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Serbia is deepening its political dialogue and cooperation with NATO on issues of common interest, with an important focus on support for democratic, institutional and defence reforms. Unlike other Western Balkan partners, Serbia does not aspire to join the Alliance. NATO fully respects Serbia's decision to pursue the policy of military neutrality.

Partnerships: projecting stability through cooperation

The Allies seek to contribute to the efforts of the international community in projecting stability and strengthening security outside NATO territory. One of the means to do so is through cooperation and partnerships. For over more than 25 years, the Alliance has been developing a network of partnerships with non-member countries from the Euro-Atlantic area, the Mediterranean and the Gulf region, as well as with other partners across the globe. NATO pursues dialogue and practical cooperation with these nations on a wide range of political and security-related issues. NATO’s partnerships are beneficial to all involved and help improve security for the broader international community.




Serbia determines the pace, scope, intensity, focus and individual objectives of our partnership. Cooperation documents set out the main objectives and goals of Serbia’s cooperation with NATO. Partnership is defined through the Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP) and the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which reflect the nature and emphasis of the NATO-Serbia relationship, with NATO fully respecting Serbia's policy of military neutrality.

Consultation is key to the work of NATO as an alliance and is central to partnerships. Political consultations can help understand security developments, including regional issues, and shape common approaches to preventing crises or tackling security challenges. NATO’s many committees and bodies often meet in formations with partners to shape cooperation in specific areas. NATO Allies meet with partners (individually or in groups) concerning a wide range of subjects and at many levels every day.


NATO has developed a number of partnership tools and mechanisms to support cooperation with partner countries through a mix of policies, programmes, action plans and other arrangements. Many tools are focused on the important priorities of interoperability and building capabilities, and supporting defence and security-related reform.

Building Capacities and Interoperability (BCI)

Building Integrity Initiative

Wider Cooperation


Interoperability is the ability to operate together using harmonized standards, doctrines, procedures and equipment. It is essential to the work of an alliance of multiple countries with national defence forces, and is equally important for working together with partners that wish to contribute in supporting the Alliance in achieving its tactical, operational and strategic objectives. To tackle the challenges of the ever-changing world we live in, it is important to maintain interoperability with partners, especially for the purpose of preventing or managing future crises. Much of day-to-day cooperation in NATO – including with Serbia and other partners – is focused on achieving this interoperability.
Partnership Interoperability Initiative (PII) was launched to help create and ensure that the connections built up between NATO and partner forces are maintained and deepened. In this way, Serbia and other partners can contribute to future crisis management, worldwide peace-keeping efforts, including NATO-led operations and, where applicable, to the NATO Response Force. 
The Partnership Interoperability Initiative (PII) helps maintain and deepen the interoperability that has been developed with partners over the last decades.

Serbia is a valued partner. Through dialogue and cooperation with its partners, NATO can make a concrete contribution to enhancing international security, to defending the values on which the Alliance is based, and to NATO’s operations. Both in regional frameworks and on a bilateral level, NATO develops relations based on common values, reciprocity, mutual benefit and mutual respect. We are glad that Serbia is part of those partnership efforts. NATO has also developed flexible means of cooperation with partners and introduced the possibility of “enhanced opportunities” for partners to build a deeper, tailor-made bilateral relationship with NATO. At the same time, Allied leaders launched the “Interoperability Platform”, a permanent format for cooperation with partners on the interoperability needed for future crisis management and operations.

Partnership for Peace

The Partnership for Peace (PfP) is a programme of practical bilateral cooperation between individual Euro-Atlantic partner countries and NATO. It allows partners to build up an individual relationship with NATO, choosing their own priorities for cooperation. Serbia’s cooperation with NATO is mutually beneficial and includes building capabilities and interoperability, along with wider cooperation.

Individual Partnership Action Plans

Individual Partnership Action Plans (IPAPs) are open to countries that have the political will and ability to deepen their relationship with NATO. They are designed to bring together all the various cooperation mechanisms through which a partner country interacts with the Alliance, sharpening the focus of activities to better support their domestic reform efforts.

Building capabilities and interoperability

Planing and Review Process

Through the Planning and Review Process (PARP), NATO aids Serbia in its efforts to develop the capacity of the Serbian Armed Forces to participate in UN-mandated multinational operations and EU crisis management operations.

Building Integrity

Serbia is actively engaged in Building Integrity (BI) to strengthen integrity, transparency and accountability, and reduce the risk of corruption in its defence and related security sector. The Ministry of Defence also offers its experience to other countries engaged in the NATO BI Self-Assessment and Peer Review Process and was actively engaged in the development of the NATO BI Reference Curriculum published in 2016.

Defence Education Enhancement Programme

Serbia is engaged in the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP), which supports Serbia’s efforts to develop a comprehensive and modern defence education system. Thanks to DEEP, Serbia is now a net security provider in the field of education and training, and supports other DEEP programmes such as the one with Armenia.

Partnership Interoperability Initiative

Interoperability Initiative is a way to ensure that the deep connections built up between NATO and partner forces over years of operations are maintained and deepened. In this way, partners can contribute to future crisis management, including NATO-led operations and, where applicable, to the NATO Response Force. Through the Partnership Interoperability Initiative, Serbia has participated in the Interoperability Platform, which brings Allies together with 24 selected partners.

Serbia providing education

Serbia offers expertise and training to Allies and partners at the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Training Centre in Kruševac, which was recognized as a Partnership Training and Education Centre in 2013.

Serbia's military medicine expertise

In December 2017, in coordination with several NATO Allies, Serbia conducted a course to train Iraqi military and civilian medical personnel as part of the NATO Defence and Related Security Capacity Building Initiative.

Wider cooperation

NATO Trust Funds

The Allies have supported a number of NATO Trust Fund projects in Serbia. These include projects to safely destroy obsolete small arms and light weapons, along with landmines and dangerous obsolete ammunition and explosives.

As a result, the government-owned demilitarization facility in central Serbia will be further developed to ensure the safe and environmentally responsible disposal of obsolete munitions, reducing the risk of explosion of aging ammunition, as well as the risk of proliferation. In addition, some of the projects helped almost 6,000 discharged defence personnel in Serbia start small businesses.

Science for Peace and Security

Serbia has been actively engaged in the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 2007. Today, scientists and experts from Serbia are working to address a wide range of security issues, notably in the fields of energy security, counter-terrorism, and defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents. Our society is facing a wide variety of challenges which threaten our security. Terrorism, cyber attacks, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents are just some of the threats that scientists aim to tackle through multinational projects under the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme. By providing training and a platform for collaboration among scientists, the SPS Programme helps to address the security issues that matter most to Allied states and partner countries. It represents a unique channel for non-military scientific cooperation, which connects scientists, experts and officials from across the globe.

Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre

Serbia actively engages with NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) to develop its national civil preparedness and disaster management capabilities, and to improve interoperability in international disaster response operations. Serbia hosted the "SRBIJA 2018" consequence management field exercise, which brought together approximately 2,000 participants from 40 countries to practise international cooperation in an earthquake scenario.

Women, Peace and Security

In 2017, Serbia launched its second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security for the period 2017-2020. Serbia is associated with the NATO/EAPC Policy and Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, which was endorsed at the NATO Brussels Summit in 2018. Moreover, together with the United States, Serbia led a series of NATO-funded expert workshops to develop a scorecard, or set of indicators, to help assess how NATO and partner countries are mainstreaming gender in military operations. 

Informing the public

Serbia and NATO aim to improve public information on NATO-Serbia cooperation. The NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade plays an important role in this process. Relations between Serbia and NATO are better than they seem to the average person, with Serbia becoming an ever more important partner. 

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