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Brussels, 30 November 2016
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We have been, as you know, working over the past months – actually the entire year and some months - on three initiatives on our common security and defence, on the European level, forming together a single defence and security package that we are now finalising.
So, I will somehow provide to you the framework and then Jyrki [Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment & Competitiveness] and Elżbieta [Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs] will present the concrete proposals we have adopted today. The framework is the security and defence package of the European Union that is composed of three pillars, three main elements.
One is the implementation plan of the Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy that we adopted at the Council with Foreign and Defence Ministers two weeks ago and that defines a new level of ambition for the European Union that is much broader and more advanced than ever in the past and that identifies also some of the steps that are needed to fulfil the ambitions that are defined in this plan.
The second pillar of this package is the work we are doing to strengthen our work with partners, the UN, but also NATO. So the second pillar of this package is the implementation of the Joint Declaration the EU and NATO signed in Warsaw last July and we are adopting next week together in NATO and in the European Union a set of concrete proposals for this Implementation of the Joint Declaration on EU-NATO partnership. I will meet Jens Stoltenberg [NATO Secretary General] later today and obviously next week at the NATO Ministerial and in the Council we will proceed in this respect.
The third pillar of the package is the one we present today that looks at how we make stronger our defence industry. The European Defence Action Plan we prepared together with Jyrki, with Elżbieta and with a special thanks to our teams that have worked very intensely over the last months. It is a long process, it is a very intense process.
A strong European Defence Industrial and Technological base as well as increased cooperation amongst Member States are both essential to develop and maintain the key capabilities that are needed for Europe's security. This is at the basis of a credible European Union in the field of defence and security. So it is about being a global security provider. It is about having a strong, smart, innovative European industrial base. It is a way to deepen defence cooperation, making full use of all our instruments, combining them in a coherent manner.
We have different tools, we have different institutions, we have different frameworks in which the work in defence and security can be carried out and the fact that we have worked in team, perfectly well together, with good and concrete results, I believe, is also a test of the Lisbon Treaty and to the capacity we have to put together different institutions for a shared objective. In particular it will be important to work together - the [European] Commission, the Council, the European Defence Agency that is one of the frameworks in which we can develop this cooperation. By the way, I will be visiting in a couple of hours a European Defence Agency helicopter exercise as an example of the kind of defence cooperation that is already existing in the European Union framework.
So, to conclude these three elements – the Implementation Plan on Security and Defence adopted by the Council, the Implementation Plan of the Joint Declaration EU-NATO and the European Defence Action Plan that Jyrki and Elżbieta present today are coherent elements of a substantial package on European security and defence that we will present together at the European Council in a few weeks from now.
Link to the video: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I130005