NATO and the Evolution of the Building Integrity Initiative
The Principles of NATO
NATO was founded in 1949 with an enduring vision: the indivisibility of Allied security. More than sixty years later, NATO continues to sustain this vision and remains the primary forum for security consultations among the allies of Europe and North America. These consultations take place through a transatlantic framework that underpins the collective defence of the populations and territory of NATO states, as well as ensuring the ability of its forces to perform a full range of missions and operations.
The common vision and shared democratic values embodied in the Washington Treaty of 1949 are the inspiration that enables NATO to not only maintain its core purpose of territorial defence but to address and respond to the emerging challenges of the 21st century.
The process of Euro-Atlantic integration, together with the development of NATO’s relations with many countries across the globe, has been considerably strengthened and nurtured through the various distinctive partnerships that NATO has developed since the 1990s, strengthening the political dimension of NATO. NATO’s policy of outreach through partnerships, dialogue and cooperation is an essential part of the Alliance’s purpose and tasks. The Alliance’s partnerships across the globe have an enduring value, contributing to stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond. In the same spirit, the contributions of partners to NATO’s missions and operations are highly valued.
The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
The largest of the formal partnerships is the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). Established in 1997, the EAPC superseded the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) that was initially established in 1991. The formation of the EAPC reflected the realisation that it was increasingly important to create a security forum better able to promote a more enhanced and operational partnership, in line with the growing aspirations of Allies and Partners for a more sophisticated partnership relationship. The 50-nation Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (28 Allies and 22 Partners) has therefore evolved as a multilateral forum for dialogue and consultation on political and security-related issues among Allies and Partner countries.
NATO remains committed to substantive political discussions and effective political cooperation within the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and Partnership for Peace, based on shared values and principles. Based upon these values and principles, NATO encourages and continues to support further defence, and other, reforms among its partners, including within the strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia.
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