Federica Mogherini – High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice President of the European Commission, explains how the cooperation between EU and NATO makes both stronger.

These have been two intense years for cooperation between the European Union and NATO. After the historic Joint Declaration signed in Warsaw, our partnership is now closer than ever. We have moved forward on all 74 actions we identified for close collaboration. The more we work together, the more we realise we are complementary and we need one another.

The list of our new fields of cooperation is long. Twenty of our common actions relate to hybrid threats, where our exchanges now happen on a daily basis. Last year, our parallel and coordinated exercises were also based on a hybrid scenario, and the same will happen this year. Beyond hybrid, our naval operations in the Mediterranean – Sophia and Sea Guardian – are sharing information as well as logistical support. The first ever EU-NATO staff-to-staff dialogue on counter-terrorism took place just weeks ago. And we have intensified our coordination on strengthening the capacities of our partners – particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and Tunisia, but also in Georgia and Jordan. In Ukraine we are working together on issues such as strategic communications, training, and security sector reform.

The clearest example is probably military mobility. Today, more than ever, rapid response has become an essential requirement for our security. Getting our assets where they are needed, and doing so swiftly, is a necessity we need to ensure at all times. This requires work on physical infrastructure around Europe, but also to remove legal and bureaucratic obstacles. On the side of the European Union we have – in line with the competences – identified a series of operational measures to overcome these barriers. In addition, the new long-term EU budget proposed by the European Commission foresees an investment of €6.5 billion in this field. And we have taken action on military mobility in the framework of the Permanent Structured Cooperation that 25 of our Member States have launched on defence issues. This work is happening in constant coordination with NATO. Experts from NATO have been associated with our consultations, and NATO has shared its parameters for transport infrastructure. There is no better example of how a stronger European Union in the field of defence also makes NATO stronger.

EU and NATO are different organisations. The European Union is not a military alliance, and we do not intend to become one. NATO and the EU do different things: complementarity is in the nature of our partnership. At the same time, increased cooperation inside the European Union on defence issues can also strengthen the capabilities of our Member States – 22 of which are also NATO Allies. Through cooperation at the EU level, European countries are taking greater responsibility for their own security.

Not only do we share 22 members: the EU and NATO also face similar challenges and we have converging security interests. Almost 95% of citizens of the European Union live in NATO countries. Protecting our people is the first of our shared interests. In these two years, we have realised that greater cooperation between our two organisations can only advance our shared interests. It is a clear win-win situation. It is time to make our partnership even stronger and closer, at the upcoming NATO Summit in Brussels and beyond.

 


NATO Summit 2018 | Strenghtening Deterrence and Defence while Projecting Stability

Among the wide range of communication activities, a traditional commitment is the present ATA official publication accompanying and outlining the agenda of the NATO Summits. The ATA Official Summit Publication was disseminated during the Official NATO Summit Side EventNATO Engages.

The publication is available in its entirety here.