Press Statement by Jens Stoltenberg and Josep Borrell

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg joint press statement with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security of the European Union, Mr. Josep Borrell at the headquarters of the European External Action Service in Brussels.

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Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[Josep] They changed the flags.

[Woman] Good evening, everyone, and welcome to this joint press statement ahead of the bilateral meeting between Josep Borrell, High Representative/Vice President of the Commission, and Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. High Representative, please.

Thank you. Much welcome to the Secretary General of the NATO at the premises of the European External Action service. It is the first time we meet in my condition of High Representative, but we have been meeting many, many times, we are old friends. We have been happy to share the responsibilities for defend you, the NATO, and me, European Union.

Okay, High Representative/Vice President Borrell, dear Josep, it’s really great to see you and to meet you again. But as you said, the first time in your new capacity as High Representative/Vice President. And I really look forward to working with you. NATO-EU cooperation is something which is very close to my heart. And it is great to see that we have been able to lift the NATO-EU cooperation to new levels, to unprecedented levels. And I think it is a great responsibility for you and me to make sure that we continue to strengthen the cooperation between NATO and the European Union. Let me also congratulate you on your appointment and highlight that in your new position, you and I, we will be working closely together. You are right that we have been working closely together also before, in your previous capacity as foreign minister, but now we will continue that cooperation in your new position. I’m also grateful that we meet in your first week as the High Representative and Vice President. I think this highlights and underlines the importance of the NATO-EU cooperation. And the NATO-EU cooperation was also an issue that was addressed and welcomed when the NATO leaders met in London last week. The NATO leaders welcomed that our two organizations have achieved unprecedented progress in our cooperation in areas such as responding to the migration and refugees crisis, improving military mobility, and defending against hybrid and cyber threats. We’re also working together to support partners to the east and the south, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and Tunisia. And we are working more closely together in the fight against terrorism. I am a strong supporter of EU efforts on defense. Done in the right way, this can lead to more capabilities, better burden sharing, and can strengthen both the European Union and NATO. To make this possible, we need the fullest possible involvement of non-EU Allies in defense initiatives such as PESCO and the European Defence Fund, and forces and capabilities generated by the EU efforts must also be available for NATO. Non-EU Allies, like the United States, Canada, Norway, and Turkey make crucial contributions to European security. And after Brexit, 80% of NATO’s defense spending will come from non-EU countries. So the EU cannot replace NATO when it comes to the defense of Europe. But at the same time, we welcome the EU efforts on defense because we strongly believe that that can strengthen both EU and NATO. Last week, Allied leaders decided to initiate a reflection process, under my leadership, to strengthen further the political dimension of NATO. This is very relevant for the European Union, and I will work to ensure that NATO and the EU continue to complement and not compete with one another. The security challenges we face today are too complex for any one nation or organization to face alone. And neither NATO nor the EU have all the tools necessary to keep our people safe. But by working together, we make a formidable team, and we can achieve a lot. So High Representative/Vice President Borrell, thank you again for your welcome. I really look forward to working with you, and you will always find a friend in me and in NATO. So thank you so much, and congratulations once again with your appointment.

Thank you. Thank you for coming. Working together is how the EU works. NATO is the strongest military alliance in the world. And it is and it will remain the common ground for European defense. The basis, the cornerstone of the collective defense of many, most European Union member state. I am glad to know that in London you stand clearly behind us working together. And the sentence unprecedented progress in NATO and European Union cooperation says a lot, much more than any consideration about quarrels and these engagements that has been talking many, many people. The fact is, and you have been stressing it, that for European Union defense, for European’s people defense, NATO cooperation is a fundamental element. And nothing will change it. So we have to work together in order to bring forth the cooperation between the member state of European Union and to build a genuine European defense union, which is not an alternative to NATO. It is not something apart from NATO. It’s a complement. You have to look at that in a complementary way. Meaningful cooperation. A strong cooperation. Sharing the responsibility of our security and our citizens. Acting as partners whenever possible. And, if necessary, alone. But in most of the cases, we need to be together. So Secretary General, thank you for your visit, thank you for sharing with me all the information about this relevant meeting in London. And I am at your disposal to continue building a strong relationship between European Defense projects and the NATO projects. I don’t know how many of them, but I think that there are more than 70 projects which are being developing together, and most of the activities of the PESCO policy is being put in practice together with the NATO. So thank you very much, and give me your hand.

Thank you so much.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

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