NATO’s partnerships [fr]
Dialogue and cooperation with third-party countries and other organizations are core elements of NATO’s security. NATO’s strategic concept aims at inclusive, flexible and open relationships with partner States and several international organisations such as the EU.
1) The Alliance has a network of partners, with three different cooperation frameworks :
The Partnership for Peace (PFP) : historically NATO’s oldest partnership framework. It gathers most countries from Europe and Central Asia as well as “neutral” countries (Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and Malta) ;
The Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) : includes six Arab Nations (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia) and Israel, and aims at strengthening the dialogue between NATO and Mediterranean countries and promote mutual confidence and cooperation between countries of the southern shore.
The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) brings together four Gulf countries : Bahrein, Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait.
2) NATO has a specific partnership with Ukraine within the NATO-Ukraine Commission (established in 1997) and Georgia within the NATO-Georgia Commission (established in 2008).
3) The illegal annexation of Crimea by Moscow and the crisis in Ukraine led the Alliance to stop its practical cooperation with Russia. Discussion channels were nevertheless maintained, including through the NATO-Russia Council, in order to contribute to risk mitigation and increase predictability between NATO and Russia.
Main themes of the NATO-Russia Council are : the situation in Ukraine (Allies do not recognize the illegal invasion of Crimea and call for Russia to fully enforce the Minsk agreements), risk mitigation in the euro-Atlantic zone, the situation in Afghanistan.
4) NATO maintains bilateral relationships with States that do not fall under any specific partnership framework, but appear to be strategic to the Alliance: the “Partners across the Globe (PatG)”.
5) Five partners (Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan, Sweden), which significantly contribute to NATO operations, were offered “Enhanced Partnership Opportunities” (EOP). This initiative aims at strengthening interoperability between partners and Allies.
6) In parallel, NATO maintains a privileged relationship with the European Union, which is based on two pillars : on the one hand, a strategic partnership between two organizations that was established on December 16th, 2002 in the joint NATO-EU declaration on Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), and on the other hand the so-called “Berlin +” arrangements of 2003, which allow the Alliance to support the EU’s military operations.
During the Wales Summit on the 4th and 5th of September 2014, NATO acknowledged, in a more explicit and substantial manner the role of the European Defense and the NATO-EU partnership in all its dimensions: political dialogue between organizations, as well as complementarity of the conducted operations and initiatives (military capacity development, cyber defense, maritime activities, interoperability, capability enhancement for third-state countries).
The Summit of Warsaw in 2016 set a new milestone for the UE-NATO partnership, especially through the signature of a common declaration by NATO’s Secretary General, J. Stoltenberg, the President of the EU Council D. Tusk, and the President of the EU Commission J.C. Junker.
The joint declaration calls for strengthening practical cooperation between the two organizations in seven areas : response to hybrid threats, operational cooperation, cyber defense, exercises, capacity reinforcement, cooperation in the fields of research and defense industrial cooperation, reinforcement of the partners’capacities.
The December 2016 Foreign Ministers meeting led to the endorsement of a roadmap for the implementation of this joint declaration. It includes 42 concrete propositions that are currently being implemented.