Joint press statements

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security of the European Union, Josep Borrell

  • 09 Dec. 2019 -
  • |
  • Last updated 13-Dec-2019 14:39

(As delivered)

High Representative / Vice President Borrell,
Dear Josep,
It’s really great to see you and to meet you again. But as you said, the first time in your new capacity as High Representative/ Vice President. And I really look forward to working with you. NATO-EU cooperation is something which is very close to my heart and it is great to see that we have been able to lift the NATO-EU cooperation to new levels, to unprecedented levels, and I think it is a great responsibility for you and me to make sure that we continue to strengthen the cooperation between NATO and the EU.
Let me also congratulate you on your appointment and highlight that in your new position you and I will be working closely together. You are right that we have been working closely together also before, in your previous capacity as foreign minister, but now we will continue that cooperation in your new position.
I’m also grateful that we meet in your first week as the High Representative/ Vice President, I think this highlights and underlines the importance of the NATO-EU cooperation and NATO-EU cooperation was also an issue that was addressed and welcomed when the NATO leaders met in London last week. The NATO leaders welcomed that our two organisations have achieved “unprecedented progress” in our cooperation. In areas such as: responding to the migration and refugees crisis, Improving military mobility, and defending against hybrid and cyber threats.

We’re also working together to support partners to the east and the south, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and Tunisia.

And we are working more closely together in the fight against terrorism.

I am a strong supporter of EU efforts on defence. Done in the right way, this can lead to more capabilities, better burden sharing, and can strengthen both the EU and NATO. To make this possible, we need the fullest possible involvement of non-EU Allies in defence initiatives such as PESCO and the European Defence Fund. And forces and capabilities generated by EU efforts must also be available for NATO. Non-EU Allies like the United States, Canada, Norway and Turkey make crucial contributions to European security.
And after Brexit, 80 percent of NATO’s defence spending will come from non-EU countries. So the EU cannot replace NATO when it comes to the defence of Europe. But at the same time we welcome the EU efforts on defence because we strongly believe that that can strengthen both EU and NATO.

Last week, Allied leaders decided to initiate a reflection process, under my leadership, to strengthen further the political dimension of NATO. This is very relevant for the EU. And I will work to ensure that NATO and the EU continue to complement and not compete with one another. The security challenges we face today are too complex for any one nation or organisation to face alone. And neither NATO nor the EU have all the tools necessary to keep our people safe. But working together, we make a formidable team and we can achieve a lot/

High Representative / Vice President Borrell,
Thank you again for your welcome. I really look forward to working with you and you will always find a friend in me and in NATO.
So thank you so much and congratulations once again with your appointment.