Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC)

Note: As of November 2006 this file will not be updated.

Membership

49 States — Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, and Uzbekistan.

Background

Created in 1997, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) succeeded the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, and brings together the 26 NATO Allies and 20 Partners in a forum providing for regular consultation and cooperation. It meets periodically at the level of ambassadors and foreign and defense ministers, and, when appropriate, heads of state and government of the 44 members can also meet.

The EAPC has played a valuable role as a forum for consultation on the crisis in Kosovo. A series of extraordinary meetings was held to keep Partners informed of the status of NATO planning and preparations for possible military options in Kosovo and to exchange views with Partners on developments.

EAPC activities are based on a two-year action plan that focuses on consultation and cooperation on a range of political and security-related matters, including regional issues, arms control, international terrorism, peacekeeping, defense economic issues, civil emergency planning, and scientific and environmental issues. Almost all of the non-NATO EAPC Members have established diplomatic missions accredited to NATO, expanding contacts between NATO and Partners and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of cooperation. Ambassadors of the EAPC meet monthly while foreign and defense ministers, along with chiefs of defense, meet annually. Occasionally, meetings will be held at the summit level.

The EAPC also helps to foster practical regional security cooperation through topical seminars which form part of the EAPC action plan. The first such regional cooperation seminar was hosted by Georgia in October 1998. Since then similar events have been held in Lithuania and Slovakia, with two additional seminars in Bulgaria and Uzbekistan in 1999.

Many ideas for further practical initiatives are being explored, including ways in which the EAPC might support global humanitarian action against mines and ways of controlling transfers of small arms.

Developments

2009

On June 24-25 the EAPC Security Forum took place in Astana, Kazakhstan where questions regarding the situation in Afghanistan and energy security where discussed.

2006

On 29 November 2006, the member states of NATO reaffirmed their dedication to EAPC at the Riga Summit. These commitments include developing the relationship between NATO and partners, support for the Political-Military Framework for NATO-led operations, and combating global terrorism.

On 19 September 2006, the EAPC agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will provide faster and more proficient assistance to disaster or humanitarian crises (including chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear) victims. This multilateral accord endeavors to achieve these goals through the improvement of civil cross-border transport movements of signatory nations. The accord is currently available to NATO signatories and partners.

At the United Nations Conference on 29 June 2006, NATO Ambassador Martin Erdmann presented an EAPC report to evaluate the implementation of the 2001 Programme of Action, which aims to abolish the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons. Throughout the meeting, the EAPC emphasized NATO's Partnership for Peace's strong role in the destruction of munitions.

2005

The first ever Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Security Forum was held in Are, Sweden, from 24 to 25 May 2005. The event brought together a number of ministers from NATO and partner countries, as well as senior decisionmakers, representatives of think tanks, and civil society. The meeting demonstrated NATO's desire to reach out to civil society in recognition of the role nongovernmental organizations play in all aspects of NATO's agenda, particularly peace-building and reconstruction in areas such as the Balkans and Afghanistan.

The forum addressed topics such as Europe's unresolved conflicts, NATO and its other partnerships, Central Asia and future cooperation in the EAPC, and how institutional cooperation in the Balkans and elsewhere can make the world more secure.

2004

The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Military Committee met with the NATO Chiefs of Staff at NATO Headquarters on 7 May. The Supreme Allied Commander, Europe General James L. Jones delivered an update on the Alliance's partner operations, including various efforts against terrorism. Similar discussion followed at a meeting of the heads of state and government of the 46 EAPC States that was convened during NATO's Istanbul Summit, held from 28-29 June. Addressing a wide range of security issues, participants reaffirmed their need for the EAPC to help "fight the scourge of terrorism" through the continued implementation of the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism. They also welcomed the establishment of the Individual Partnership Action Plan for internal reform, and discussed various regional concerns.

From 24-26 May, a meeting of civil emergency experts convened in Dubrovnik, Croatia to review and evaluate operations conducted by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center, which organizes disaster relief projects involving EAPC States, over the course of the last six years. Among issues discussed was how to improve the EADRC's capabilities in light of security threats involving chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

2003

During the NATO Meeting of Foreign Ministers in Madrid from 3-4 June, the foreign ministers and representatives of EAPC Member States met to address various regional issues and security threats, including terrorism. In an opening statement, NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson noted the EAPC's expanding role and welcomed actions taken at the 2002 Prague Summit, including the introduction of the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism. The ministers further discussed progress made towards objectives outlined in this action plan, as well as efforts to improve the protection of civilians against attacks involving biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear agents, but also stressed the continued work that lay ahead. Later that month, the defense ministers and representatives of EAPC States met in Brussels to elaborate discussion of these security challenges. They emphasized the role of the Partnership for Peace in combating terrorism, and discussed in depth the situation in Afghanistan

In November, during a Military Committee-level session at NATO Headquarters, the NATO Chiefs of Defense Staff met with all 46 members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Military Committee. Discussion focused on the status of the Action Plan against Terrorism, as well as the situations in Afghanistan and the Balkans. Also that month, EAPC States released their 2004-2005 Action Plan, intended to succeed the 2002-2004 Action Plan that was developed in 2001. In a section on the EAPC's Long-Term Program for Consultation and Cooperation, the document noted a number of arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation issues to be addressed over the next two years. These included political and defensive efforts against the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and missiles, and the challenges of small arms and light weapons proliferation. It also described plans for States' collaboration in implementing the CEP Action Plan for the improvement of civil preparedness against possible chemical, biological, and radiological weapon attacks against civilians, and for the expansion of the EADRC's role in this process. In addition, the action plan's agenda includes a series of meetings, seminars, workshops and courses to be held regarding arms control implementation and anti-terrorism efforts.

Two meetings involving the EAPC States convened in Brussels in December: a meeting of the EAPC defense ministers on 2 December, and of the EAPC foreign ministers on 5 December. The Action Plan against Terrorism was a primary issue discussed at both, with participants advocating increased cooperation between the partners in coordinating civil and military structures. At the 5 December meeting, the foreign ministers specifically encouraged the facilitation of increased consultations within the EAPC regarding the protection of civilians against risks posed by weapons of mass destruction.

2002

On 28 and 30 January, a workshop examining the practical lessons learned in the anthrax crisis in the United States took place in Ahrweiler, Germany, under the auspices of the EAPC. The workshop, which was jointly organized by NATO's Civil Emergency Planning Directorate and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Centre, was attended by come 55 public health management experts from 27 EAPC countries. The main focus of the workshop was the experience of the US Centers for Disease Control. However, presentations outlined the gaps in preparedness that exist in all countries in terms of both crisis and consequence management. Participants endorsed two concrete proposals, a list of "lessons learned" to guide future work and a prioritized list of proposals for future workshop.

The foreign ministers and representatives of the EAPC States met on 15 May in Reykjavik, Iceland. In an opening statement to the meeting, NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson addressed the implications the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 had on the global security situation, and discussed the "political solidarity" of the Euro-Atlantic community. The ministers reiterated the role of the Partnership in light of emerging security threats, and received various reports on current activities. They also noted the objective of presenting the Heads of State and Government with a package of proposals to enhance the EAPX and Partnership for Peace.

On 6-7 June, defense ministers of the EAPC met in Brussels to discuss the future of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) and the EAPC, and the role of PfP in the international fight against terrorism. Ministers agreed that the EAPC has been, and will continue to be, an essential pillar of the international coalition against terrorism and exchanged views on how to respond effectively to terrorism-related security concerns. Ministers agreed that the requirements of the fight against terrorism should be taken fully into consideration in the review and adaptation of the EAPC and PfP, and they discussed what specific elements could be included in a possible Partnership Action Plan against terrorism.

On 21 June, disarmament experts from NATO and Partner countries held a meeting to review developments and discuss work underway in the area of nonproliferation. The aim of the meeting was to give the opportunity to national experts from EAPC Member countries to exchange views and reach a better understanding of national positions on disarmament. Themes covered included outer space arms control, nuclear nonproliferation, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), means of countering the proliferation of biological weapons, and new steps to support the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This was the first meeting on disarmament to which Partner countries were allowed to participate, as a follow-up to the implementation of NATO's WMD Initiative.

In November, during the NATO Prague Summit, representatives of the EAPC States issued a Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism, in which they called upon all Member States to take efforts towards the suppression and prevention of terrorism in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373. The plan listed numerous objectives, including enhanced cooperation on arms control and non-proliferation, which, the document noted, "make an essential contribution to the global combat against terrorism, in particular by helping prevent the use of WMD." Among specific courses of action prescribed were: intensifying consultations and sharing information; enhancing preparedness for combating terrorism through defense and security sector reform, armaments cooperation and other means; impeding support for terrorist organizations through border control and stricter control of WMD and small arms and light weapons; and holding NATO-led activities to enhance capabilities against WMD-related terrorism and civil preparedness against attacks involving chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological threats.

Also during the Prague Summit, the Heads of State and Government and other representatives of the EAPC States met to discuss security issues relevant to the Euro-Atlantic area. They reaffirmed the importance of efforts against terrorism, heard a review report on the EAPC and Partnership for Peace, and welcomed the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism as a "concrete expression of their desire to join forces against the terrorist menace."

2001

Foreign ministers and representatives of the Member States met in Budapest on 30 May. After hearing the opening remarks by Foreign Minister Svilanovic of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Members exchanged views on developments in "South-East Europe and expressed support for Yugoslavia's efforts to integrate itself into the Euro-Atlantic community. Ministers welcomed the South-East Europe Common Assessment Paper on Regional Security Challenges and Opportunities" (SEECAP), developed by a number of EAPC nations, as a key document to build regional cooperation and lasting stability and security.

Defense ministers met in Brussels on 8 June to exchange views on the security environment in the Euro-Atlantic region, to discuss the contribution made by PfPs to crisis management capabilities, and for those concerned, to approve the new Ministerial Guidance for Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Conference. Ministers re-affirmed their commitment to the full implementation of UNSC Resolution 1244 and support for Kosova Force (KFOR)'s role in creating a safe and secure environment in Kosovo.

On 19 December, defense ministers met in Brussels to discuss three main issues: improving cooperation and capabilities to address terrorism and other non-conventional threats, practical cooperation under the Partnership for Peace program, and approval of the Planning and Review Process Ministerial Guidance 2002. The importance of the EAPC was reiterated as an essential pillar of the international coalition against terrorism.

2000

In December, the EAPC held a ministerial level meeting in Brussels. Following a briefing by Mr. Wolfgang Petritsch, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ministers exchanged views on the situation in that area and commended Stabilization Force (SFOR)'s continued efforts in supporting the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords. They emphasized that more progress needed to be made towards a self-sustaining multi-ethnic democracy by newly elected officials, and that the officials should assume greater ownership of the process. Ministers further underlined the importance of regular consultations that had taken place within the EAPC framework on the situation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The action plan for the period 2000 until 2001 was updated in the fall. A major part of the work schedule will be devoted to the development and implementation of the Partnership-related initiatives launched at the Washington Summit.

The EAPC met at the defense ministers level in Brussels on 9 June. The ministers welcomed the successful completion of the SFOR restructuring and heard briefings on various aspects of the situation in the Balkans. They welcomed the development of the first full set of Partnership Goals and received a Summary Report of the main trends and issues in the PfP Planning and Review Process. These Goals aim to further develop and enhance effective and interoperable forces and capabilities for the full range of NATO-led PfP operations.

During the year, four open-ended Ad Hoc Working Groups were convened to explore possible EAPC contributions to: Global Humanitarian Mine Action, the Challenge of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Prospects for Regional Cooperation in South Eastern Europe, and in the Caucasus.

1999

Heads of State and Government of the 44 Member States met in Washington in April. This summit was an opportunity for open discussions among the leaders of the Member countries on security-related cooperation within the EAPC in the 21st century. The leaders concentrated on key security challenges in the EAPC area, in particular the situation in Kosovo. The Heads of State and Government endorsed two documents relating to the further development of the Partnership for Peace. The first of these, the "Political-Military Framework for NATO-led PfP Operations," addresses the involvement of Partner countries in political consultations and decision-making, in operational planning, and in command arrangements for future NATO-led operations in which they participate. The second document is entitled "Towards a Partnership for the 21st Century ─ the Enhanced and More Operational Partnership." This outlines the main elements designed to make the Partnership for Peace (PfP) more operational.

1998

The Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) was inaugurated in June at the NATO headquarters following a proposal to the EAPC by the Russian Federation. This Centre was immediately called upon to support the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in relief efforts in Albania for refugees fleeing from Kosovo. EADRCC also played a significant role in coordinating humanitarian relief for flood-hit parts of western Ukraine in 1998.

North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC)

Created in 1991 as an organization for discussion and coordination on mutual security issues and replaced by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997.

Membership

40 States, including 16 NATO States, and Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Austria, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland had observer status as Partnership for Peace participants. Since March 1992, the CIS members have been participants in the NACC process.

Many of NACC's original activities such as cooperation on defense-related issues, in military and peacekeeping fields, including exercises, have been subsumed into Partnership for Peace activities. The subsequent framework focused on consultation and cooperation in political and security related matters, economic issues related to defense budgets and conversion, information activities, and scientific and environmental issues. Most of these activities are now being pursued in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) forum.

The NACC was replaced by the EAPC. The concluding meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council took place in Sintra, Portugal on 30 May 1997, followed by the inaugural meeting of the EAPC. All current NACC members and participating countries could automatically become members of the EAPC if they wish.

Point of Contact

Address for both NACC and EAPC:

c/o NATO
B-1110 Brussels
Belgium
Phone: (32 2) 728 4111
FAX: (32 2) 728 4579
Telex: 23867
Website: NATO Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council

About

The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council is intended to bring together the NATO Allies and other Partners in a forum providing for regular consultation and cooperation.

This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.