First of all, let me say how pleased I am to be in Bucharest, with this wonderful hospitality, for this perfectly-organised meeting yesterday and today of the Defence and Foreign Ministers of the 28 Member States of the European Union.
Prevention is better than cure. This basic principle stands behind many of the EU activities. A pertinent example is the EU's civilian monitoring mission in Georgia (EUMM). It was deployed immediately following the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. EUMM has helped since then to prevent new hostilities and enabled the affected population to resume a normal life free from fear.
Creating a fully-fledged European Defence Union by 2025 is imperative to Europe's security and to build a Union
that protects. A smooth, efficient and effective movement of military personnel and assets across and beyond the
EU will enhance the EU's preparedness and response to crises. It will enable EU Member States to act faster, in line with their defence needs and responsibilities, both in the context of the Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations, and in the framework of national and multinational activities. Currently, cross-border mobility is still hampered by a number of barriers that can lead to delays, disruption, higher costs or increased vulnerability."
In light of a changing security environment, the EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS) started
a process of closer cooperation in security and defence. The EU Member States agreed to step up the European
Union’s work in this area and acknowledged that enhanced coordination, increased investment in defence and
cooperation in developing defence capabilities are key requirements to achieve it.
Global challenges have not only increased in recent years, they have become more complex, multidimensional and fluid. The EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy presented in June 2016 highlights the strong link between external and EU-internal security under a changing geopolitical setting. No single country can face these emerging threats alone. And when it comes to security the interests of all EU Member States are inseparably linked. Hence the EU is creating conditions which allow Member States to collaborate more closely with each other on defence.