NATO Secretary General holds first meeting with EU High Representative

Meeting between NATO Secretary General

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with the new EU High Representative Josep Borrell at the headquarters of the European External Action Service in Brussels.

The meeting took place during Mr Borrell’s first week in office. “This underlines the importance of NATO-EU cooperation,” said the Secretary General.

At their meeting in London last week, NATO leaders welcomed the unprecedented progress in NATO-EU cooperation, including to respond to the refugee and migrant crisis, improve military mobility and defend against hybrid and cyber threats. Mr Stoltenberg also welcomed the Alliance’s work with the EU in the fight against terrorism and to support partners.

Before the meeting High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell commented that meaningful cooperation, a strong cooperation, sharing the responsibility of our security and our citizens. Acting with partners wherever possible and, if necessary, alone. But in most of the cases, we need to be together.

I am at your disposal to continue building a strong relationship between the European defence projects and NATO projects. I think there are more than 70 projects that we have been developing together. Most of the activities conducted under PESCO are being put in practice with NATO.

The Secretary General noted that stronger European defence can contribute to fairer burden-sharing within NATO but stressed the need for complementarity between NATO and EU efforts, and the involvement of non-EU Allies. “The EU cannot replace NATO when it comes to the defence of Europe,” he added.

“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 European Union,” said the Secretary General. He expressed his commitment to ensure that NATO and the EU continue to complement one another. “You will always find a friend in me and in NATO,” he added.

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