Deputy Secretary General Geoană addresses the EU Defense Washington Forum
Speaking at an online discussion on “EU defense and the present and future of EU-NATO cooperation” on Thursday (9 July 2020), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană said that the COVID-19 pandemic shows that NATO needs to join forces with the EU and other international organisations as well as with like-minded nations to tackle this crisis and that no organisation can respond to today’s challenges alone. He stressed that throughout the COVID-19 crisis NATO and the EU have strengthened cooperation.
“We have today 21 countries that are both NATO Allies and member states of the European Union. 90% of the population of the EU today at 27 without the UK, are also part of the NATO Alliance. So what we are doing is making sure that we stay convergent in analysing threats to all of us”, he said.
Mr. Geoană said that other security challenges in many ways have been amplified and accelerated by the crisis, such as Russian military activities, the rise of China and disinformation.
“One new area where NATO and the EU and also other global players, the G7, the UN and others have been working together is in fighting disinformation. On counter-narratives, that countries like Russia or China or non-state actors, also Iran, are abusing of in this pandemic to basically put a seed of discord within democratic societies. And NATO and the EU have been working exceptionally closely together in fighting this”, he said.
The Deputy Secretary General highlighted that NATO continues to be the cornerstone “not only of transatlantic security, but an indispensable part of global order”. He stressed that “A strong US and North America - European cooperation is paramount for the interest of all of us, Europeans and North Americans and freedom lovers and democracy believers all over the world”.
Mr. Geoană was speaking at the EU Defense Washington Forum, a conference organized by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, in cooperation with the Brookings Institution.