18.03.2003 - Council Conclusions on ESDP-Operation in fYROM
"Following the conclusions of the European Council of Copenhagen and as requested in a letter by President Trajkovski, the Council has taken the decision to launch a military operation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, based on UNSCR 1371. This operation follows the NATO operation which, as decided by the North Atlantic Council, will end on 31 March. The European Union expressed its appreciation for the role played by the NATO military force in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia since its inception in August 2001. The Council adopted the Operation Plan (OPLAN) and agreed the Authorisation of Rules of Engagement for this operation. The Council welcomed the participation of fourteen third States. At the request of the authorities of the host country, the anticipated duration of the operation is six months. This operation is part of the larger commitment of the E.U. to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and to its rapprochement with the E.U. within the Stabilisation and Association process. The operation makes use of NATO assets and capabilities. This was made possible following the completion of the work on the different issues concerning the relations between the EU and NATO. In this context, an exchange of letters took place between the Secretary General/High Representative of the EU and the Secretary General of NATO. This exchange of letters constitutes the framework of the strategic partnership between the EU and NATO in crisis management, in full conformity with the principles agreed at successive meetings of the European Council. The Council welcomed the arrangements agreed between the EU and NATO The Council underlined the valuable contribution of the SG/HR to this outcome."