Two years ago in Warsaw, we came together to strengthen EU-NATO cooperation aiming to promote peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. Our respective efforts are mutually reinforcing, have improved the security of our citizens and strengthened our trans-Atlantic bond. Our longstanding cooperation has developed substantially, and is now unprecedented in its quality, scope and vigour. We share the same values and resolve to address, hand-in-hand, the common challenges we face.
As our security is interconnected, we meet today in Brussels to reaffirm the importance of and the need for cooperation, and underline that our security and defence initiatives benefit each other.
In consultation with the EU Member States and the NATO Allies, working with and for the benefit of all, our partnership will continue to take place in the spirit of full mutual openness and in compliance with the decision-making autonomy and procedures of our respective organisations and without prejudice to the specific character of the security and defence policy of any of our members.
In this context, we view transparency as crucial. We encourage the fullest possible involvement of the NATO Allies that are not members of the EU in its initiatives. We encourage the fullest possible involvement of the EU Member States that are not part of the Alliance in its initiatives.
Our two organisations have developed a broad range of tools to provide greater security to citizens in Europe and beyond, building on the substantial cooperation established more than 15 years ago between NATO and the EU, two unique and essential partners.
We are implementing the objectives we set two years ago, including the following actions:
--Our maritime cooperation in the Mediterranean contributes to fighting migrant smuggling and trafficking, and thus alleviates human suffering;
--We have increased our ability to respond to hybrid threats: we reinforce our preparedness for crises, we exchange timely information including on cyber-attacks, we confront disinformation, we build the resilience of our members and partners and we test our respective procedures through parallel and coordinated exercises;
--We support the defence and security capacity of our neighbours to the East and to the South.
The multiple and evolving security challenges that our Member States and Allies face from the East and the South make our continued cooperation essential, including in responding to hybrid and cyber threats, in operations, and by helping our common partners. We are committed to deepen it further within the existing common proposals. It is now important to focus on implementation.
In this context, we will aim for swift and demonstrable progress in particular in:
--strengthening resilience to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear-related risks;
--promoting the women peace and security agenda.
We welcome EU efforts to bolster European security and defence to better protect the Union and its citizens and to contribute to peace and stability in the neighborhood and beyond. The Permanent Structured Cooperation and the European Defence Fund contribute to these objectives.
We welcome efforts undertaken by NATO in collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security, to ensure the defence and security of the Euro-Atlantic area, notably through deterrence and defence, projecting stability and the fight against terrorism. NATO will continue to play its unique and essential role as the cornerstone of collective defence for all Allies.
EU efforts will also strengthen NATO, and thus will improve our common security. For NATO Allies, such efforts foster an equitable sharing of the burden, benefits and responsibilities, in full accordance with their commitment undertaken in the Defence Investment Pledge. For EU Member States, we welcome political agreement to give higher priority to security and defence in the forthcoming discussions on the next long-term EU budget.
The capabilities developed through the defence initiatives of the EU and NATO should remain coherent, complementary and interoperable. They should be available to both organisations, subject to the sovereign decisions of the countries that own them.
We are proud of what has been achieved together so far. But we can do more. We will continue to review progress on a yearly basis.