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 Full text 
Tuesday, 12 June 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

EU-NATO relations (debate)

  Tamás Meszerics, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Thank you, Madam President. This is certainly not the first time, and much less the last, that we have the chance to talk about the relationship between the European Union and NATO. And I fully agree with the rapporteur that this has been an important report: it offered the chance to clarify this rather complicated relationship.

However, I regret to say that we feel that at some crucial points the report itself has been more of a missed opportunity. Instead of clarifying, at some points it has indeed further complicated this relationship that was otherwise not very easy.

Despite the laudable work that went into the file on behalf of the rapporteur and the shadows, we are not able to support it, on many grounds. Let me start with the simplest, and the easiest one. The report makes reference and emphasises, rightly, the security, defence and political challenge that Russia poses for the European Union. However at almost all points of the text this sounds as if it is an exclusively eastern problem. We seriously disagree with that.

Just witness the political meddling in the Brexit process or a number of European general elections, so indeed this is not just an issue for the east to consider, and this is not an issue for NATO’s eastern flank. This is a larger concern to that we need to deal with. The second and, probably much more important, point is that the report claims that Article 42, paragraph 7 of the Treaty contributes to a stronger NATO.

I don’t think I need to remind my honourable colleagues that this particular article is not traditionally understood as an obligation for collective response. This is an obligation for a bilateral, individual response between Member States. And considered in such a way, actually many analysts think that this this further complicates the issue rather than clarifying it. Much as I would like to avoid this, we cannot simply support this file as it stands now. Thank you very much.

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