NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg HAS praised Romania for making the cooperation between NATO and the European Union a priority for its first Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Mr. Stoltenberg recently met with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, and will discuss Women, Peace and Security issues with EU Ministers.
The following is the doorstep statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the European Union Defence Ministers meeting in Romania.
“I meet regularly with the EU Defence Ministers, and High Representative Federica Mogherini regularly meets with Foreign and Defence Ministers at NATO and I think that reflects a very strong cooperation and close cooperation between NATO and the EU.
And we have been able to strengthen the cooperation between EU and NATO over the last years. Responding to a more demanding and challenging security environment, and it’s even more important that EU and NATO work closely together.
We work together on issues like cyber, like hybrid threats, in the maritime domain, we have coordinated exercises and we also work together on issues related to Women, Peace and Security. And tonight we will discuss the issues the issues related to Women, Peace and Security and this is important for EU, it’s important for NATO and it’s important for our joint efforts.
NATO is responding to a more challenging security environment also by adapting our forces, our structure, Romania is very much part of that. I welcome the strong efforts of Romania to strengthen the Alliance. And we are also investing more in defence. Since 2016 NATO Allies across Europe and Canada have increased defence spending by 41 billion US dollars, and by the end of 2020, by the end of next year, I expect this figure to rise to 100 billion US dollars. So this is showing the commitment of all NATO Allies, and the strength of our Alliance and the importance of strengthening our collective defence. And with that I’m ready to take any questions if there are any.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was recently asked if Europe really needs a European Army. Stoltenberg responded:
“What Europe needs is more investment in defence, stronger capabilities, and we also need fairer burden sharing within the Alliance. And therefore I welcome EU efforts on defence, as for instance the European Defence Fund, military mobility or PESCO. Because I believe that can improve burden-sharing within NATO, it can provide new European capabilities.
But this should never compete with NATO, it should complement NATO and thereby strengthen NATO by strengthening the European contributions to our shared security and collective defence.”
Stoltenberg also recently welcomed unprecedented levels of cooperation between the EU and NATO ahead of a meeting with the EU Foreign Affairs Council.
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. “NATO remains the bedrock for European security,” he said.