The Alliance has forged a culture of cooperation, advised on defence reforms and developed political dialogue.
While continuing to play a critical role in European security, NATO has also tried to encourage stability outside Europe. To those who question our renewed agenda, we can only emphasize that Trans-Atlantic collective defence cannot be served in isolation.
In the East, the Black Sea region is part of this promotion of democracy and stability throughout Europe. This region, which sits at the crossroads of Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, is also a hub for trade, energy and transport links. Governments and people are working towards security, modernization and better lives, while coping with protracted conflicts and cross-border crime. There have been reforms and democratic transformation, but challenges remain and NATO assistance and support are still needed. Achieving this requires Russia to be engaged in the process.
NATO to reconfirm its engagement in the Western Balkans
The President of Romania, host of this year's NATO Summit, outlines what he hopes this year's NATO Summit can achieve.
We hope NATO's contribution to stability and security will go a step further in Bucharest. We should start talking seriously about a new strategic outlook that will help maintain the Alliance as a robust organization, capable of addressing evolving security challenges, both near and far, and prepared to enlist partner countries willing and able to contribute to set objectives and missions. At the Bucharest Summit, we hope to be able to invite Albania, Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as members of the Alliance, and we encourage them to step up their preparations for this.
We aim to enhance the Euro-Atlantic Partnership as NATO’s main policy of engagement across Europe and Eurasia. We want NATO to reconfirm its engagement in the Western Balkans, by maintaining its presence in Kosovo and by enhancing partnerships with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.
We also hope the Alliance will continue its engagement and enlargement policy across the Black Sea region, by strengthening its support for Georgia and Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, as well as for its partnership with the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Georgia has made great strides in its democratic transformation and in contributing to NATO's operations. We hope the Summit will end up with decisions in support of Georgia's bid for the NATO Membership Action Plan. We are also ready to assist Ukraine in fulfilling its Euro-Atlantic integration goals, based on sustainable political will and support of its people. NATO should further develop its cooperation with the Partners in Central Asia to support regional and Euro-Atlantic security.
NATO missile defence system
Bucharest is also an opportunity to advance NATO's comprehensive contribution to international security. We look forward to reconfirming the Alliance’s solid commitment in Afghanistan and refreshing our strategy together with our mission partners. The Summit would be a good venue to move forward on developing a NATO missile defence system, complementary and integrated to the one already developed by the US. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery means we strongly believe that the allied states should continue to work seriously on this. The indivisibility of Trans-Atlantic security, collective defence and solidarity will remain fundamental. NATO should be at the forefront of this endeavour.
A bridge between NATO's Euro - Atlantic and international engagements
We also look forward to defining NATO's value added in energy security, taking the Riga Summit decisions one step further. We should speed up identifying a niche role for NATO in this field, using the unique assets of the organization and avoiding unnecessary duplications with others. We must also bear in mind that energy concerns go hand in hand with environmental protection. In a nutshell, the Bucharest Summit could be a bridge between NATO's Euro-Atlantic and international engagements, between our past achievements and new tasks in view of the anniversary Summit in 2009 and Summits thereafter. We have the chance to open debates and start charting our way forward towards a new strategic concept that will increase NATO's capabilities and missions to secure stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.