Press statements

by the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini

  • 01 Dec. 2015 - 02 Dec. 2015
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  • Last updated: 03 Dec. 2015 11:54

NATO Spokesperson: Good evening, the Secretary General and the High Representative vice president of the European Commission will make short statements at the end of this session.

Secretary General.

Jens Stoltenberg: Dear Federica, ever since we both took office last year we have been very focused on how we can develop and strengthen the cooperation between the European Union and NATO. And this has really been our top priority when it comes to how we our working together.

And we have made some progress, and I think that it's of great importance. For example in supporting partners in the East and in the South, and in defence capacity building.

But there is a strong wish inside NATO to do even more, and therefore I very much appreciated that you joined us today as you have joined us at the other Foreign Ministerial meetings, and that we were able to address some of the very complex and difficult challenges we are facing together.

Because NATO and the European Union, we are surrounded by the same security environment. And looking towards our next summit, and also the political process inside the European Union towards the next summit, I think there are in three particular areas where there is a potential for further developing our cooperation.

The first area is addressing hybrid threats. Today we adopted at our Foreign Ministerial meeting, NATO's strategy and addressing our strategy on how we are going to fight hybrid threats. And the first responder is the States that are concerned, but closer cooperation between NATO and the European Union can make our assistance more focused and more effective.

And the second area where I see a potential for more cooperation is helping partners to become more capable of securing themselves in Europe and in the Middle East and North Africa. When NATO and the EU operate side by side already, and we can do more, and we can be even better coordinated in our efforts.

As we both step up our efforts to deal with current challenges, we must also step up our cooperation beyond our borders to ensure that we do is complementary.

And the third area where I see potential for doing more is to further boost the capabilities of European allies. We took a landmark, a decision at our NATO Summit in Wales last fall to increase defence spending to two percent. We are making progress; we have seen that allies have started to at least stop the cuts and to invest more in our security. And it is important also for European nations that NATO succeed in increasing defence spending because many of the nations are also at the same time members of the European Union.

So as we adapt to the evolving security challenges, I look forward to even closer cooperation between NATO and the European Union because that is good for NATO, and it's good for the European Union, and it's good for international peace and security.

So once again, welcome, it's great to have you here, and it's great to be able to once again underline the importance of our cooperation.

Thank you.

Federica Mogherini: Thank you very much, Jens. Thank you for inviting me here today to the Ministerial as it's always the case with Defence and with Foreign ministers, and thank you very much for an excellent cooperation and coordination we have had over this first year of mandates we have both somehow finished a few months ago; in your case, one month ago, and in my case, I will always remember very well that we actually first met in our new capacities in the very first days I took office, you were here since a month, and we said at that time we're going to put strong efforts on improving and deepening the cooperation between NATO and the European Union.

And I can say one year after that, that indeed our coordination, our cooperation, our common work has become stronger. And it is also something important to see this confirmed as it was the case today with the ministers that the allies in NATO and the members states in the European Union fully support, fully acknowledge, fully recognize the key importance of the European Union role and the partnership with NATO given the security situations we're facing, outside of Europe at our borders, but also inside of Europe. It is clear that's imperative of cooperation and security is a must.

And again I think that today as we were discussing the different crises we have at the Southern neighbourhood of Europe, from Syria to Libya to this … [inaudible] the fight against Daesh, it was very clear from all around the table that this cooperation is welcomed, is requested, is encouraged, and I think this is our point of strength.

We have already partnership that covers some concrete cooperation in the Western Balkans, in Afghanistan, off the coast of Somalia, and we have three concrete areas of cooperation you just mentioned, on which we have started to prepare our common work.

First of all on hybrid threats, hybrid threats: we are preparing together with the European Commission and the European Defence Agency a joint framework who will present a set of concrete proposals to the European Union member states. And in this respect, cooperation and interaction with NATO will be an integral part of our planned actions including as regards awareness and analyses.

The second element is of … the second area of strong opportunities for cooperation is support to the security sector in partner countries, especially on our South, in the Middle East, in North Africa; there is a lot that European Union is already doing, there is a lot that NATO is doing and is planning to do in this respect, working with our partners on strengthening their own capacities, their own resilience as our work can be crucially complimentary.

And third, as NATO is preparing for the Warsaw Summit, and we are implementing the decisions that we took at the level of heads of State and government on security and defence that we took in June, we have a common work to do on the internal dimension of the defence capabilities and the security capabilities of the European Union member states. We have appreciated and welcomed NATO's encouragements for efforts deployed within the European Union to mobilize internal markets and research instruments in order to help member states increase their cooperation and efforts in developing defence capabilities. This is also a must and a clear mandate we have as we develop also towards June next year just a few weeks before the summit, our new global strategy where the partnership between European Union and NATO will play a special… will have a special place.

Let me say clearly we face common threats, we face common challenges, we have many members in common but not all, we are different in nature as organizations, but we can be complementary. And again, I believe that the strength of our complementarity is what our member states respectively are more and more recognizing that's key in the environment we're living in. And let me say I appreciated really very much the opportunity today to exchange with the ministers, with you, the common work we can do on the different difficult situations we are facing today.

Thank you very much.

Jens Stoltenberg: Thank you.

NATO Spokesperson: Thank you very much, this concludes this press point. Thank you.