Framework for EU-NATO cooperation


NATO and EU officials meet on a regular basis to discuss issues of common interest. Meetings take place at different levels including at the level of foreign ministers, ambassadors, military representatives and defence advisors. There are regular staff contacts between NATOs International Staff and International Military Staff, and the European Unions Council Secretariat and Military Staff as well as the European Defence Agency.

Permanent military liaison arrangements have been established to facilitate cooperation at the operational level. A NATO Permanent Liaison Team has been operating at the EU Military Staff since November 2005 and an EU Cell was set up at SHAPE (NATOs strategic command for operations in Mons, Belgium) in March 2006.
An exchange of letters between the NATO Secretary General and the EU Presidency in January 2001 defined the scope of cooperation and modalities of consultation on security issues between the two organizations. Cooperation accelerated with the signing of the NATO-EU Declaration on ESDP in December 2002 and the agreement, in March 2003, of the framework for cooperation.

NATO-EU Declaration on ESDP

The NATO-EU Declaration on ESDP, agreed on 16 December 2002, reaffirmed the EU assured access to NATOs planning capabilities for its own military operations and reiterated the political principles of the strategic partnership: effective mutual consultation; equality and due regard for the decision-making autonomy of the European Union and NATO; respect for the interests of EU and NATO members states; respect for the principles of the Charter of the United Nations; and coherent, transparent and mutually reinforcing development of the military capability requirements common to the two organizations.

The Berlin-Plus arrangements

As part of the framework for cooperation adopted on 17 March 2003, the so-called Berlin-Plus arrangements provide the basis for NATO-EU cooperation in crisis management by allowing the European Union to have access to NATO's collective assets and capabilities for EU-led operations, including command arrangements and assistance in operational planning. In effect, they allow the Alliance to support EU-led operations in which NATO as a whole is not engaged.

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