Statement by Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja at EAPC meeting in Reykjavik

Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Parnership Council(EAPC) in foreign ministers session Panel 1: Future of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Reykjavik, 15 May, 2002

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Mr. Secretary-General,

- the EAPC and Partnership for Peace, launched in the 1990’s, have served us all well. Now we face many new changes in the the security landscape of the Euro-Atlantic area, and time has come to move forward with the Partnership.

- from the very beginning, the Partnership has brought together Alliance members and non-members to address security developments and crisis management issues affecting the Euro-Atlantic area. This should in my view remain the basic goal for the EAPC and PfP also in the future. Some partners have joined the Alliance and some plan to join. New countries have joined the Partnership. Nato and Russia are going to work closer together, and the EU and Nato are developing their co-operation. In the meantime, our security challenges continue to evolve. New pressing challenges need to be addressed, and we have to act together. For all these reasons, I believe, we need an efficient and modern Partnership.

- two key functions of the Partnership are: 1) the opportunity to consult and work together in security issues and crisis areas, and 2) the opportunity to improve national resources and interoperability with others. All this requires multilateral work among all EAPC countries, but also diversification. By operating multilaterally we keep the Euro-Atlantic community together, and by a more differentiated Partnership we can address different needs, either regional or functional.

The multilateral EAPC:

- the multilateral EAPC is our main formal link to Nato, and our interface with Nato’s security and crisis management agenda. The EAPC Basic Document and the Partnership Framework Document still form a solid basis for our future cooperation. Even though we must develop and streamline the Partnership tools, it is equally important that our Ambassadors meet on a monthly basis in Brussels. Such meetings provide continuity and transparency for our work – and a common framework to deal with all the issues we are discussing here today.


- at the same time we need to focus the Partnership more and more on questions of a regional and substantive character. Within the large EAPC, this is the only way to ensure that a variety of different challenges get the attention they require.

- as an example, to facilitate integration and involvement of Partners in the Caucasus and Central Asia in Partnership activities, the development of tailor-made action plans could be considered, to the extent these countries themselves find this interesting. Through action plans, it might be possible to contribute to reform of the security sector, to facilitate disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration, to promote multinational security cooperation and tailor other PfP-activities to the specific needs as defined by the countries in question.

- more could also be done in terms of substantive differentiation. Such an approach has already been applied to crisis management operations. In SFOR and KFOR consultations, substantive differentiation involves countries that make resource contributions. This approach could be used in other fields as well.

- in short: a good combination of the two approaches, the multilateral EAPC and a diversified Nato + n, provides the toolbox we need today.

- a vitally important aspect in the Partnership is the opportunity to consult on issues on the Alliance agenda. The EAPC is not an independent international organisation, but generally deals with the very same agenda as the Alliance itself. Partners continue to provide troops for Nato-led PfP-operations, and a consultation mechanism, the Political-Military Framework, was approved in the Washington Summit for operational purposes. This very same consultation mechanism should be extended to other issues, including all Partnership matters and new security threats. The key to the future relevance of the EAPC will be the willingness of Nato to consult with partners on real substance. An example is terrorism.

-we are particularly interested in hearing how the Alliance will adapt to tackle terrorism and other new threats. Finland togehter with Sweden has contributed to the EAPC discussion on terrorism with a joint initiative. In this context I would also like to refer to our proposal on Trust Fund financing. Finland is organizing on a bilateral basis a seminar for the Central Asian countries on border management.

- it is important to build on the special strenghts of the EAPC when planning its activities. Good coordination and division of labour with other relevant actors like the European Union and the OSCE is important.

- prior to our Ministerial, substantial brainstorming has produced a number of national and staff papers to identify areas where more should and could be done. We find the contributions by Switzerland, Austria, the Vilnius Group very interesting. The International Staff has prepared documents to support our work and presented good ideas on security cooperation and operational work. I am confident that on our way to Prague, we can define a new, adapted approach for the Partnership.

Thank you, Mr Secretary-General