Partnership for Peace (PfP) is a significant initiative started out by NATO at the January 1994 Brussels Summit Meeting of the North Atlantic Council. Since its creation it has been joined by 30 countries, ten of which have already become members of the Alliance. The aim of the Partnership is to improve stability and security throughout Europe. The Partnership for Peace Invitation was appealed to all states participating in the North Atlantic Cooperation Council and other states that take part in the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe and are able and willing to contribute to the programme. The activities that each Partner undertakes are based on jointly created Individual Partnership Programmes. The PfP programme focuses on defence-related cooperation. More over it goes beyond dialogue and cooperation to generate a real partnership between each Partner country and NATO. It has become a relevant and stable feature of the European security architecture and is helping to expand and intensify political and military cooperation throughout Europe. The programme is helping to increase stability, to reduce threats to peace and to build strengthened security relationships based on the practical cooperation and obligation to democratic principles that support the Alliance. In accordance with the PfP Framework Document that was issued by Heads of State and Government at the same time as the PfP Invitation Document, NATO commits to consult with any active Partner if that Partner realizes a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence, or security. All members of PfP are also members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) that provides the overall framework for cooperation between NATO and its Partner countries. However, the Partnership for Peace keeps its own separate identity within the framework provided by the EAPC and pursues its own basic elements and procedures. It is founded on the basis of a bilateral relationship between NATO and each one of the PfP countries.
“The Framework Document includes specific undertakings to be made by each participant to cooperate 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 defence forces; to maintain the capability and readiness to contribute to operations under the authority of the United Nations and/or the responsibility of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); to develop cooperative 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 subsequently be agreed; to develop, over the longer term, forces that are better able to operate with those of the members of the North Atlantic Alliance. The Framework Document also states that active participation in the Partnership for Peace will play an important role in the evolutionary process of including new members in NATO.” [6]
Both the EAPC and the PfP have played important roles in responding to the terrorist attacks against the US of 11 September 2001. On 12 September 2001 the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council issued a statement in which the EAPC nations expressed their solidarity with the people of the United States of America and unanimously condemned the attacks. They also stressed that the attacks against the US were an attack on the common values of the Partnership. Consequently, the EAPC nations have stood side by side with the United States and the other member countries of the Alliance, both politically and militarily, in their fight against terrorism. After the 11 September attacks, the North Atlantic Council decided that Partnership for Peace mechanisms and requirements should be reviewed in order to maximize their potential in the context of the fight against terrorism, a decision subsequently approved by the EAPC. The ongoing PfP review focuses on how Partnership should be adapted to meet future requirements, including how to develop the Partnership's ability to respond effectively to terrorism-related security concerns of Allies and Partners and to support NATO's own efforts in this regard. The resulting adaptation of the Partnership for Peace programme was an integral and important part of the decisions taken at the Prague Summit and a Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism was developed in this context.

[6] NATO Handbook, 2001, p. 68
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