HC Deb 02 November 2000 vol 355 cc557-8W
Mr. Cash

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the relationship between European common Foreign and Security Policy and NATO. [135384]

Mr. Vaz

NATO is the cornerstone of the UK's defence. NATO plays a major role in crisis management, as in Bosnia and Kosovo. In pursuit of its common Foreign and Security Policy, the European Union is developing its capacity to undertake military crisis management operations where the alliance as a whole is not engaged. More capable European nations will strengthen NATO as well as the European Union.

For European Defence to be effective, EU activity needs to be underpinned by arrangements for consultation, co-operation and transparency with NATO and for EU access to NATO assets. Negotiations between the EU and NATO to secure these arrangements are under way.

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