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What is in the future of EAPC and PfP?

What is in the future of EAPC and PfP?

Speech at the EAPC Defence Ministers meeting. Brussels, June 7, 2002, by HE Dr Björn von Sydow, Swedish Minister for Defence. Source: MoD, Stockholm.

Mr Secretary-General, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, let me express my appreciation that we now can meet under a somewhat different arrangement. I am sure that this stimulates a free discussion and a useful exchange of views. Let me also thank you George for inviting me to be part of this panel

During the last decade our cooperation and this forum has successfully evolved to one of the key components in the Euro-Atlantic Security Architecture. However, for the future, with an enlarged and transformed NATO with a renewed relation with Russia and a similarly enlarged and transformed European Union, the circumstances for co-operation could be somewhat different. At this time I believe it is relevant to ask oneself – What is in the future of EAPC and PfP? What are the added values to the Allies and Partners?

We anticipate the summit in Prague to result in a number of important de-cisions that will transform the alliance, the enlargement being the most ob-vious change. However, the adaptation of NATO is not complete without a reformed EAPC. We welcome the decision taken in Reykjavik to task the NAC to continue reviewing the Partnerships with a view to present concrete proposals for further development of the EAPC/PfP at Prague. The NATO/EAPC Summit in Prague will therefore be of paramount importance in setting the stage and providing guidance for the future of our Partnership. Let me stress the importance of making discussions at 46 the rule rather than the exception. This is a truly common concern – to ensure the best possible outcome, we should allow for common input and joint consultations.

So far NATO has displayed a remarkable ability to adapt to a new security environment. The EAPC and the PFP has been vital parts of a successful transformation. This should be the case also in the future. The renewed NATO/Russia relationship is a proof of the importance to seize opportunities for positive change as they arise. I welcome and congratulate both Nato and Russia on your achievement. The new NATO/Russia relationship should give us further inspiration in our efforts to renew the Partnership - both in terms of substance and in modalities for cooperation.

Now, during the last decade NATO and the EAPC/PfP have played a significant role in strengthening stability and security across the whole Euro-Atlantic area. This should be the case for the future as well. PfP provides unique tools for improving interoperability, which in turn is a prerequisite for successful crisis management. This fact is evident in the daily business for our troops in the Balkans. The continuous success of our cooperation has many reasons. However, at this time especially two important features comes to my mind:

  • The continuous adaptation and development of the format and tools to new circumstances.
  • The capability of the various instruments provided through PfP to fulfil the interests and needs of all participating countries.

In order to ensure that these features continue to be valid, we cannot rest on our laurels. Both the EAPC and the Partnership for Peace must continue to develop to the benefit of Allies and Partners alike. The development must reflect that Partners work under different circumstances and have individual requirements.

At our last ministerial meeting in December, I tentatively mentioned some areas that could be of interest to discuss. Since then, Sweden together with Finland, and other countries or groups of countries has provided further input and ideas to the review of the Partnership. These initiatives have been well received and there is no lack of ideas. While adapting for the future, we must also keep in mind the requirement to accomplish what has already been agreed at the Washington Summit.

Mr Secretary-General,

I believe that in order to further enhance our cooperation, we should focus on three key areas: Involvement, Individuality and Interoperablity. The aim should be a balanced Prague package, which strikes a balance between continuity and renewal, building on the success of the Enhanced and More Operational Partnership.

  • Involvement

When Partners participate with troops in NATO-led PfP operations, the Political-Military Framework provides Partners with opportunities of joint decision-shaping on the whole range of issues relevant to the operations. For the future it is important to further explore and give substance to the notion of joint decision-shaping and decisionmaking in the operational field, as well as in other areas where Partners contribute. This development could provide the Partnership with an operational capability to manage the new challenges.

  • Individuality (and inclusiveness)

Formats and tools need to take into account the individual needs and interests of each Partner and the development must reflect that Partners work under different circumstances and have individual requirements. I believe that the basic documents for the EAPC and PfP accommodate this aspect. They provide a solid basis for further development. Therefore, we should explore the possibilities for increased tailormade solutions for single Partner nations or groups of Partners, as envisaged by the 19+n formula in The EAPC Basic Document. However, this has to be carefully balanced against the need for inclusiveness and transparency. What we need to do is to reconcile rather than finding a compromise between these two cardinal principles.


For Sweden the interoperability tools of the Partnership are of crucial importance, not only for us as a Partner nation, but also as a member of the European Union. It is through PfP that we achieve the interoperability necessary for participation in Crises Management Operations in that con-text as well. Interoperability is equally important for NATOs ability to conduct operations together with its Partners. In the interest both of NATO and Partners it is of utmost importance that the review of the Partnership takes into account how to develop the PARP process and the interoperability tools as well as how to provide relevant exercises, both through PfP and in the Spirit of Partnership for Peace. Further development of more demanding exercises are encouraged in order to provide a challenge also to qualified and well-trained units. In the review of the inter-operability-building processes in its broad sense, I believe we should pay special attention on how to support Central Asian EAPC Partners. In-creased interoperability will in the long run be of importance to their ability undertake reform of the Armed Forces and participate in Crisis Manage-ment.

Mr Secretary-General,

One country or group of countries cannot take on the whole spectrum of new challenges ahead of us. To me this indicates the importance of NATOs continued and developed relation to its Partners and that the Partnership must continue to be a key component in the post-Prague Euro-Atlantic Security Architecture. But we all need to work hard to achieve substantial results at the Prague Summit. However, I am confident that we will be able to reach a number of important decisions for the future at. I believe Individuality, Interoperability, and Involvement are some of the key words that should stay on our mind in that process. As mentioned before, I believe that the most important features of PfP have been adaptability, development and fulfilment of the interests and needs of each participant, NATO countries and Partners alike. Let us work together to ensure that in the run-up to future Summits, we should be able to come to the same conclusions.

Thank You.


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).