HC Deb 18 December 2002 vol 396 c804W
Mr. Steen

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to maintain the distinction between the roles of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Common European Security and Defence Policy. [87310]

Mr. Hoon

[holding answer 17 December 2002]: NATO and the European Security and Defence Policy have clearly-defined and complementary roles. NATO forms the basis of the collective defence of its members and plays an important role in crisis management. ESDP allows the EU to launch military operations where NATO as a whole is not engaged, within the scope of the Petersberg tasks, which are defined in the EU Treaty as humanitarian and rescue tasks, peace-keeping tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking. These roles have been reflected in agreed language in both organisations: for example, the conclusions of the 2000 Nice European Council, and the communiqué from the North Atlantic Council meeting a few days later. On this basis, the EU and NATO have agreed to create a strategic partnership between the two organisations in crisis management.

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