Chairman of the NATO Military Committee: EU capabilities could complement NATO’s military efforts

  • 20 Oct. 2015 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 29 Oct. 2015 13:18

Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel was invited to speak at the EU Parliament. General Pavel highlighted the importance of NATO-EU cooperation and that “while the EU Military Committee and the NATO Military Committee work well together, in practical terms, more could be done.”

Following the Welcoming Remarks by Mr. Pavel Svoboda, the Czech Member of the European Parliament, Mrs. Anna Fotyga, Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) took the floor to address the Parliamentarians present and the other members of the audience.

Mrs. Fotyga emphasized the importance of NATO-EU cooperation and stressed that she has always been “a strong advocate of closest possible relationship between NATO and the EU”. The Chair of the SEDE concluded her Remarks by noting that “NATO is the chief Organisation in guaranteeing European Security”.

During his speech entitled “Current Security Challenges and the Role of NATO and the EU”, General Pavel highlighted that “our security environment has changed to the most complex, unpredictable, and challenging security situation Europe has seen in decades and this is unlikely to change in the near future.  It is not a moment, but an era.  For us at NATO and for the European region, this situation materializes through two distinct security challenges, the East and the South.  There is an arc of instability surrounding much of Europe.” 

The Chairman continued by pointing out that the EU “has, besides the military other strengths and tools that make it, without any doubt, a formidable economic power with extensive rule of law and governance capabilities.”  But that “NATO and the EU could be doing more on top of what the two organisations are already working on in tandem.  In order to be prepared to respond efficiently, the EU and the Alliance must remain cohesive and proactive within each organization and, better yet, even together. […] Strengthening EU-NATO cooperation minimizes duplications and maximizes cost-effectiveness.  If coordinated and shaped to assist in current crises, EU and NATO assets in the same geographical areas with similar missions should be complementary”. 

NATO, after two decades of deployments, training, exercises, and operations is postured to be a capable partner to the EU during this time of geo-political uncertainty. “I believe that we in NATO and you in the EU are ready, and the time is right to begin the process to truly promote EU/NATO cooperation”, concluded General Petr Pavel.