HL Deb 15 July 1997 vol 581 c105WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the expansion of NATO's political and economic roles, as advocated by the United States, has been discussed within the European Union, given its implications for European Union foreign and security policy.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

NATO has engaged in political and economic, as well as military, activity since its inception. Since the launch of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the enhanced Partnership for Peace, NATO has assumed increasing importance as a forum for political dialogue embracing countries which are not NATO members. This is a welcome reflection of the changed strategic environment in which NATO now operates. NATO's roles may occasionally be referred to in European Union bodies, but are not a matter for discussion and debate in that forum.