We have just finished a meeting where we addressed the cooperation between NATO and the EU. And the meeting was attended by High Representative / Vice President Federica Mogherini and with the Minister from Sweden and the Ambassador of Finland, so in addition to the 28 members of the Alliance and Montenegro, we also had representatives of the European Union present at the meeting.
And it’s always a good pleasure to welcome you to NATO, Federica, especially when we are able to agree on such a substantial list of measures to take our cooperation forward. And we have been working together on how to strengthen and how to enhance the cooperation between NATO and EU for a long time, so therefore I think today we really mark a milestone in our efforts to build our cooperation and to strengthen the partnership between NATO and the EU.
The security of Europe and North America is interconnected. A stronger NATO is good for the EU and a stronger EU is good for NATO. And strengthening our strategic partnership is more important than ever.
First, we all face new threats and new security challenges, which combine military and non-military means of aggression. Such as hybrid, cyber, terrorism. And neither NATO nor the EU has the full range of tools to respond to these challenges, so therefore we have to cooperate.
Second, the EU is taking steps in strengthening European defence, which we welcome.
It is important that these steps are complementary with NATO efforts.
And third, the strength of the transatlantic bond is vital to our security. Strong ties between NATO and the EU bring North America and Europe closer together. In Warsaw in July, I signed a Joint Declaration with Presidents Tusk and Juncker. We said at the time that we had never done so much together. Now we are going to do even more together. We have identified over forty proposals in several key areas. They are pragmatic, but they are ambitious.
- On hybrid, we agreed on concrete measures to increase situational awareness. And to bolster our nations’ resilience.
- On maritime, we enhanced cooperation between Operations Sea Guardian and Sophia in the Mediterranean. Through logistical support and information sharing.
- On cyber, we will strengthen our mutual participation in exercises, and foster research.
- NATO and the EU will also work more closely together to build the capacities of our partners.
- And we have committed to pursue greater coherence in the development of our defence capabilities.
So these are only some examples of how we now are strengthening the cooperation between NATO and the EU in a very concrete and pragmatic way.
And I strongly encourage the fullest involvement of non-EU Allies in European defence, because they contribute substantially to European security.
So let me therefore thank Federica for her outstanding personal commitment to our cooperation. This has been a priority for both of us since we took office in the autumn of 2014.
But before I pass the floor to Federica, let me say a few words about the importance of strong institutions in times of instability as we see today. Both NATO and the EU were established as a result of two World Wars. Together, they helped bring peace and security to our continent, based on our shared values. Both NATO and the EU have seen many changes and many challenges. But throughout the decades, they have proven robust and adaptable. This is also what we are doing now: adapting to a new security environment. And therefore I am confident that we will continue to do so in the years ahead, that NATO and the EU are able to adapt to a changing and a more challenging security environment.
So once again, Federica, it’s great to have you here, it’s great to attend this meeting together with you and great to see that we are able to deliver concrete measures and proposals on how to strengthen our cooperation.