HC Deb 09 February 2001 vol 362 cc761-2W
Mr. Maude

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of progress made in setting up modalities for full consultation, co-operation and transparency between the EU and NATO. [149795]

Mr. Vaz

The Nice European Council made wide-ranging proposals for a strategic partnership between the EU and NATO to ensure co-operation, consultation and transparency. NATO Foreign Ministers, meeting on 14–15 December, welcomed the Nice proposals. NATO proposed that EU and NATO Ministers should meet at least once every six months and that the EU's Political and Security Committee (PSC) and NATO's North Atlantic Council (NAC) should hold joint meetings at least three times every six months. NATO agreed that additional meetings would be held in times of crisis. At the 22 January General Affairs Council, the EU welcomed NATO's positive reaction to Nice and agreed NATO's proposals on joint EU/NATO meetings. The EU presidency and NATO Secretary-General have thus concluded that the EU and NATO are in agreement on the elements for the permanent arrangements for consultation and co-operation between the EU and NATO. The first PSC/NAC meeting took place in Brussels on 5 February.