Policy experts, diplomats and military representatives met on Friday to discuss maritime cooperation between NATO and the European Union.

The meeting, hosted at Norway House in Brussels, was designed to draw lessons for future cooperation at sea, building on NATO-EU experience in countering piracy in the Indian Ocean and working side-by-side in the Mediterranean. Participants discussed all aspects of maritime cooperation: from planning through execution and post-crisis management, as well as legal considerations and the contributions of industry.

NATO and the European Union have built a solid track record of effective cooperation in the maritime domain. NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield and the EU’s Operation Atalanta worked side-by-side for several years, fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia. NATO and the EU have also worked together in the Mediterranean.

Since February 2016, NATO ships have been supporting the EU in tackling illegal migration in the Aegean Sea. In July 2016, NATO launched a new maritime operation, Sea Guardian, which supports some of EU Operation Sophia’s activities in the Mediterranean Sea.

The seminar is part of 42 cooperation measures which NATO and the EU agreed in December 2016. The event is organised with the support of the Mission to Norway to the EU and the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU.

NATO and the European Union reinforce each other in a wide range of areas, from cooperation at sea, through resilience to hybrid threats, to helping build the defence capacities of partner countries.

In a joint report, presented yesterday to NATO Ministers of Defence, NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg and EU High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini confirmed that this cooperation is developing  well and will continue, potentially expanding to new areas.

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chris
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chris

So apparently now the EU (a nominal trading bloc) speaks for 28 countries military commitments? When is this incestuous, inch by inch usurping of the sovereign status of member countries going to end? This is how the bloody EU came about – by stealth, sleight of hand and gradual and invisible creation of the various regulations and bodies. Who really knew that after March 31st 2017 under the Lisbon Treaty no nation state can trigger Article 50 without the permission of 50% of countries and 65% of the EU population? Its why we triggered on March 30th! The EEC never… Read more »

joe
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joe

Poor old NATO.

The EU doesn’t even pretend to hide it’s pan-national military ambitions any more.
It’s numerous agencies slowly built over the last decade are together larger and better funded than NATO.

Europe can’t and won’t afford 2 military mega-bureaucracies.
Yet no one questions why the EU decided to become a military alliance?

The clock is ticking for NATO.
Europe very clearly wants rid of it, that is why the EU became a military power in the first place.

KieranC
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KieranC

And good riddance as well, you can only rely on the Americans if it suits them, the EU plus Britain and other non EU members in Europe should have a military alliance, every other continent has one. Problem with Nato is America is in charge. The country is governed by idiots and war hawks, America would not give a s**t if Europe teared itself apart if their economic interests were not being harmed.

chris
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chris

Joe – I am sure Poland, Romania and the like are totally reassured those bureaucrats in Brussels have their defence best interests at heart. And if your theory is correct then when we leave the EU in March 2019 we can bring home all the RAF Typhoons and logistics support in the Baltic and the armoured and infantry divisions now IN Poland, Romania and the like.

Still never mind – Germany will look after them ….

joe
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joe

It isn’t a theory.

The EU became a military alliance in 2007 when the Lisbon Treaty was ratified.
Article 42 of that treaty is the equivalent of the NATO’s article 5.

The EU has in the last decade created or enhanced over 2 dozen military agencies.

The Baltic mission is a NATO one.

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Steve
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Steve

I don’t see why a EU common military is a problem. The reality is the US attention is switching towards Asia, as Europe becomes less relevant as a trading partner. The EU needs to be able to stand toe to toe with the US when it comes to key trade deals with Asia and this means they need to be less reliant on the US for security and more active on the global scene. A common military alliance seems to meet these objectives. Where this leaves the UK, who knows. It just appears our voice will be less heard /… Read more »

chris
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chris

Steve – Can you answer me one question then? Why is a nominal trading bloc now representing 27 sovereign (allegedly) nations national interests and formulating their defence and foreign policies? Sub question: When did we vote for that? Correct me if I am wrong but I believe the answer is that the EU is no longer the ‘trading bloc’ we signed up for and is now a quasi ‘USSE’ – United States of Socialist Europe Its like the rhetorical unanswered question as to why should 100% of our manufacturing industry adopt foreign standards so that about 20% can export to… Read more »

joe
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joe

– The EU made this move to becoming a military alliance 15 years ago.
– The US is not decreasing its interest in Europe.
The US has increased the direct funding for European defence 6 fold in 3 years.

These are facts.

Dazza
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Dazza

The EU is now in the final stages of transformation into a Federal European State, which they have every right to do, but it’s not for us. This, along with the pivot of the USA towards the Pacific, will probably mean that NATO will soon become defunct.

Britain needs to wake-up fast and prepare a Plan B, maybe a ‘Fortress Britain’ Policy plus more support to UN operations, in order to fulfil its obligations as a permanent member of the Security Council. Let the EU defend the Baltic and Britain look after its own interests.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Chris you are 100% correct. All you have said is sad but true. EU or as I now consider it the Greater Germanic Republic is hell bent on usurping all nations sovereignty.The process has been insidious and slow, morphing unspoken over many years incrementally into what it us today a now enforced union of 27 countries. Western European countries agree to it for the trade and wealth it brings. Eastern European countries agree to the EU because of the investment it brings into their countries, whilst affording a measure of solidarity and protection against a belligerent Russia. It is all… Read more »

chris
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chris

Mr Bell – Again a great summary well made. I can’t add anything to main points but I would add this about the ‘Western Alliance’ you mention. We already have the embryo organisation already. Its called the ‘Five Eyes’ and is proving its worth on International Security, Terrorism and Intelligence matters: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. It shows we are (as we have always been) a Global facing country unlike the introvert protectionist EU. Its why we are incompatible with this Socialist Ponzi Scheme. Finland and Sweden are already locked into the EU so… Read more »

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

The fact NATO are discussing cooperation with the EU as a labelled seperate entity means NATO as it currently stands is finished. All the nations in the EU are supposed to be in NATO, thus if they have thrown their lot into the EU rather than NATO that is the answer to whether NATO will survive. it will not, agree about the five eyes grouping of Nations, thanks for that useful info Chris. I am being hopeful that the Scandinavian countries will be first to realise the danger that the EU potential is to their democracy and vote to leave… Read more »

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Just as the EU is withdrawing organisations from the UK post Brexit, so should NATO withdraw from the EU.
i think it would send an awakening message to some of the EU states if the NATO headquarters in Brussels was to close and be moved to London. Finally some nations might ask “why was that done?”