A DECLARATION OF SOLIDARITY BY THE HEADS OF STATE PARTICIPATING IN THE SOFIA SUMMIT MEETING '2001
5 October 5 2001, Sofia, Bulgaria
We, the Heads of State of 10 European democracies, have gathered today in Sofia to rededicate ourselves to the creation of a Europe whole and free in Alliance with the United States of America and Canada. Our aspiration to become members of NATO and the European Union reflects our commitment to the common values of the Euro-Atlantic community åmbodied by NATO.
The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, in New York and Washington represent a threat to the whole world. We extend to the President of the United States and to the American people the deepest sympathy of our governments and of our nations. For fifty years, Europeans have viewed the Atlantic Alliance as the expression of an American commitment to European security. It is time now for us to demonstrate that we also view the Alliance as a European commitment to America's security.
We consider these attacks to be an attack on all of us. As future members of the Atlantic Alliance we reaffirm our commitment to conduct our foreign and security policies in accordance with the implications of the Washington Treaty including commitments stemming from article 5. Our governments will fully support the war against terrorism. Our policies and actions will be guided by the principles and solidarity shared by the United States and the Allies.
The lesson we draw from the terrorist attacks in the United States is that the security of America and Europe is more intertwined than ever before and that the Atlantic Alliance and its enlargement are more important than ever. We believe that the events of recent weeks must lead to even closer cooperation between the United States and Europe. The Euro-Atlantic community must be the bedrock of a broader world-wide coalition to fight terrorism. The key pillars of that community, the European Union and NATO, each have a critical role to play in the fight against terrorism and we pledge the closest possible cooperation with both of them.
When NATO was founded more than 50 years ago, the Allies set as their ultimate political purpose the creation of a just and lasting peace in Europe. The Alliance emerged from the Cold War as one of the most effective tools for bringing security and stability to the continent. NATO enlargement is a strategic imperative for overall Euro-Atlantic security. However this is not just because of strategic benefits and enhanced military capabilities. The process has first and foremost profound moral, political and economic implications. It will continue to be instrumental in overcoming the legacies and injustices of the past, strengthening the new democracies and strongly encouraging their societies. The European Union also faces the challenges of enlargement, along with the implementation of far-reaching institutional reforms. We regard the processes of enlargement of NATO and the European Union as mutually reinforcing, leading to strengthened security, stability and prosperity in the Euro-Atlantic area as a whole.
Our countries are determined to seize the historic opportunity we have to complete the building of a Europe whole and free that locks in democracy, prosperity and security in our part of Europe. We are confident that this determination is shared by the NATO Allies and the members of the European Union. The new democracies of Europe can help counter terrorist and criminal threats to the community of the West and to build a more secure Euro-Atlantic region. The fundamental challenge is not drawing new borders, but in building civic societies founded on solid democratic foundations and integrated in Euro-Atlantic institutions. We are resolved that our contributions to the defense of the values we share with our Euro-American family will be significant and enduring.
We share in the vision outlined by President George W. Bush in June at Warsaw University and look forward to the historic decisions to be taken at the Prague Summit in 2002. We remain firmly convinced that countries from Europe's North, Center and South should be included in the next phase of the enlargement process. Finally, we pledge to do our part in the preparation for this rendezvous with history by ensuring that all of Europe's democracies, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, are willing and able to share the responsibilities of the Washington Treaty.
5th October, Sofia, Bulgaria