HomeMEDIA RESOURCES200413 February 2004 - FUTURE OF NATO UNDER REVIEW AT ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE MEETINGS
13 February 2004 - FUTURE OF NATO UNDER REVIEW AT ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Almost 150 MPs - members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Defence and Security; Economics and Security; and Political Committees – are meeting in Brussels to discuss the future of the transatlantic Alliance. These meetings take place each year and enable members to exchange views with senior NATO and EU officials. Last year’s meeting took place just as NATO was sharply divided over the timing of providing military assistance to Turkey to guard against possible action by Iraq. Almost one year on from what former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson called a “near death experience”, Assembly members will assess how the Alliance has moved on as it prepares the NATO summit in Istanbul in June.
The parliamentarians, including an 11-strong delegation from the United States House of Representatives led by President of the Assembly, Hon Doug Bereuter (R-Nebraska), will be briefed on NATO’s plans and operations by key NATO civilian and military officials including NATO’s supreme military commander, SACEUR General James L. Jones.
The leaders of the 19 member delegations and the seven nations due to accede to NATO will also meet NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the permanent representatives to the North Atlantic Council.
Of key concern to the parliamentarians is the progress being made by nations in fulfilling the commitments to force improvements agreed at NATO’s 2001 Prague Summit, especially in view of the difficulties in equipping the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Other areas expected to be addressed include transatlantic relations, NATO-EU co-operation, operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the prospects for NATO developing a strategy for political engagement with the greater Middle East.
The meetings will also include briefings at the European Commission on the EU’s common foreign and security policy and the transatlantic implications of EU agricultural reform.
The meetings will conclude with a joint meeting with the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy which will be addressed by DSACEUR Admiral Rainer Feist, and Major General Jean-Pierre Herreweghe, Deputy Director General / Chief of EU Military Staff.