European Union External Action

Mogherini: In partnership with NATO, the EU continues to strengthen its defence and security profile

31/03/2017 - 22:22
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The European Union continues to strengthen its defence and security profile, in partnership with NATO, said High Representative Federica Mogherini today upon arrival at a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers. She also stressed that while the UK contribution to the EU security and defence is important, but not that big to create a challenge for the EU in the future.

"I have seen that there have been considerations about how the UK leaving the European Union might affect our capacity to be a defence and security provider...Looking at the numbers, the UK contributes today only 3% of the civilian capabilities in our EU operations and missions and 5% to the military ones. So for sure it is a valued contribution, but for sure a contribution without which the European Union's defence and security work can continue perfectly well," she said.

"I wish we could and we will establish a good and solid security and defence cooperation also after Brexit....But the numbers with which the UK is currently contributing  to the European Union's defence and security operations and missions is not that big as to create a challenge for the European Union in the future. So leverage in that respect will be really minimal on their side," she added.

In the meantime the EU is strengthening its cooperation with NATO, on the basis of the Warsaw Declaration from last July. Federica Mogherini highlighted "the excellent EU-NATO cooperation in all different fields", adding the meeting would be "an occasion to continue our common work on the many different challenges we have, but also some opportunities to strengthen the security of our citizens." 

Mogherini emphasised: "The EU and NATO have established now in the last year a very solid partnership and cooperation. We have 42 single projects we are implementing on a daily basis, so - as also my friend Jens Stoltenberg (NATO Secretary General) always says - the partnership between NATO and the European Union has never been as effective, practical and good as it is today. We will continue our work in this direction today."

"We are working daily on maritime security, both in the Mediterranean and in the Aegean Sea. We are working on cyber threats, on hybrid threats and exchanging more and more practices on cooperation. Obviously we are two different organisations, we have two different natures I would say. NATO is a military alliance and the European Union is a regional organisation, but we share the same security area and we have different instruments that can complement each other very well."

Finally, the High Representative briefly touched upon on cooperation with the new US administration and the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who attended NATO Ministerial for the first time: "We continue to work together. Contacts and work with the US administration on the European Union side are good, frequent. There are things on which we have different positions, on trade, on climate, on other things, but there are other issues on which we work well together and we will continue to work well together." 

 

Links

Video: Federica Mogherini speaking on arrival at the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Brussels 31 March.

https://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I136366

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