Check against delivery!
Check against delivery!
Thank you very much, Jens. Thank you for inviting me here today to the Ministerial, as it is always the case with the Defence and Foreign Ministers' meetings. And thank you very much for an excellent cooperation and coordination we have had over this first year of our mandates.
We have both finished the first year - a few months ago in your case, one month ago in my case. I will always remember very well that we actually first met in our new capacities in the very first days I took office. You were here since a month and we said at that time, we are going to put strong efforts on improving and deepening the cooperation between NATO and the European Union. I can say one year later that indeed our coordination, our cooperation, our common work has become stronger.
It is also important to see this confirmed as it was the case today with the Ministers. The allies in NATO and the Member States of the European Union fully support, fully acknowledged, fully recognize the key importance of the European Union's role and the partnership with NATO, given the security situations we are facing outside of Europe, at our borders, but also inside of Europe.
It is clear that imperative of cooperation on security is a must. And again, I think that today as we were discussing the different crises we have at the southern neighbourhood of Europe - from Syria to Libya, to the Sahel, to the fight against Da'esh - it was very clear from all around the table that this cooperation is welcome, is requested, is encouraged; I think this is our point of strength. We already have partnership that covers some concrete cooperation, in the Western Balkans, in Afghanistan, off the coast of Somalia, and we have three concrete areas of cooperation you just mentioned on which we have started to prepare our common work.
First of all, on hybrid threats. We are preparing together with the European Commission and the European Defence Agency a joint framework. We will present a set of concrete proposals to the European Union Member States' and in this respect cooperation and interaction with NATO will be an integral part of our planned actions, including as regards awareness and analysis. The second element, the second area of strong opportunities for cooperation is support to the security sector in partner countries, especially in our South, in the Middle East and in North Africa.
There is a lot that the European Union is already doing. There is a lot that NATO is doing and is planning to do. In this respect, working with our partners on strengthening their own capacities, their own resilience is our work and can be crucially complementary.
Third, as NATO is preparing for the Warsaw Summit we are implementing the decisions that we took at the level of Heads of States and Government on security and defence that we took in June. We have a common work to do on the internal dimension of the defence capabilities and the security capabilities of the European Union Member States. We have appreciated and welcomed NATO's encouragement for efforts, deployed within the European Union to mobilise internal market and research instruments in order to help Member States increase their cooperation and efforts in developing defence capabilities.
This is also a must and a clear mandate we have as we develop also towards June next year, just a few weeks before the Summit, our new global strategy, where the partnership between European Union and NATO will have a special place. Let me say, clearly, we face common threats. We face common challenges. We have many Members in common, but not all. We are different in nature as organizations, but we can be complementary. And, again, I believe that the strength of our complementarity is what our Member States respectively are more and more recognising as key in this environment we are living in. And let me say, I appreciated really very much the opportunity today to exchange with the Ministers, with you, the common work we can do on the different difficult situations where facing today.
Thank you very much.
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