Resolution on NATO's enlargement and European security policy

NEW DELHI COUNCIL - Social Democracy in Asia Today, 10-11 November 1997

Original: German

1. The Council of the Socialist International underscores the intention of SI member parties to achieve a pan-European peace order that offers all European states the guarantee of a stable security-policy framework within which democracy, the rule of law and social justice can be accomplished and safeguarded. This pan-European peace order, based on dialogue, integration and cooperation, is evolving out of a useful division of labour and a close interlocking of existing institutions like the EU, NATO, OSCE, WEU, OECD and the Council of Europe. This developing network will enable every nation to define its way of contributing to European security.

2. The SI Council welcomes the development that allowed the NATO summit in Madrid to invite Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to join NATO. The Council also notes with satisfaction that the enlargement of the European Union is on track and that the EU will start in 1998, in a first phase, negotiations with Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Cyprus. Europe will be entering a new stage in its process of integration. Exercising their sovereignty, the invited states have expressed a wish to participate in that process.

3. The SI Council declares that the stated goal of the NATO enlargement process should be the creation of more stability and security in the whole Euro-Atlantic area without creating new dividing lines. They support the aspirations of those European states that have laid sound and lasting foundations for a democratic form of government and for civilian control of the military, and have demonstrated a willingness to respect human and minority rights and resolve conflicts between neighbours by peaceful means.

4. The SI Council notes that NATO is also experiencing a process of internal reform to better perform new missions and respond to the requirements and challenges of the post-Cold War era in a changing Europe.

5. The SI Council underscores the view of SI member parties that stability and security in Europe can only be guaranteed in the longer term by close cooperation with Russia. The "Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the NATO and the Russian Federation" has created a sound political basis for this cooperation.

Among the important elements in this Founding Act are:

a) the creation of a NATO-Russia Council, in which all European security questions can be jointly discussed in future;

b) the firm intention to link NATO's enlargement to the east with further disarmament steps, especially in the conventional arms area;

c) a common stance on strengthening the "Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe" as the "only pan- European security organisation" and on extending its key role for peace and stability in Europe, so that it can contribute to a pan-European peace order in collaboration with NATO, the EU, the Council of Europe and the WEU.

6. The SI Council recognises that the process of NATO enlargement, when combined with the NATO-Russia Founding Act and the NATO-Ukraine Charter, will open up opportunities for more stability and security in Europe. But risks, too, would remain, if certain zones were to emerge in Europe and be excluded from the process of integration and cooperation in security policy. This being so, the intentions set forth in the Founding Act and in the Charter must be carried ou in practice.

7. The SI Council is concerned by the stonewalling noted in Moscow hitherto with regard to the ratification of essential disarmament and arms control treaties like START II, the chemical weapons agreement and the Open Skies treaty. This logjam must be resolved. Early ratification would be in line with the spirit of the Founding Act. Europe's social democratic parties, by stepping up their contacts with the Duma and the Federation Council, can make an important contribution in this respect, since the policy pursued by the Russian President and his government that led to the Founding Act between NATO and Russia has not yet gained enough support in the two houses of the Russian parliament.

8. The SI Council attaches special importance to the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) adptation talks in Vienna. These play a key role in the job of linking the NATO enlargement process with further disarmament. The CFE adaptation should have yielded a result that is acceptable to all concerned parties by the envisaged date for the formal admission of NATO.

9. The SI Council supports a geographically balanced NATO enlargement in order to avoid a rift among the various areas of Eastern, Central and South-Eastern Europe. The risk of that rift would be increased if the prospect of membership for certain states were to be postponed until the distant future not only in this respect but also in the European Union's enlargement.

Hence it is essential that an overall concept be developed for a policy of European security and integration. Important elements in this process are:

a) NATO's future open-door policy for the admission of further members if and when they meet certain political conditions;

b) a stronger role for the OSCE as the chief instrument in a preventive policy and for the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Europe;

c) use of the newly formed Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council as an instrument for confidence-building and cooperation in security policy;

d) strengthening security through regional cooperation;

e) the creation of reliable conditions for the process of EU enlargement.

10 The SI Council advocates a more responsible role for Europe in the Euro-Atlantic alliance and a growing security-policy identity within the EU. The European states must develop an ability to defuse crises and resolve conflicts even when there is little or no US involvement.

11. The SI Council emphasises that security policy must be broadened from its traditional focus on military methods and the security of states, to include the security of men and women and the security of the planet, and a concept of common comprehensive and human security.