BRUSSELS --- Today, more than ever before, the security of Europe and North America is interconnected. NATO and EU face a series of unprecedented security challenges emanating from the South and the East that need to be addressed in a concerted and complementary way that avoids unnecessary duplication.
The importance of a strong transatlantic bond, based on our shared values, which enhances our common security and ensures a fair and balanced burden-sharing, becomes even more pertinent in this challenging strategic environment. The overall goal of NATO and EU remains the same: maintain peace and stability and promote security for our citizens.
22 out of 28 Allies are also part of the EU. But nations only have one ‘single set of forces’. In this regard, we welcome closer and mutually reinforcing cooperation between NATO and the EU. Together, the two organisations, unique and essential partners, can mobilize a broad range of tools to respond to these challenges, make a more efficient use of resources and better provide security in Europe and beyond.
Acting on the decisions adopted by our Heads of State and Government at our Summit in Warsaw, while fully preserving the foundation of the cooperation between our two organisations established almost two decades ago, we have decided, as a first step, to strengthen our strategic partnership in concrete areas including countering hybrid threats; operational cooperation including maritime issues; cyber security and defence; defence capabilities; defence industry and research; exercises; and defence and security capacity building.
We thus welcome the efforts by NATO and EU staffs in identifying concrete options for the implementation of the Joint Declaration issued in Warsaw by the NATO Secretary General, the President of the European Council, and the President of the European Commission.
Today, we therefore endorse the common set of proposals attached in annex which were jointly developed by the Secretary General, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission and the European Commission. The implementation of the annexed proposals will be undertaken by NATO in accordance with its decisions and procedures and in a spirit of full mutual openness, transparency, and complementarity, while respecting the organisations’ different mandates, decision-making autonomy and institutional integrity, and as agreed by the two organisations.
This will increase the ability of the two organisations to respond to the challenges we currently face, and progress is already under way. These proposals are being endorsed in a parallel process by the EU, through the Council of the European Union.
NATO remains the transatlantic framework for strong collective defence and the essential forum for security consultations and decisions among Allies. A stronger, more capable and better resourced European defence will contribute to a stronger NATO and we welcome the ongoing efforts to develop European defence capabilities.
We underline that non-EU Allies substantially contribute to European security and defence overall, as well as continue to make significant contributions to the EU's efforts to strengthen its capacities to address common security challenges. For the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU, non-EU Allies' fullest involvement in these efforts is essential. We encourage further mutual steps in this area to support a strengthened strategic partnership. To this end, reinforced dialogue and consultations on security and defence issues, as appropriate, is important.
We are committed to carry this work forward, emphasizing that reinforcing the strategic partnership between our two organisations will continue to be a priority. We therefore task the Council to review the implementation of the proposals twice-yearly, starting by the time of the 2017 Brussels Summit. We also task the Council to explore options for further enhancing future cooperation in all aspects of the NATO-EU partnership on a yearly basis.
Click here for the Common Set of New Proposals, on the NATO website.