Press statement

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meeting with the members of the College of Commissioners at the European Commission

  • 15 Dec. 2020 -
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  • Last updated: 15 Dec. 2020 13:38

(As delivered)

Joint press statements by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen ahead of the meeting with the members of the College of Commissioners

Thank you so much Ursula and many thanks for inviting me to this meeting of the College of the European Union commissioners.

For me this is really a great honour because as you said it’s the first time ever for a NATO Secretary General to participate in such a meeting.

And let me also thank you for your strong personal commitment to the cooperation between NATO and the European Union.

And as you said, I know you were well as defence minister of Germany working closely with NATO for many, many years.

So you are a staunch leader and a strong supporter of the transatlantic link which is embodied in our transatlantic cooperation.

So thank you so much for inviting me and for supporting the efforts we make together to further strengthen the cooperation between NATO and the European Union.

And I take this meeting today as yet another example of that we have been able to lift the cooperation between our two organisations up to unprecedented levels.
We are working together on many different issues, supporting partners from Ukraine to Afghanistan, addressing military mobility, cyber, countering disinformation, and also working together on, for instance, implementing the deal between the European Union and Turkey and implementing the deal on illegal migration in the Aegean.

So there are many areas where we work together but, as you, I strongly believe that we can further strengthen our cooperation.

In cyber we see more frequent and more sophisticated cyber-attacks and NATO has established cyber as a military domain, alongside air, land and sea, and it’s obvious that we can work more together with the European Union, with the Commission.

I also appreciate that we exercise, and that the EU just last month took part in a NATO exercise on cyber, an example of how we are working together.

Resilience is another area where I strongly believe that we can work even more closely together.
We need strong societies, strong and resilient infrastructure to make sure that we have strong defence.

And then I also agree with you that climate change is an area where we should look into what we can do together.
Global warming, climate change is a crisis multiplier, and NATO has to address the security consequences of climate change.

We have a unique opportunity to strengthen, to re-energise the transatlantic bond and I strongly believe that we need to work together.
I don’t believe in US alone, I don’t believe in Europe alone, I strongly believe in North America and Europe working together.

Because we share the same values we need to stand together in a more unpredictable world.

In uncertain times we need a strong international institutions like the European Union - like the Commission - and NATO, and when we work together we are stronger and more capable of managing the difficulties we face together.

Thank you once again for inviting me.