NATO-EU relationship more important than ever, says Jens Stoltenberg

On 5 December, NATO Foreign Ministers, High Representative and Vice President Federica Mogherini, as well as colleagues from Finland and Sweden, gathered to discuss the NATO-EU relationship and European Defence in light of the future Brussels Summit in July 2018.

Strengthening the EU-NATO relationship

In his speech to the press, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg highlighted that:

“More than 90% of the people in the European Union live in a NATO country. We face the same security challenges: an arc of instability around our borders. So it is more important than ever before that we cooperate with each other.” [1]

Indeed, the meeting was aimed at strengthening the NATO-EU relationship.  In July 2016, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Presidents Juncker and Tusk signed a joint declaration with 42 concrete measures to improve cooperation on countering hybrid threats, on cyber, in the maritime domain, etc… This week, the Ministers agreed to go even further and devised a common set of new proposals in three areas: military mobility, the fight against terrorism and women’s role in peace and security. “It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do,” said Jens Stoltenberg.

In particular, military mobility will be the flagship and the priority for EU-NATO cooperation in the coming years. “Moving our forces and equipment quickly is vital for our security,” said Jens Stoltenberg. “This means we need procedures for rapid border crossing, as well as sufficient transport assets and robust infrastructure meaning roads, railways, ports and airports.”

Europe of Defence should complement NATO’s work

Moreover, decisions were made as to how recent EU decisions on defence should complement NATO’s work. The Ministers agreed on key principles to ensure that the Permanent Structured Cooperation and the European Defence Fund complement rather than double NATO’s work: coherence between the EU’s and NATO’s capability development plans must be an absolute requisite, forces and capabilities must be available for both EU and NATO and non-EU Allies involvement must be allowed to the fullest extent possible.

[1] Click here for more on cooperation between NATO allies.[retour au texte]

Photo credit : © NATO / Meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers 5 December 2017

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