conference call.

"This is the first real large out-of-area operation NATO has ever taken on. And it's an important operation. We have all 26 allies committed to it, and we just need to see it through," she said.

There are roughly 30,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan. However, some of the troops are restricted by their own governments in terms of what they can do, restrictions the United States is seeking to ease.

Under a new global partnership plan, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Sweden and Finland would be invited to increase their participation in training and meetings with the NATO alliance, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said at a State Department news conference.

"These five countries — at least the three Asian countries, I should say, Australia, Japan and South Korea — do not seek NATO membership," Burns said. "But we seek a partnership with them so that we can train more intensively, from a military point of view, and grow closer to them because we are deployed with them."

"This will be a priority issue for the United States at this summit, and we believe NATO will agree to this program of global partnerships," Burns said.

Australia already is the biggest non-NATO contributor to the alliance-led force in Afghanistan.

Six Arab countries are partners with NATO, as is Israel.

While NATO was initially formed to deter the Soviet Union in Europe, "Our agenda with Europe is now a global agenda," Burns said.

Earlier, at a separate meeting with reporters, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said no new membership invitations would be issued at the summit in Riga.

"This is not going to be an expansion summit," Fried said. "NATO is not going to be making invitations."

Macedonia, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Georgia are among countries in two groups that aspire to membership.

Fried paid tribute to the Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom for joining U.S. troops in fighting against a Taliban insurgency in southern Afghanistan. Fried urged NATO countries that do not authorize sending their troops into combat to change their positions. He did not name those countries.

Bush to propose expanding NATO partnerships

Japan, Australia, South Korea, Sweden and Finland will be a 'priority'
Updated: 2:25 p.m. ET Nov. 21, 2006

WASHINGTON - President Bush plans to propose offering five countries an expanded relationship with NATO at a summit of the alliance next week in Riga, Latvia, but no full-fledged new members will be invited to join, the State Department said Tuesday.

Under a new global partnership plan, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Sweden and Finland would be invited to increase their participation in training and meetings with the 26-nation NATO alliance but would not be invited to join as full members, said Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns.

"These five countries - at least the three Asian countries, I should say, Australia, Japan and South Korea - do not seek NATO membership," Burns said. "But we seek a partnership with them so that we can train more intensively, from a military point of view, and grow closer to them because we are deployed with them."

A global European agenda

"This will be a priority issue for the United States at this summit, and we believe NATO will agree to this program of global partnerships," Burns said at a State Department news conference.

Australia already is the biggest non-NATO contributor to the alliance-led force of about 20,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Six Arab countries are partners with NATO, as is Israel.

"Our agenda with Europe is now a global agenda, and it tends to be about the rest of the world; about what we can do as partners in the Middle East, in south and east Asia, in Africa and in Latin America," Burns said about the evolution of an alliance formed initially to deter the Soviet Union in Europe," Burns said,

"This is a fully modern agenda. And it's a great change from the agenda that we had with the Europeans for the five decades during the Cold War," he said.

No NATO expansion suggested

Earlier, at a separate meeting with reporters, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said no new membership invitations would be issued at the summit in Riga that will be attended by President Bush and leaders of the other NATO nations.

"This is not going to be an expansion summit," Fried said. "NATO is not going to be making invitations."

Macedonia, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Georgia are among countries in two groups that aspire to membership.

Fried paid tribute to the Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom for joining U.S. troops in fighting against a Taliban insurgency in southern Afghanistan. Fried urged NATO countries that do not authorize sending their troops into combat to change their positions. He did not name those countries.

Bush to Propose Global Partnership With NATO for 5 Countries

Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Fox News

WASHINGTON — President Bush plans to propose offering five countries an expanded relationship with NATO at a summit of the alliance next week in Riga, Latvia, the State Department said Tuesday.

Japan, Australia, South Korea, Sweden and Finland would be invited to increase their participation in training and meetings with the 26-nation NATO alliance but would not be invited to join as full members, said Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns.

"These five countries — at least the three Asian countries, I should say, Australia, Japan and South Korea — do not seek NATO membership," Burns said. "But we seek a partnership with them so that we can train more intensively, from a military point of view, and grow closer to them because we are deployed with them."

Australia already is the biggest non-NATO contributor to the alliance-led force of about 20,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Six Arab countries are partners with NATO, as is Israel.

"Our agenda with Europe is now a global agenda, and it tends to be about the rest of the world; about what we can do as partners in the Middle East, in south and east Asia, in Africa and in Latin America," Burns said about the evolution of an alliance formed initially to deter the Soviet Union in Europe," Burns said,

"This is a fully modern agenda. And it's a great change from the agenda that we had with the Europeans for the five decades during the Cold War," he said.

Earlier, at a separate meeting with reporters, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said no new membership invitations would be issued at the summit in Riga that will be attended by President Bush and leaders of the other NATO nations.

Macedonia, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Georgia are among countries in two groups that aspire to membership.

Fried paid tribute to the Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom for joining U.S. troops in fighting against a Taliban insurgency in southern Afghanistan. Fried urged NATO countries that do not authorize sending their troops into combat to change their positions. He did not name those countries.

NATO Secretary-General Pledges Support for Afghanistan

Friday, October 27, 2006

Oct. 27: President Bush shakes hands with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in the Oval Office of the White House.

WASHINGTON — NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said he's saddened by recent deaths of Afghan civilians, and said the alliance is committed to defending democracy in the nation once ruled by the repressive Taliban regime.

"That's a tragedy, but let me convince you to look at the broader picture," de Hoop Scheffer said on Friday after a meeting at the White House with President Bush. "They are against democracy. Girls did not go to school when the Taliban was running Afghanistan. Now they go to school. Now there is a president. Now there is a government."

In an Oval Office meeting that lasted about an hour, de Hoop Scheffer and Bush reviewed the alliance's mission in Afghanistan. Some 32,000 NATO-led troops are serving in the most dangerous areas of the insurgency-wracked nation.

NATO expanded its mission this year from the relatively stable north and western parts of the country to far more dangerous areas in the south, where Taliban militia have been most active since a U.S.-led coalition drove them from the seat of power, Kabul, in 2001.

On Friday, a roadside blast ripped through a pickup truck in southern Afghanistan, killing 14 villagers who were traveling to a provincial capital for holiday celebrations. Meanwhile, in the southern city of Kandahar, mourners attended a prayer ceremony in memory of civilians killed during NATO operations on Tuesday in the nearby Panjwayi district. NATO said its initial reports found that 12 civilians were killed, but Afghan officials estimated the number of civilians killed at between 30 and 80, including many women and children.

"NATO is delivering security," de Hoop Scheffer said. "And NATO will continue to do this, indeed, with its present, but also with global partners because terrorism, proliferation, failed states and failing states are global threats we have to face and to counter on a global scale."

Bush thanked the NATO secretary-general for leading 26 nations of NATO into Afghanistan, and for reaching out to other nations that share its values, but have not been considered a part of NATO.

"You know what I know — that the real challenge for the future is to help people of moderation and young democracies succeed in the face of threats and attacks by radicals and extremists who do not share our ideology, have, kind of, a dark vision of the world," Bush said.

De Hoop Scheffer, fresh from a visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, is in Washington for talks about matters including the NATO chief's wish for closer relations between the alliance and Russia. The NATO secretary-general said he wanted to deepen the relationship between Moscow and NATO because of Russia's importance to solving many conflicts.

Russia signed a partnership agreement with NATO in 2002, outlining cooperation in counterterror, nonproliferation, peacekeeping and other fields. At the same time Putin's government has continued to make public his opposition to the alliance's eastward expansion.

That expansion has included the absorption of countries that were part of the former Soviet Union — the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — and former members of NATO's Cold War nemesis, the Warsaw Pact — Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

A NATO summit in Washington in 2008 is expected to take up the question of membership bids. Among countries seeking to join are the Balkan states Albania, Croatia and Macedonia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

The summit meeting in the Latvian capital of Riga next month is expected to discuss strengthening relations with democracies such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan. This move is favored by the United States, Britain and some other members but opposed by France, which objects to the alliance's taking on a global dimension.

De Hoop Scheffer has said the trans-Atlantic security concept needs to be re-evaluated because of international terrorism, which he has called a "threat without a face."

He said NATO has no desire to play the world's policeman but is the right tool for an international security partnership.

Australia may expand NATO relationship

The Age
November 22, 2006 - 5:59AM

Australia will be invited to expand its relationship with NATO under a plan to be presented by US President George W Bush at a NATO summit next week.

Bush plans to propose a partnership arrangement for five countries, including Australia, that would expand the reach of the Atlantic alliance to the Pacific Ocean.

Japan, Australia, South Korea, Sweden and Finland will be invited at the Riga, Latvia, summit to expand training and meetings with the 26-country NATO alliance but not to join, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said.

"These five countries - at least the three Asian countries, I should say, Australia, Japan and South Korea - do not seek NATO membership," Burns said.

"But we seek a partnership with them so that we can train more intensively, from a military point of view, and grow closer to them because we are deployed with them.

"This will be a priority issue for the United States at this summit, and we believe NATO will agree to this program of global partnerships," Burns said at a State Department news conference.

Australia already is the biggest non-NATO contributor to the alliance-led force of about 20,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Six Arab countries are partners with NATO, as is Israel.

"Our agenda with Europe is now a global agenda, and it tends to be about the rest of the world; about what we can do as partners in the Middle East, in south and east Asia, in Africa and in Latin America," Burns said.

The alliance initially was formed to deter the Soviet Union in Europe.

"This is a fully modern agenda. And it's a great change from the agenda that we had with the Europeans for the five decades during the Cold War," he said.

Earlier, at a separate meeting with reporters, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said no new membership invitations would be issued at the Riga meeting to be attended by Bush and leaders of the other NATO nations.

"This is not going to be an expansion summit," he said.

"NATO is not going to be making invitations."

Macedonia, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Georgia are among countries that aspire to membership.

Fried paid tribute to the Netherlands, Canada and Britain for joining US troops in fighting against a Taliban insurgency in southern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.

Fried urged NATO countries that do not authorise sending their troops into combat to change their positions. He did not say which countries he was talking about.

Sweden and Finland pledge to keep each other informed of NATO plans

Swedish PM Fredrik Reinfeldt keen to move on from scandal-laced start to government term
Helsingin Sanomat

Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (Moderate Party) and Finland's Matti Vanhanen (Centre) agreed on Sunday that the two countries would keep each other abreast of security policy solutions to be adopted in the future.

Reinfeldt, on a brief visit to Finland shortly after his election to head the new centre-right government, said that the countries should build a "close dialogue". Vanhanen agreed and stated that Finland and Sweden had a security policy link that would hold.

Matti Vanhanen commented that the two men had discussed the fact that all possible changes, including any application to join NATO, would be reported on in good time. Both countries have a need to be able to foresee possible changes in direction well in advance.

Just over a decade ago, Sweden took Finland by surprise with its application to join the EU. Vanhanen noted that this was water under the bridge and that it would not recur.

Finland and Sweden make proposal to NATO on peace partnership

Two countries want intelligence information and participation in preparations

Finland and Sweden have put forward a proposal to NATO on reforming the Partnership for Peace programme in order to make it more efficient.

The proposal, which is called a working paper, was drawn up in advance of the NATO summit to be held in the Latvian capital Riga in late November. NATO is expected to decide on the guidelines of a more efficient partnership, even though final decisions are not to be made until 2008. The proposal was handed out to participants of a meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council EAPC last week.

The key goal of Finland and Sweden is to get more information at an earlier stage of NATO’s plans for crisis management operations, and to be involved at as early a stage as possible in preparations and in the assembly of forces linked with NATO-led operations.

The two countries also would like to have access to NATO’s classified intelligence information and to see NATO’s operational plans as early as possible. Finland and Sweden also say that the partners should get more time than they now have for commenting on plans. According to the working paper, at least five working days would be needed. The goal is to get Finnish and Swedish officers into all of NATO’s levels of command. Under the proposal, NATO should also allow officers of the partners into its headquarters and command systems as soon as a crisis management operation has started.

Sweden and Finland pledge to keep each other informed of NATO plans (16.10.2006)

Bush to propose expanded NATO partnership for Finland

George W. Bush

U.S. President George W. Bush will propose offering five countries - including Finland - an expanded relationship with NATO when the military alliance meets in summit next week in Riga, Latvia, according to comments by U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns on Tuesday.

According to the AP news agency, Burns said that Australia, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and Finland would be invited to a more intensive partnership at the Riga meeting. "We seek a global partnership with [these countries] so that we can train more intensively, from a military point of view, and grow closer to them because we are deployed with them", Burns said.

The initiative came to light already in April of this year, and in October Sweden and Finland made a joint proposal to NATO on the upgrading and renewal of Partnership for Peace arrangements. The main lines will probably be dealt with in Riga, but final decisions on the matter will have to wait until 2008.

The Finnish and Swedish aim is to get information earlier and in greater depth on NATO crisis management operations, to be able to take part in planning at an early stage, and also to have greater access to NATO intelligence material. Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said no new membership invitations would be issued at the summit in Riga.

Finland and Sweden make proposal to NATO on peace partnership (17.10.2006)
Prime Minister Vanhanen welcomes NATO offer of increased cooperation (6.4.2006)

Bush Would Expand NATO To Add Five More Nations

Tribune Online 11/22/06

WASHINGTON — President Bush plans to propose an expanded partnership with NATO for five countries including Japan, Australia, South Korea, Sweden and Finland at a summit of the alliance next week in Latvia.

But NATO will not be expanded at this year's summit beyond its 26 present member countries, said officials at the White House and the State Department.

Bush also will renew his push at the gathering in Riga, the capital of Latvia, for NATO members to raise their levels of defense spending, particularly for the Afghanistan mission, Judy Ansley, a White House National Security Council official, told reporters yesterday.

The Afghanistan conflict has intensified in recent weeks, particularly in southern Afghanistan. 00000

Bush to Offer Enhanced Ties Between NATO and Five Countries

21 November 2006

U.S. President George W. Bush will propose offering five countries an expanded relationship with NATO at the summit of the military alliance next week in Riga, Latvia, U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Tuesday.

"These five countries -- at least the three Asian countries, I should say, Australia, Japan and South Korea -- do not seek NATO membership. But we seek a partnership with them so that we can train more intensively, from a military point of view, and grow closer to them because we are deployed with them," Burns said.

The other two are Sweden and Finland, Burns said.

"This will be a priority issue for the United States at this summit, and we believe NATO will agree to this program of global partnerships," Burns said.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said no new membership invitations would be issued at the summit in Riga that will be attended by U.S. President George W. Bush and leaders of the other NATO nations.

"This is not going to be an expansion summit. NATO is not going to be making invitations," Fried said.

NATO currently has a total of 26 member states.

Source: Xinhua

US in push for NATO ties

Patrick Walters, National security editor
November 23, 2006

THE US is pushing for NATO to forge closer links with key Western allies including Australia as the organisation expands its military deployments beyond Europe.
But Canberra is lukewarm about developing any formal association with the group.

Washington wants Australia, Japan and South Korea to become global partners with the 26-member Atlantic alliance, together with two European non-NATO allies - Sweden and Finland.

US President George W. Bush is expected to push the idea at a NATO summit meeting in the Latvian capital of Riga next week as NATO becomes more involved in the struggle against Islamist terrorism.

Australia already has military ties with NATO through its task group in Oruzgan province in Afghanistan, which comes under overall NATO command.

US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Tuesday that NATO was looking to expand its reach beyond its traditional boundaries.

"We seek a partnership with them so that we can train more intensively, from a military point of view, and grow closer to them because we are deployed with them," Mr Burns said. "This will have NATO reach out to Australia and to Japan and to South Korea and to Sweden and Finland, the five countries that most prominently train with us, exercise with us in NATO and deploy in the Balkans and Afghanistan with us."

The 58-year-old NATO alliance has deployed 18,000 troops to Afghanistan in its first big military operation outside Europe. Afghanistan also marks the first time Australia has joined a NATO-led mission.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told The Australian yesterday he had discussed closer ties with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Brussels in September, including the military operations in Afghanistan and global struggle against terrorism.

Mr Downer reiterated that the Government was not interested in pursuing formal membership of NATO. "Capital P partnership is not going to happen. It's not our priority," a senior government source said yesterday.

In a speech to the NATO Council in September, Mr Downer said the Australia-NATO partnership should be pragmatic and flexible.

Mr Downer added that geography and Australia's significant regional commitments meant it could be difficult to service a more formal arrangement with NATO.

As the US-led coalition reviews its military presence in Iraq, Labor yesterday warned John Howard against putting more troops into the conflict.

Kim Beazley said such a move would not serve Australia's national interest.

"I just say very firmly to Mr Howard this: When you're in a hole, stop digging," the Opposition Leader said.

Although Australia is not expected to significantly boost its 750-strong military presence in Iraq next year, the Prime Minister wants to canvass a range of options for Australia's future military presence.

Bush to lobby for stronger NATO ties with Australia

By Washington correspondent Kim Landers

US President George W Bush will ask NATO to boost its ties with Australia.

Mr Bush will ask a NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organisation] summit next week to establish a partnership between the Atlantic alliance and five key allies, including Australia, Japan and South Korea.

US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns says it will allow for increased strategic discussions between the countries.

"They also want to train more frequently with us militarily because they're operating with us militarily," he said.

"[The] three countries have been in Iraq, they've been in Afghanistan and they've been in the Balkans and so we want to grow closer to them."

"We don't see them as future members but we want to have a closer relationship."

The NATO summit is being held in Riga in Latvia.

Bush to seek more spending at NATO summit
Nov. 22, 2006 at 9:00AM

U.S. President George Bush will call on fellow NATO members to increase defense spending at a NATO summit in Latvia next week.

Judy Ansley, senior director for European Affairs at the National Security Council briefed reporters in Washington on the summit in Riga and said Bush would repeat his longstanding call for more involvement in NATO missions from fellow members. Ansley said Bush would also discuss problems in the NATO mission in Afghanistan when the summit begins Nov. 29.

"I think that you can expect that there will be discussion about the need for some flexibility in where troops are, for an increase in the number of troops, maybe a decrease in some of the restrictions on troops that are currently there," Ansley said.

She said the summit was also expected to announce a new initiative in which 14 allies plus Sweden will be buying heavy C-17 aircraft to upgrade strategic airlift capabilities. NATO has some 50,000 soldiers involved in six missions on three continents.

Bush to Stress Alliance 'Transformation' at NATO Summit

By VOA News
21 November 2006

President George W. Bush

The U.S. State Department says President Bush will propose a partnership arrangement for five countries that would expand the reach of NATO at the alliance summit in Latvia next week.

Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said Tuesday Australia, Finland, Japan, South Korea and Sweden will be invited to expand training and meetings with the 26-member NATO alliance, but will not be invited to join.

Burns said the president's "transformed agenda" for NATO will give the defense bloc a more global orientation that can work outside of Europe.

Australia, Finland and Sweden currently have forces deployed with NATO in Afghanistan.

Burns said President Bush also will push NATO members to increase the share of their national budgets devoted to defense spending. He said higher spending is needed for the alliance to acquire the systems and capabilities required for modern warfare.

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