NATO Secretary General in Passau: a stronger Europe is in our interest
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed the importance of cooperation between NATO and the European Union at the “Menschen in Europa” debate in Passau, Germany on Monday (10 October 2016). Participating in a panel discussion on the future of Europe with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted that “a strong Europe provides a strong NATO.”
The Secretary General welcomed efforts to strengthen European defence, while underlining the importance of complementarity and not duplication. He stressed that by working together, NATO and the European Union can more effectively address security challenges from any direction. He further underlined the importance of a strong and enduring transatlantic bond.
On NATO’s relations with Russia, the Secretary General outlined the Alliance’s dual-track approach of strong defence and dialogue, calling the former a pre-condition for the latter. He explained how NATO has implemented its biggest reinforcement of collective defence in a generation – not in order to provoke a conflict, but to prevent one.
On threats from the south, Mr. Stoltenberg welcomed the progress of the Global Coalition to counter ISIL, to which all NATO Allies belong. He further stressed the importance of building up local forces to stabilise their own countries, as NATO is doing in Afghanistan. Using the Alliance’s training of Iraqi officers in Jordan as another example, the Secretary General called defence capacity building part of a “viable, long-term solution” to instability in NATO’s southern neighbourhood.