9 March 2007 NAC-PSC/COPS channel to be strengthened to improve interoperability NATO and the EU have complementary interests and comparative advantages in developing rapid reaction capabilities and improving civilian-military responses to a wide range of areas, including disaster relief, conflict prevention, crisis management, and post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction. Therefore, we propose the following proposals to improve the NATO-EU relationship:
· Unclear and/or overlapping mandates for NATO and EU military activities in the same country should be avoided. Both organizations need a better understanding of each others’ structures, and planning for cooperation which should begin as early as possible.
· The NAC-COPS/PSC channel could be used to sort out future cooperation, adopting the broadest possible re-interpretation of Berlin Plus. NATO and the EU should talk more about what they could do for one another versus what they cannot, and review their doctrine and concepts for supporting third party organizations.
· The NATO Response Force (NRF) and EU Battlegroups can be mutually reinforcing. NATO and the EU might consider joint training exercises for NRF and Battlegroup units to improve interoperability work toward common standards for unit certification. A new staff-level NATO-EU group might be constituted to work on capabilities; it could be supported by the NATO and EU military liaison cells and increased contacts between the EDA and Allied Command Transformation (ACT). Partnership for Peace (PFP) members who are EU member states should have close liaison arrangements with the NRF to enhance interoperability.
· NATO and the EU should give high priority to enhancing civilian-military cooperation drawing on lessons that national governments have learned. Informal meetings of NATO-EU foreign ministers and regular NAC-COPS/PSC and Military Committee meetings could discus cooperation on civilian-military responses. Regular NATO-EU exercises focused on civilian-military crisis response capabilities might also be conducted.
· A more equal burden-sharing and interoperability shall be discussed further within the NAC-COPS/PSC channel.
· The EU-NATO Capability Group might assist in the process to enhance burden-sharing and interoperability.