Joint doorstep statements
by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel ahead of a meeting of the European Council
Thank you so much Charles, it's great to be back here and I look forward to meet with the European Council.
I would like to start by thanking you and The European Union for what you do, in making sure that we are able to combat the coronavirus, the COVID-19 pandemic, because the efforts of the European Union, of the European Member States, have been have been extremely important for all of us living in Europe.
At the same time, we see that our military forces across Europe are supporting the civilian efforts, helping to set up military field hospitals, transporting patients, medical equipment. So in one way, we actually see how the civilian sector, the EU efforts are going hand in hand with the military efforts across the continent.
For NATO, the main task during this pandemic has been to make sure that a health crisis doesn't turn into a security crisis, because the threats we are faced with before the pandemic, they are still there.
Russia's aggressive actions, more brutal forms of terrorism, sophisticated cyberattacks, the rise of China, and the security implications of climate change, so no country or continent can face these challenges alone.
Not Europe alone, not North America alone, but Europe and North America together.
And therefore as you, I welcome the very strong message from the new Biden administration, to rebuild alliances, to strengthen the transatlantic bond. And this will be also the main issue when NATO leaders meet later this year in Brussels.
NATO 2030 is a project where we are looking into how we can further strengthen NATO, the transatlantic bond, and that includes also how we can strengthen the cooperation with the European Union.
And over the last years we have been able to lift the cooperation between the European Union and NATO to unprecedented levels. I appreciate very much your leadership on this, your commitment to NATO-EU cooperation, and I look forward to continuing to working with you and the European Union on issues like resilience, like cyber, like countering the effects of climate change, and also continue to work on issues where we have been working together for many years like stabilising the Western Balkans and tackling migration in the Aegean.
More than 90% of the people living in the European Union, they live in a NATO country. So that just illustrates that we share, pretty much the same population, the same members, and the same neighbourhood and the same challenges. So all of this makes it perfectly, absolutely, obvious that we need to work together, and that's the reason why I'm looking forward to meet with the European Council and to address how we can further strengthen NATO – EU cooperation.
Thank you so much.