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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.

14 COMMENTS

  1. 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 needed a flag, anthem, currency and all the other trappings of a political body and it worked just fine. Had it stayed as the EEC I doubt we would have left and now face an uncertain future. But we were never asked about the EU. It just happened on a false premise of ‘Its just trade’.

    Now look where its at: Representing 28 countries to NATO (which consists of most of those underpaying countries anyway!) and now a fleet of air tankers because apparently they must stop using the RAF Voyagers (as we are leaving the EU). Utter political madness.

  2. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 ….

      • 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.

  3. 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 / listened to in the future as we stand alone.

    • 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 the EU? We export more to the USA (per country) and yet we only adopt their standards for the products they buy.

      This over regulation extends into areas where there is no foreign or export involvement at all! We are electrifying hundreds of miles of the Great Western Main Line but have had costs doubled because of regulations from the EU regarding ‘electrical clearances’ in things called ‘Technical Standards for Interoperability’ even though no European train will ever run on UK rails as our loading gauge is smaller! The days of kids standing on bridges to watch trains go by is ended now. The EU demands metre higher parapets and places like Bath are utterly transformed as a result.

      I never understood why people have quietly allowed this unelected body to gradually take charge of every element of our lives. And I am most certainly glad we got out when we could. As for us being ‘listened to’ well we are the second largest funding contributor to the EEC / EU which never listens to anyone so no change there and £13 Bn nett of rebate a year saved.

      Or in defence terms that is 3 new carriers and 2 new Type 26 every year.

    • – 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 going to come undone. Sooner or later one of the 27 remaining Nations will also want to leave the EU and regain its own rights to self-determination and democracy. The EU will vote against allowing that to happen, no other country will be permitted to leave, then what happens?
    We got out just in time. Let the weak EU set up its own military, I am sure the Dutch, Polish, Greeks (who have all been invaded by and controlled by Germany before) feel very safe and secure in the Greater Germanic Republic. Germany has never had it so good. Total control and domination over 27 countries and 500 million people without a single shot being fired.
    German goods sold all over the world, German wealth going up up up. All on the back of being in the Euro and having a devalued currency. Back in 1990’s there were long term forecasts that the costs of German goods, due to the strength of the Deutschmark were going to be prohibitive and led to a collapse in German industry just after the country had been allowed to unify. Then some bright spark thought I know lets have the Euro, get Germany to join, then they would possess an undervalued currency. Trump is right. The Euro is a mechanism for Germanic wealth and power, it will all end badly. The UK just needs to be militarily ready to defend itself when a spoilt and vengeful EU wants its money, its rights to fish in our waters, its rights to trade with our partner nations. They are not going to take it kindly if we step in to support any country wanting to leave the EU.
    I think it is the end of NATO but the start of a Western Alliance involving Norway, Finland, Sweden, Canada, USA, Australia, UK and New Zealand.
    The EU will never in a month of Sundays get their act together to present a well rounded , capable military force that has the full spectrum of capabilities currently demonstrated by NATO.

    • 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 they can’t get out or choose other options and will be drawn further in whether they like it or not.

      Norway, being an associate member of the EU, still has the freedom on its defence and sovereign choices and are already working with the UK on Maritime and other matters. I can see them being very reassured the Americans are now going to base Poseidon aircraft in Scotland along with the UK aircraft. However 75% of their trade goes to the EU (for which read Germany) in the form of mineral ores and why they agreed the deal they did.

      In summary I would not assume the Scandinavian countries will move our way any time soon but the ‘Five Eyes’ does give us an alliance we really should develop in a post NATO era. Because I do agree with you. NATO is now ceasing to have any real meaning now the USA sees what has been happening and the sooner it is disbanded the better. Let the EU countries who have sponged off us and the USA for 70 years for their defence face the reality of what REAL defence costs and the commitments it takes. We on the other hand always did punch way above our weight and the Americans always appreciated it. Unlike the EU which despises us for being the best.

  6. 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 sooner rather than later.
    EU has gone too far. From a trading zone to a republic of nations without anyone actually voting to give up sovereignty. No one in Europe has voted for this, it has all been done by treaties signed on behalf of their people by the political class in Europe all to keen on joining the lavish European gravy train. One question.
    where is the democracy in the EU? Where is the sensitivity to voters wishes at a local or even regional level?

  7. 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?”

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