On the 15th January 2015, NATO and Serbia agreed the country’s first Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with a view to intensifying practical cooperation and bilateral dialogue.
An IPAP enables NATO and individual Allies to provide tailored assistance to partner countries by setting out cooperation objectives and priorities in defence and political affairs, as well as science and public diplomacy. The IPAP with Serbia will focus on reform activities that have been conducted through various Partnership for Peace mechanisms since 2006.
While Serbia does not aspire to join NATO, it is seeking to deepen relations with the Alliance and open accession talks with the European Union.
The Head of Department for NATO and Partnership for Peace at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dijana Ivancic said that Serbia wished to remain a reliable and predictable partner of the Alliance. "Serbia sees IPAP as an optimal framework of cooperation that can primarily contribute to further improving of our defense and security system. We expect assistance from the Alliance in realization of the defined goals and priorities. The adoption of IPAP opens the possibility of raising the level of political dialogue too ” said Ivancic.
NATO and Serbia are currently working on 41 Partnership Goals, ranging from defence planning, public information, and cyber defense, to medical support, language training, and gender perspective.
The Chief of the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade, Brig. Gen. Lucio Batta, explained that Serbia and NATO wanted to improve the Serbian public’s understanding of their partnership activities in the future, and added that his office would play a role in that regard during the implementation of the IPAP.
"It is important to have the Serbian citizens aware of our growing cooperation, as the upcoming reforms will not only improve their individual security, but will also allow Serbia to continue making its valuable contributions to UN and EU peacekeeping missions,” said Brig. Gen. Batta.
Story by: NATO Military Liaison Office Belgrade.