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Press release

Committee MEPs welcome stepping up of EU-NATO cooperation

Security and defence - 03-05-2017 - 09:31
Committees : Foreign Affairs / Security and Defence
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Growing EU-NATO cooperation to fight human trafficking in Mediterranean and boost cyber defence capabilities was welcomed by Foreign Affairs and Defence MEPs in a debate with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday.

“The European Parliament has always been a staunch supporter of EU - NATO cooperation, and we are convinced that all the challenges we are facing, such as war in Syria, terrorist ideology in Europe or developments in Western Balkans, should deepen our cooperation,” stressed Foreign Affairs Committee Chair David McAllister (EPP, DE).

Subcommittee on Security and Defence Chair Anna Fotyga (ECR, PL) noted the important NATO and EU contribution to stability in wider Middle East region and Afghanistan and expressed the deepest sympathy to the families of victims of today’s terrorist attack on the NATO mission in Kabul.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stolrenberg introduced the good progress on EU-NATO cooperation since July 2016 Warsaw declaration: namely helping EU mission Sophia to tackle human trafficking in Mediterranean and tackling cybersecurity threats. “EU-NATO relations reached a new level, with cooperation becoming the norm, not an exception,” he said.

Many MEPs welcomed further deepening of relations, stressing the need to maintain complementarity and avoid duplication between the two organisations. Some MEPs contested calls to invest two percent of GDP in defence that are made without specifying what capabilities this would add.

The debate also focused on future relations with Russia, Turkey, US and the upcoming NATO Heads of State meeting in Brussels on 25 May, which might be the first new US president visit to Brussels.

You can catch up with the debate via Video on Demand (available soon).

Background information


Back in July 2016 the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker respectively, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg signed a joint declaration on EU-NATO cooperation. It enshrines deeper relations between the two organisations on cybersecurity, migration, strategic communication, resilience, situational awareness and response to hybrid threats.


The European Parliament backed closer relations between the EU and NATO in its recent resolutions on the European Defence Union and the implementation of Common foreign and security policy.

REF.: 20170502IPR73163