EU: Vienna Declaration on Security Partnership
01 May 2006
A Ministerial Conference on the "Role of Internal Security in Relations between the EU and its Neighbours" was held on 4-5 May 2006 in Vienna, Austria.
At the initiative of Austria as the current Presidency of the EU Council, Member States of the European Union and its neighbouring countries met to discuss issues of common interest in relation to internal security.
The Neighbouring Arab Countries participated in the Conference. They emphasized that security is an issue of common interest. They expressed the importance of partnership for security with the EU in accordance with their respective objectives and priorities. They also underlined the need for further consultations on the modalities for such partnership.
The Russian Federation and the United States of America, as strategic partners of the European Union, participated in the Conference as observers.
The Conference expressed the common wish to develop a "Partnership for Security" in order to work towards an enhanced area of Freedom, Security and Justice.
General principles/Key elements
In order to meet the expectations of our citizens we must respond to the security threats of terrorism, organised crime, corruption and drugs and to the challenge of managing migration flows. In an increasingly interconnected world, cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs will become ever more important.
The Austrian EU Presidency therefore took the opportunity to bring together the EU, its Member States and neighbouring countries, as well as the Russian Federation and the United States of America as observers. This dialogue is a step in implementing the Strategy for the External Dimension of freedom, security and justice recently adopted by the European Union, together with the action-oriented papers on the Western Balkans and relevant ENP countries as well as on Afghanistan.
This process culminated in the present Vienna Ministerial Conference on 4-5 May 2006, with Ministers and representatives from more than 50 countries and international organisations, as the expression of the increasing role of internal security in external relations.
The development of an area of enhanced freedom, security and justice can only be successfully achieved through relationships based on mutual partnership between the European Union and its partners. To address the common security challenges in the 21st century, the participants in the Conference expressed their common wish to develop a "Partnership for Security", based on mutual trust and common interest. Such a partnership between interested countries will be future- and action-oriented, and based on the following key principles:
* Definition of concrete areas of common interest in the fields of combating terrorism, organised crime, corruption as well as in the field of management of migration flows.
* Coordinated engagement, mutual understanding and cooperation in order to tackle common problems and meet shared policy objectives in the field of justice and home affairs.
* Efforts to make justice and home affairs a shared priority in external relations, including through a coordinated engagement in the work of relevant international organisations (United Nations, Council of Europe, OSCE).
* Work towards action-oriented solutions, especially on terrorism, organised crime, corruption and illegal immigration.
* Applying a differentiated and flexible approach, including a multi-disciplinary assessment of needs.
* Promoting rule of law, democracy, fundamental rights and good governance seen also as a means of bolstering security.
* Mobilisation of political, financial and operational resources to work towards common objectives.
Internal and external security are closely related. Therefore priorities for future engagement should be formed by both, the partners´ internal and external policy objectives.
The Conference especially emphasizes that:
* the European Neighbourhood Poli