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The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday (30 March 2015) that he is “a strong supporter of closer cooperation between the European Union and NATO” and that more can be achieved “if we work more closely together.” He was addressing the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Sub-Committee on Security and Defence in Brussels.
Mr. Stoltenberg pointed out that the European Union and NATO “are two different organizations with different tasks and different responsibilities, but we have also very much in common. We are two organizations which share the same values and the same security environment and are facing the same challenges and the same threats.”
“It has always been important that the European Union and NATO cooperate, but I think it is especially important that we strengthen our cooperation now, because we are living in a time where we see fundamental changes in our security environment. We see new threats and new challenges. We see them emanating from the east as a consequence of the behaviour of a more assertive Russia, responsible for aggressive actions in Ukraine, and from the south, in the Middle East and North Africa, through turmoil, barbaric violence, and ISIL terrorist activities close to our borders,” the NATO Secretary General said.
Mr. Stoltenberg outlined three areas where he sees great potential for increased cooperation between NATO and the European Union. The first area is about “building resilience together, by strengthening our defence in facing new threats such as for instance hybrid warfare.” The second area is about “building resilience together with our neighbours, - in the east and the south.” The third area is on “defence investment.”