In an increasingly volatile and unstable geopolitical context, cooperation between the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is essential.
The security of EU and NATO are inter-connected: not only are 21 EU Member States also NATO Allies; together, they can also mobilise a broad range of tools and make the most efficient use of resources to address those challenges and enhance the security of their citizens.
EU-NATO cooperation constitutes an integral pillar of the EU’s work aimed at strengthening European security and defence, as part of the implementation of the EU Global Strategy. It also contributes to Trans-Atlantic burden sharing. A stronger EU and a stronger NATO are mutually reinforcing.
A NEW ERA OF INTERACTION
On 8 July 2016, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, together with the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization signed a Joint Declaration in Warsaw with a view to giving new impetus and new substance to the EU-NATO strategic partnership.
It outlined seven concrete areas where cooperation between the two organisations should be enhanced: 1. countering hybrid threats; 2. operational cooperation including at sea and on migration; 3. cyber security and defence; 4. defence capabilities; 5. defence industry and research; 6. exercises; 7. supporting Eastern and Southern partners’ capacity-building efforts.
On the basis of the mandate by the Joint Declaration, common sets of proposals were endorsed by the EU and NATO Councils in December 2016 and 2017. Altogether 74 concrete actions are under implementation in the seven areas (see list). Five progress reports have been submitted highlighting main achievements and added value of EU-NATO cooperation in different areas.
On 10 July, 2018, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, together with the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization signed a second Joint Declaration in Brussels calling for swift and demonstrable progress in implementation.
Cooperation between the EU and NATO is now the established norm and daily practice and continues to take place on the basis of key guiding principles: openness, transparency, inclusiveness and reciprocity, in full respect of the decision-making autonomy and procedures of both organisations without prejudice to the specific character of the security and defence policy of any Member State.