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          PfP was launched by NATO in January 1994. The aim of the Partnership is to enhance stability and security throughout Europe. It became the mechanism for involvement of more than 40 countries in European security through civil and military cooperation and the exchange of information. The original invitation was addressed to all states in the Euro Atlantic Partnership Council and in OSCE. The PfP programme now includes 27 nations. Ireland and Croatia were the most recent countries to join.

          All members of PfP are also members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) which provides the overall framework for cooperation between NATO and its Partner countries. However the Partnership for Peace retains its own separate identity within the framework provided by the EAPC and maintains its own basic elements and procedures. It is founded on the basis of a bilateral relationship between NATO and each of the PfP countries.

          Joining PfP

          Any country wishing to join the Partnership for Peace is first invited to sign the Framework Document. In addition to describing the objectives of the Partnership, this describes the basic principles on which PfP is founded. By virtue of their signature, countries reiterate their political commitment to the preservation of democratic societies and to the maintenance of the principles of international law. They reaffirm their commitment to fulfil in good faith the obligations of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights:

          • to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state

          • To respect existing borders; and to settle disputes by peaceful means.

          They also reaffirm their commitment to the Helsinki Final Act and all subsequent CSCE/OSCE documents and to the fulfilment of the commitments and obligations they have undertaken in the field of disarmament and arms control.

          After signing the Framework Document, the next step in the procedure is for each Partner to submit a Presentation Document to NATO. This document indicates the steps which will be taken to achieve the political goals of the Partnership, the military and other assets the Partner intends to make available for Partnership purposes, and the specific areas of cooperation which the Partner wishes to pursue jointly with NATO.

          Based on the statements made in the Presentation Document, and on additional proposals made by NATO and each Partner country, an Individual Partnership Programme (IPP) is developed jointly and agreed. This covers a two-year period. The IPP contains statements of the political aims of the Partner in PfP, the military and other assets to be made available for PfP purposes, the broad objectives of cooperation between the Partner and the Alliance in various areas of cooperation, and specific activities to be implemented in each one of the cooperation areas in the IPP.

          Each Partner makes the selection of activities separately, on the basis of their individual requirements and priorities, from a list of activities contained in a Partnership Work Programme (PWP). This principle of self-differentiation is an important aspect of PfP. It recognises that the needs and situations of each Partner country vary and that it is for each one of them to identify the forms of activity and cooperation most suited to their needs. The Work Programme contains a broad description of the various possible areas of cooperation and a list of available activities for each area. The PWP, like each IPP, also covers a two year period and is reviewed every year. It is prepared with the full involvement of Partners.

          What are the Objectives of PfP?

          The objectives of PfP are spelled out in the Framework Document which each nation signs when they join. This document includes specific undertakings to be made by each participant to co-operate with NATO in fulfilling the objectives of the programme as a whole. They are as follows:

          • To facilitate transparency in national defence planning and budgeting processes

          • To ensure democratic control of armed forces

          • To maintain the capability and readiness to contribute to operations under the authority of the United Nations and/or the responsibility of the OSCE.

          • To develop co-operative military relations with NATO, for the purpose of joint planning, training and exercises, in order to strengthen the ability of PfP participants to undertake missions in the field of peacekeeping, search and rescue, humanitarian operations, and others as may be agreed.

          • Over the longer term, to develop forces that are better able to operate with those of the members of the North Atlantic Alliance.

          It is important to understand that the PfP programme allows for self-differentiation, both in extent and speed of involvement. Self-differentiation, transparency, open to all, diversity are the fundamental principles of PfP, and are the key to PfP success. Twenty-seven independent partner nations means different national interests, and 27 different PfP programmes.

          The military objectives of PfP are basically the strengthening of the partner nation’s ability to undertake operations such as peace support, search and rescue, humanitarian operations, and the development over longer term of forces that are able to operate with those of the members of the North Atlantic Alliance. All this requires operational interoperability i.e., units, ships, aircrews need to be trained to NATO standards and must have the ability to operate within the integrated NATO command and control structure. Within PfP, military cooperation with Partners is based on a set of PfP working tools: the Partnership Work Programme (PWP), the Individual Partnership Programme (IPP) and the Planning and Review Process (PARP).

          Among the activities offered in the Partnership Work Programme are workshops, seminars, language courses and exercises, these are open to all NATO and Partner nations (some 700 activities this year). The Individual Partnership Programme describes the main goals of a Partner’s cooperation with NATO, and details the forces and capabilities available for PfP and lists those activities they want to be involved in.


          Controlling the Process

          The work of Partnership for Peace is co-ordinated by the Partnership Co-ordination Cell (PCC). The PCC mission is to coordinate and evaluate the military aspects of PfP activities in support of the Strategic Commands (SACEUR and SACLANT) in order to achieve PfP objectives.

          Evolution of PfP

          With the launch of the PfP initiative in 1994, the political and military objectives of the PfP programme were determined and stated in the Framework Document. Building on the momentum of PfP, the Alliance in 1997 (Madrid/Sintra Summit) resolved to enhance the role of the Partnership and to make it more operational. The key aims of "Enhanced PfP" were to:

          • strengthen political consultation with Partners;
          • provide for greater involvement of partners in PfP decision-making and planning; and
          • develop a more operational role for PfP.

          In 1999 at the Washington Summit we had the Operational PfP Initiatives unveiled including:

          • Enhanced and More Operational PfP (EMOP)
          • Membership Action Plan (MAP), and
          • South East European Initiative (SEEI)

          Enhanced and More Operational (EMOP)

          EMOP brings together three existing and two new initiatives designed to assist Partners in developing forces that are better able to operate with NATO. The two new initiatives under EMOP include:

          • The Operational Capability Concept has been developed to improve the ability of the Alliance and Partner forces to operate together in future NATO-led PfP operations by establishing additional peacetime means and mechanisms such as: pools of forces, multinational formations, enabling mechanisms, feedback and assessment mechanisms, and peacetime working relationship for improving the interoperability and availability of Partner forces for NATO-led PfP operations.

          • The Training Education Enhancement Programme will be developed to optimise and improve training and education in Partnership to meet current and future demands of EMOP, focusing on interoperability.

          Membership Action Plan

          In the Washington Summit, NATO confirmed its commitment to the open door policy and launched the Membership Action Plan. Taking into account the experience gained with the preparations of the three new members, it puts in place a programme intended to assist aspiring countries in their preparations for future membership. Participation in the MAP is voluntary and based on self-differentiation.

          South East Europe Initiative

          The South East European Initiative aims to increase cooperation within South East Europe, recognising that the security of the Balkan region is essential for stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic community.

          Since 1994, a lot of progress has been made in the PfP programme both within NATO and partner nations. Some of the Partner priorities are:

          • improve English language skills
          • continued contribution of high quality officers with solid staff and leadership experience
          • continued representation at exercise planning events; and
          • increase familiarisation with NATO procedures and operational terminology. 

          The Way Ahead

          Partner Nations need a realistic, affordable and achievable approach to PfP. One example is resources where new initiatives will require additional funds and manpower. At the best most nations have a zero growth budget, and initiating new initiatives without additional funding may lead to the dissolution or downgrading of already existing NATO activities.

          The PfP programme focuses on defence-related co-operation but goes beyond dialogue and co-operation to forge a real partnership between each Partner country and NATO. It has become an important and permanent feature of the European security architecture and is helping to expand and intensify political and military co-operation throughout Europe. The programme is helping to increase stability, to diminish threats to peace and to build strengthened security relationships based on the practical cooperation and commitment to democratic principles that underpin the Alliance. In accordance with the PfP Framework Document NATO agrees to consult with any active Partner if that Partner perceives a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence or security.

          (the Planning and Review Process) is a voluntary mechanism designed to mirror the NATO Defense Planning Process and provides a structured approach to the development of interoperability between partner forces and those of the Alliance. The success of the PfP programme with partner participation is reflected in the multi-national NATO-led operations of IFOR/SFOR and KFOR. 18 Partner countries with over 9,000 personnel are deployed in the two theatres, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. 

        • Tags: Partnership for Peace, PfP, nato, serbia and NATO, stability, Balkan, Security of Western Balkan
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