Joint press conference
by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and EU High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini following the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of NATO Foreign Ministers
We have just finished a meeting with the NATO Foreign Ministers where we were joined by High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini and also the Foreign Ministers of Sweden and Finland.
And I will start by thanking Federica for being with us and for joining us in addressing an issue which is of great importance both for NATO and for the EU. And that is European defence and the cooperation between NATO and the EU. And I would also like to thank you, Federica, for your strong personal commitment, for the hard work you’ve been putting into this over a long period of time which has resulted in real progress.
And this is important for both NATO and the EU because we know that 90% or actually more than 90% of the people in the EU are citizens of a NATO country. We face the same security environment, we face the same challenges. And therefore we have to respond together based on our common values.
And back in July 2016, I signed a joint declaration with the Presidents Juncker and Tusk and after that Federica and I followed up with 42 concrete measures and we have been working on the implementation of these measures since then, and we have really made progress.
For instance on countering hybrid threats.
Federica and I inaugurated the Centre of Excellence in Helsinki a few weeks ago.
On cyber, NATO and the European Union can now exchange warnings about cyber-attacks and malware in real time.
And just last week, the EU participated in NATO’s Cyber Coalition exercise, one of the biggest in the world, yet another example of how we are strengthening our concrete cooperation.
In the maritime domain, NATO’s maritime operation Sea Guardian provides critical support to the EU’s Operation Sophia.
And there are many other examples but now today, tonight, we agreed on additional measures. So the task for Federica and me, for our staff for the European Union, for NATO, is to make sure that we are fully implementing those measures. And let me just mention three new areas where we have agreed to strengthen our cooperation.
First - moving our forces and equipment quickly is vital for our security. This means we need procedures for rapid border crossing.
As well as sufficient transport assets. And robust infrastructure meaning roads, railways, ports and airports. So it’s obvious that this is an area where we need strong and very detailed and concrete cooperation between NATO and EU when it comes to military mobility. And our aim is to make military mobility a new flagship for the NATO-EU cooperation.
Second - in the fight against terrorism, we decided to strengthen the exchange of information between us. And to coordinate our counter-terrorism support for partner countries.
And third – we will do more together to promote women’s role in peace and security.
In our own organisations, and in our military operations. It’s not just the right thing to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do.
So we are taking cooperation between NATO and the EU to a new level. This is more important than ever, as the EU looks to strengthen European defence, through Permanent Structured Cooperation and the European Defence Fund.
These steps can lead to increased defence spending, more modern capabilities, and fairer transatlantic burden sharing.
To ensure these efforts complement what NATO does, we must keep in mind some key principles: EU and NATO capability development must be coherent. Because we cannot present conflicting requirements and priorities to our nations. Forces and capabilities must be available for both EU and NATO. And non-EU Allies need to be involved to the fullest extent possible. Because they play an important role in European security.
NATO has ensured European peace and security for almost seventy years. And remains the cornerstone of our collective defence.
At the same time, we are determined to further strengthen our cooperation with the EU.
So for me it’s really a great pleasure to once again meet with Federica, to discuss and to agree and decide on how we take this cooperation further and then to know that we will work together also making sure that the we are implementing those measures. So welcome again, and please, you have the floor.