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Procedure : 2020/2257(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A9-0192/2021

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 05/07/2021 - 23
CRE 05/07/2021 - 23

Votes :

PV 07/07/2021 - 2
PV 07/07/2021 - 18

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 7 July 2021 - Strasbourg
EU-NATO cooperation in the context of transatlantic relations

European Parliament resolution of 7 July 2021 on EU-NATO cooperation in the context of transatlantic relations (2020/2257(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the North Atlantic Treaty,

–  having regard to Title V of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), in particular Articles 21 and 42 thereof,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 June 2018 on EU-NATO relations(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 December 2018 on military mobility(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2019 on the future of the INF Treaty and the impact on the European Union(3),

–  having regard to the statement by the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) of 2 August 2019 on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty,

–  having regard to its legislative resolution of 26 November 2019 on the proposal for a Council directive amending Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax and Directive 2008/118/EC concerning the general arrangements for excise duty as regards defence effort within the Union framework(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the implementation of the common security and defence policy – annual report(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the implementation of the common foreign and security policy – annual report(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 March 2021 on the implementation of Directive 2009/81/EC, concerning procurement in the fields of defence and security, and of Directive 2009/43/EC, concerning the transfer of defence-related products(7),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 14 November 2016 on the EU Global Strategy for the Union’s foreign and security policy, entitled ‘Shared vision common action: a stronger Europe’,

–  having regard to Council Decision (EU) 2017/971 of 8 June 2017 determining the planning and conduct arrangements for EU non-executive military CSDP missions and amending Decisions 2010/96/CFSP on a European Union military mission to contribute to the training of Somali security forces, 2013/34/CFSP on a European Union military mission to contribute to the training of the Malian armed forces (EUTM Mali) and (CFSP) 2016/601 on a European Union CSDP military training mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA)(8), establishing the EU Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC),

–  having regard to the defence package presented by the Commission on 7 June 2017 in the ‘Reflection Paper on the Future of European Defence’ (COM(2017)0315),

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 13 and 14 December 2018 on security and defence,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 17 June 2020 on security and defence,

–  having regard to Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1639 of 5 November 2020 establishing the general conditions under which third States could exceptionally be invited to participate in individual PESCO projects(9),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 16 November 2020 entitled ‘A recovery advancing the transition towards a more dynamic, resilient and competitive EU industry’,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 November 2020 on the PESCO Strategic Review 2020,

–  having regard to the decision of the Council of 6 May 2021 to approve the participation of the US, Canada and Norway in the PESCO project on military mobility,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 16 April 2021 on an EU Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,

–  having regard to the decision of the US to rejoin the Paris Agreement,

–  having regard to the joint statement adopted at the EU-US Summit on 15 June 2021,

–  having regard to the joint statement adopted at the EU-Canada Summit on 15 June 2021,

–  having regard to the Climate Change and Defence Roadmap proposed by the European External Action Service on 6 November 2020,

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 2 December 2020 entitled ‘A new EU-US agenda for global change’ (JOIN(2020)0022),

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 10 and 11 December 2020 on EU-US relations,

–  having regard to the Council decision of 22 March 2021 establishing the European Peace Facility (EPF),

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 16 December 2020 entitled ‘The EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy for the Digital Decade’ (JOIN(2020)0018),

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 7 June 2017 entitled ‘A Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU’s external action’ (JOIN(2017)0021),

–  having regard to the statement of the members of the European Council of 26 February 2021 on security and defence,

–  having regard to the agreement between the negotiators of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 December 2020 on the European Defence Fund (EDF),

–  having regard to the political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council of 18 December 2020 on the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) for the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) period (2021-2027),

–  having regard to the Security of Information Agreement of 14 March 2003 between the EU and NATO,

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration on EU-NATO Cooperation, signed in Warsaw on 8 July 2016 by the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, and the Secretary-General of NATO,

–  having regard to the common set of 74 proposals for the implementation of the Warsaw Joint Declaration endorsed by the EU and NATO Councils on 6 December 2016 and 5 December 2017,

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration on EU-NATO cooperation, signed in Brussels by the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, and the Secretary-General of NATO on 10 July 2018, and to the Brussels Summit Declaration issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels on 11 and 12 July 2018,

–  having regard to the five progress reports by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) and the Secretary-General of NATO on the implementation of the common set of proposals submitted jointly in June and December 2017, and in June 2018, 2019 and 2020,

–  having regard to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 16 aiming to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development,

–  having regard to the nuclear disarmament obligation for nuclear-armed States Parties set out in Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),

–  having regard to the Wales Summit Declaration, issued on 5 September 2014 by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Wales,

–  having regard to the Brussels Summit communiqué issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels on 14 June 2021,

–  having regard to the G7 leaders’ communiqué of 13 June 2021 entitled ‘Our shared agenda for global action to build back better’,

–  having regard to the US-Russia Summit held in Geneva on 16 June 2021,

–  having regard to the UN Agenda for Disarmament entitled ‘Securing our Common Future’,

–  having regard to the report of the Reflection Group Appointed by the NATO Secretary-General of 25 November 2020 entitled ‘NATO 2030: United for a New Era’, co-chaired by Thomas de Mazière and Wess Mitchell,

–  having regard to the NATO 2030 Young Leaders Group report of 4 February 2021 entitled ‘NATO 2030: Embrace the change, guard the values’,

–  having regard to the visit by the NATO Secretary-General to the College of Commissioners of 15 December 2020,

–  having regard to the participation of the VP/HR in the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers of 17 and 18 February 2021, and in the meeting of NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers of 23 and 24 March 2021,

–  having regard to the State of the Union speech of 14 September 2016 by Commission President Juncker,

–  having regard to the statements of 19 February 2021 by the political leaders of NATO and the EU at the Special Munich Security Conference ‘Beyond Westlessness’,

–  having regard to the exchange of views during the 3 March 2021 session of the Interparliamentary Conference for the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and the common security and defence policy (CSDP),

–  having regard to European Court of Auditors (ECA) Review No 09/2019 of 12 September 2019 on European defence,

–  having regard to the exchange of views with the NATO Secretary-General during the joint meeting of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Subcommittee on Security and Defence, and the Delegation for relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly held on 15 March 2021,

–  having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A9-0192/2021),

A.  whereas European and transatlantic solidarity and partnership form the basis for the past, current and future security of the transatlantic partnership; whereas both NATO and the EU are different in nature but evolving in the same volatile geopolitical context;

B.  whereas both the EU and NATO have begun reflection processes in order to properly adjust to the unprecedented global security changes; whereas in June 2020, EU leaders agreed to launch a process aimed at defining a ‘Strategic Compass’; whereas at their recent Summit on 14 June 2021, NATO leaders decided to begin working on the next Strategic Concept, which will be endorsed at their next Summit in 2022;

C.  whereas in November 2020, the EU’s first comprehensive, 360-degree, classified analysis on the full range of threats and challenges the EU faces, or might face in the near future, was prepared cooperatively by the EU Member States’ intelligence services; whereas in November 2021, the VP/HR is scheduled to present a draft of the Strategic Compass, which Member States will then discuss and are scheduled to adopt in March 2022; whereas the Strategic Compass aims to facilitate the emergence of a ‘common European security and defence culture’;

D.  whereas the EU explicitly recognises the role of NATO for its members in defending Europe and its citizens (Article 42(7) TEU); whereas NATO has the primary responsibility of collective defence (Article 5 of the Washington Treaty); whereas NATO remains a crucial guarantor in the field of capabilities, ensuring the technical and human interoperability of the allied forces and the consistency of their equipment policies; whereas the commitment to collective self-defence, embodied in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and Article 42(7) TEU, is the guarantee of solidarity between allies and between Member States;

E.  whereas the common values, common history and special relationship shared by the EU, European members of NATO, the US and Canada constitute the keystone of the Transatlantic Alliance; whereas the EU and NATO share common security challenges, common defence interests and the same increasingly challenging security environment;

F.  whereas following the 2016 Joint Declaration, a process of cooperation between the EU and NATO was set in motion, centred around 74 common proposals for action in the areas of countering hybrid threats, operational cooperation, including at sea and on migration, cybersecurity and defence, defence capabilities, defence industry and research, exercises, and supporting eastern and southern partners’ capacity-building efforts;

G.  whereas Europe’s security and defence depends on the political will and civilian and military capacity of Europeans to assume their responsibilities in a strategic environment that has deteriorated considerably in recent years; whereas NATO should not be seen merely as a continuation of a project from the past, but as a vision for the future of the world’s security and stability, which needs to continue adapting its political strategy to new challenges, maintain political solidarity and cohesion, and remain a credible, technically innovative organisation;

H.  whereas the only legal framework for EU-NATO relations continues to be the 2003 Agreed Framework, which is limited to the sharing of collective NATO planning structures, assets and capabilities with the EU when it comes to the planning and conducting of EU CSDP military operations in accordance with the ‘Berlin Plus’ arrangements;

I.  whereas on 10 November 2020, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that ‘we need to pursue nuclear arms control and disarmament as a matter of urgency’ and on 15 December 2020, NATO allies reaffirmed their commitment to the preservation and strengthening of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation;

J.  whereas the EU and its Member States, in particular since the publication of the 2016 EU Global Strategy, have pursued policies enabling them to be a more active and influential global actor for peace and security, and have consequently intensified their cooperation in the field of security and defence; whereas milestones include the establishment of the European Defence Fund (EDF) and its precursor programmes, the launch of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), as well as the agreement on the European Peace Facility (EPF);

K.  whereas CARD provides the EU with an instrument to further harmonise Member States’ efforts in defence capability development and to identify additional areas for cooperation;

L.  whereas in the framework of the CSDP, 5 000 EU military and civilian staff are currently deployed in six military and 11 civilian missions and operations on three continents; whereas these missions have successfully provided support, capacity building and training with the goal of ensuring peace, security and stability in conflict and post-conflict areas; whereas Europe’s capacity relies heavily on the Union’s ability to intervene credibly in external theatres of operations;

M.  whereas recent months have seen unprecedented levels of high-level EU-NATO interaction, such as the first discussion between a NATO Secretary-General and the College of EU Commissioners in December 2020, and the participation of the NATO Secretary-General in the European Council in February 2021;

N.  whereas NATO, through its Defence Planning Process (NDPP), sets its ‘Level of Ambition’ every four years by identifying in qualitative and quantitative terms the pool of forces, equipment and capabilities that allies should have in their inventories to support the full spectrum of NATO missions and be able to respond to possible threats and challenges;

O.  whereas the US has long called on the EU and its Member States to step up their efforts in terms of investments in their security and defence, as an important contribution to burden-sharing within the alliance;

P.  whereas the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on international relations and national budgets and has further exacerbated existing global tensions and security challenges such as the irresponsible and aggressive deployment of forces; whereas China and Russia in particular have tried to use the pandemic to advance their strategic interests; whereas the EU and NATO have cooperated closely since the beginning of the pandemic, addressing matters such as the distribution of medical equipment and personnel, the repatriation of citizens, cyber and hybrid threats, and countering disinformation activities and hostile propaganda;

Q.  whereas the Commission, when presenting the Defence Action Plan, underlined that industrial overcapacity, fragmentation and inefficiency in European military capability production has yearly costs of EUR 25 to 100 billion, which are borne by the national defence budgets of the Member States;

R.  whereas democracies need to adequately respond to today’s challenges; whereas a number of NATO and EU members face internal challenges to democracy; whereas, globally, authoritarian regimes, such as Russia and China, appear to have consolidated their influence and are pursuing an aggressive agenda;

S.  whereas NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (EfP) in the eastern flank of the alliance, with four multinational battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, is led by the US, the UK, Canada and Germany respectively;

T.  whereas NATO has successfully tested its Rapid Air Mobility initiative to enable the urgent transport of medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic;

70 years of the transatlantic bond through NATO

1.  Is convinced that the European Union and NATO have converging security and defence interests; welcomes the intensified EU-NATO cooperation that has been in place since the signature of the 2016 Warsaw Joint Declaration and was reinforced by the 2018 Brussels Joint Declaration, and underscores that a reinvigorated strategic EU-NATO partnership is essential to address the security challenges facing Europe and its neighbourhood; commends the achievements of the alliance and underlines its continued relevance; underlines that NATO needs to step up its efforts to adapt to the changing nature and increased level of threats, in order to remain a credible and sustainable global actor for collective security and peace in the world; recalls that for Member States which are also NATO allies, NATO is the cornerstone of collective defence; calls for the EU to keep deepening the transatlantic bond and its important partnership with NATO;

2.  Reaffirms its previous commitment to the EU’s ambitions in the field of security and defence, and reiterates the EU’s ambition to be a global actor for peace and security; underlines the fact that NATO remains the bedrock of the security and collective defence of its members and the transatlantic community as a whole, and an indispensable forum for consultations and security decisions between allies; reaffirms its support for transatlantic cooperation, partnership and friendship, which have contributed to Europe’s success over the past 70 years and have been the basis for its stability and security since the end of the Second World War;

3.  Underscores that the EU-NATO partnership and transatlantic cooperation as a whole are built on a common history and support for the core values of democracy, freedom, respect for human rights, the rule of law, the promotion of peace and international cooperation, and a rules-based international order; stresses that NATO is more than a military alliance and represents a symbol of shared democratic values;

4.  Underlines that NATO is a valued partner also to EU Member States which are not members of the alliance; recognises that NATO cooperates with some of the non-NATO EU Member States, inter alia through its Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and Partnership Interoperability Initiative (PII); recalls that EU-NATO cooperation must be without prejudice to the security and defence policy of the non-NATO EU Member States; recalls that NATO cooperation with non-NATO EU Member States is an integral part of EU-NATO cooperation; welcomes the involvement of the non-NATO EU Member States in the alliance’s initiatives, while respecting neutrality policies, the respective constitutional frameworks, the involvement of third countries and the EU’s ambitions; stresses that the two organisations have clearly distinct features and that each should cooperate with full respect for the autonomy and decision-making procedures of the other on the basis of the principles of reciprocity and inclusiveness, without prejudice to the specific character of the security and defence policies of any of the Member States; recalls the different nature and roles of both organisations, the EU being a civilian organisation with a military arm for out-of-area operations under Article 43(1) TEU (Petersberg Tasks), and NATO being a military and political alliance in charge of organising the collective territorial defence of its members;

5.  Highlights that the transatlantic community is faced with a broad array of emerging threats, systemic competition and unprecedented common challenges to our democratic societies, the rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms which affect the security of the Member States and of their citizens, whether directly or indirectly, ranging from conventional threats, ineffective arms control and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the absence of nuclear weapons risk reduction, instability in the southern and eastern neighbourhoods, climate change, pandemics and terrorism, to hybrid threats, disinformation, cyber attacks, malicious use of emerging and disruptive technologies (EDTs), unsafe migration and a shifting global power balance; stresses that, in view of the resulting challenge to the international rules-based order, stronger EU-NATO cooperation contributes to effective global governance and multilateralism;

6.  Underscores that the transatlantic community can only successfully manage these challenges by further deepening cooperation and taking the partnership to a new level; underlines the fact that both the EU and NATO have unique abilities and strengths; considers therefore that the complementarity of efforts and advanced cooperation are of the utmost importance for maintaining transatlantic security; underlines that maintaining political cohesion and unity, as well as strengthening political consultation, must be priorities for the EU-NATO partnership in order to better address common challenges;

7.  Is confident that the transatlantic community is capable not only of adapting to the new challenges but also of tackling them; expresses its gratitude for the excellent work performed by the numerous EU, NATO and national staff members who work hard to protect our citizens;

8.  Pays tribute and respect to all the service members of the transatlantic alliance who fell or were wounded in service, as well as to those currently serving;

Enhancing both transatlantic and EU-NATO cooperation

9.  Applauds the strong signal of transatlantic unity and cooperation sent by the NATO Summit on 14 June 2021, which demonstrated that the alliance remains vital and capable of adapting to current and new challenges; believes that the conclusions on EU-NATO cooperation should also be reflected in the work on NATO’s next Strategic Concept; welcomes the appointment by the NATO Secretary-General of the independent group of experts, and commends in particular their recommendations for stronger EU-NATO cooperation; endorses the proposals by the Commission President and the VP/HR of December 2020 for an EU-US Security and Defence Dialogue; welcomes the clearly stated commitment of the Biden administration to engaging with EU and NATO partners in all domains;

10.  Strongly welcomes the EU-US Summit of 15 June 2021 and the expression of unwavering support for robust NATO-EU cooperation; welcomes the joint EU-US recognition of the contribution EU security and defence initiatives can make to both European and transatlantic security and welcomes the stated intention to launch a dedicated EU-US dialogue on security and defence; underlines both the key relevance of the US security presence in Europe for Europe’s security and its full commitment to transatlantic security cooperation; underscores that a strong EU-US partnership is a key element of successful EU-NATO cooperation; underlines that the transatlantic partnership benefits from predictable foreign policy-making and multilateral engagement; considers the change of the US administration as an opportunity to reaffirm shared values, such as democracy, the rule of law, multilateralism, peace and prosperity, and to enhance international cooperation in tackling common threats, which could include, where possible, joint sanctions;

11.  Fully shares the view expressed in the final communiqué of the recent NATO Summit that the ongoing strategic processes within NATO and the EU offer a unique opportunity to further intensify our consultations and cooperation to enhance the security of our citizens and promote peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond; reiterates its call, therefore, for the ongoing and future work being carried out in parallel on both the EU’s Strategic Compass and the recently announced work on NATO’s next Strategic Concept to establish clear priorities and identify additional synergies in order to strengthen the transatlantic bond and further EU-NATO cooperation; calls on all actors involved to use this opportunity to link these processes at both political and technical level; underlines the fact that both processes should ensure coherence and identify common regional and global threats, and the necessary next steps to address those threats; expresses its vision that the EU Strategic Compass could lay the foundations for an EU contribution to NATO’s next Strategic Concept; believes that these distinct processes should separately highlight the added value of each organisation, help define, where relevant, a better division of tasks and, by means of a constant dialogue and close coordination, map out whether the EU or NATO should take the lead in a given field in a mutually reinforcing way;

12.  Expects that the completion of the Strategic Compass will deepen EU solidarity and contribute to progress towards a common strategic culture among Member States; welcomes the first common threat analysis of November 2020 and calls for steps forward towards an agreed common threat assessment; considers that the EU’s integrated approach could be updated to take into account the findings of the threat analysis undertaken within the Strategic Compass process; believes that the security dimension of the countries in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood, in particular the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and the Western Balkans, should be properly taken into account in the drafting of the Strategic Compass, since the European security environment and European resilience cannot be achieved without the long-term security and resilience of all the EU’s neighbours;

13.  Emphasises that Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty as well as Article 42(7) TEU and Article 222 TFEU are important instruments for guaranteeing solidarity in a crisis towards members of the respective organisations; recalls that Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty was invoked after the September 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington to express solidarity towards the US and that Article 42(7) TEU was invoked after the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris to express solidarity towards France; encourages a discussion about the relationship between Article 42(7) TEU and Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which establish respectively the EU’s and NATO’s unequivocal commitment to solidarity and security, during the review of the Strategic Concept and the drafting of the Strategic Compass, while considering that the autonomous decision-making of both organisations should be fully respected;

14.  Welcomes the positive language on EU-NATO cooperation in the final communiqué of the NATO Summit on 14 June 2021; believes, however, that significantly more efforts are needed to advance EU-NATO cooperation and achieve a true strategic partnership; underlines that the EU is a partner of NATO and that EU-NATO cooperation is mutually reinforcing and based on the agreed guiding principles of transparency, reciprocity, inclusiveness and the decision-making autonomy of both organisations; stresses that the development of coherent, complementary and interoperable defence capabilities is essential to increase the security of the Euro-Atlantic area in line with the principle of the single set of forces; reiterates that a European capability to act, either in partnership or autonomously, is essential for complementarity and to contribute to the fulfilment of NATO’s core tasks, as well as to enhance conflict prevention, and hence for the security of the European continent as a whole;

15.  Is of the opinion that future EU-NATO cooperation should build on experience and lessons learned from both the EU’s unique expertise in civilian crisis management and capacity building, in particular the ‘Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability’ (CPCC), and its military crisis management expertise, namely the ‘Military Planning and Conduct Capability’ (MPCC), together with the experience gained from deploying 37 military operations in the field since 2003 and providing assistance to military actors in partner countries via the ‘Capacity Building in support of Security and Development’ (CBSD) initiative and the African Peace Facility instrument, which has been integrated into the European Peace Facility;

16.  Welcomes the clear language in the NATO Summit communiqué of 14 June 2021 on the importance of resilience; stresses that both the EU and NATO should strengthen their cooperation and coordinate it more effectively in the key field of resilience, and highlights the EU’s ambition to develop a meaningful approach towards strengthening the various civilian and military aspects of resilience, inter alia in the area of protecting critical infrastructure, such as in the transport, energy and IT sectors, as well as the role of the EU as a key actor in fighting disinformation and fake news;

17.  Welcomes the positive decision by the Council of 6 May 2021 authorising the coordinator of the Military Mobility project, the Netherlands, to invite the US, Canada and Norway, following their respective requests, to participate in the PESCO project on military mobility; underlines that such participation would mark an important step towards increased coherence between the respective EU and NATO capability development efforts, and would constitute a concrete example of a reinvigorated transatlantic partnership; recalls that exceptional participation by third countries in PESCO projects, provided that it does not undermine the objective of fostering the EU CSDP and that they meet an agreed set of political, substantive and legal conditions, can be in the Union’s strategic interest, especially if they provide technical expertise or additional capabilities; considers that this is particularly true of strategic partners such as NATO allies, countries in the Western Balkans and EaP partners; recalls its position that third-country participation can only be exceptional, decided on a case-by-case basis and at the invitation of the EU Member States, and underlines that such participation should provide added value and contribute to strengthening the CSDP; recalls also that participation by third countries must respect the relevant rules set out in Decision (CFSP) 2020/1639;

18.  Underlines the importance of transatlantic cooperation on a range of international issues, such as climate change, pandemic response, emerging disruptive technologies, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, the fight against terrorism, including jihadist and state-sponsored terrorism, energy, maritime security and resilience, and in the area of outer space;

19.  Recognises the important cooperation between the EU and NATO in the Western Balkans, such as that between the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and Kosovo Force (KFOR); pays tribute to Operation EUFOR Althea, whose operational headquarters are located at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) on the basis of the Berlin Plus arrangements with NATO, which has been contributing under these arrangements to a safe and secure environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina since it took over from NATO’s Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in 2004; notes that the experiences of and lessons learned from these missions and operations are instrumental in ensuring that all current and future EU-NATO cooperation provides peace, security and stability in affected regions, in supporting and training local partners and in building capacities; notes the important role that NATO integration has played in the Western Balkans by stabilising these countries, which was important for their EU perspective and gradual EU integration; believes that the EU and NATO should provide more support to the countries of the Western Balkans to counter malicious foreign interference from countries such as Russia, China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as well as radical groups and non-state actors; welcomes the fact that three Western Balkan countries in the EU accession process, Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia, have become NATO allies;

20.  Calls on Member States and NATO allies alike to harness every means possible to support the strengthening of military-security cooperation with candidate and potential candidate EU countries and with eastern and southern neighbourhood partners, as without this the security and stability of the region cannot be assured; recalls the important role that the EU can play in supporting NATO’s open door policy by maintaining close political and operational synergies with its aspirant countries, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Georgia; stresses the significance of contributions made by NATO’s various partner countries to Euro-Atlantic security; urges stronger coordination and the effective division of labour between the EU and NATO in cooperating with third countries, with a particular emphasis on NATO’s Enhanced Opportunities Partnership (EoP) countries; reiterates its support for both EU and NATO Enlargement;

Threats and challenges faced by the EU and NATO

21.  Expresses its utmost concern regarding the continuous revisionist, militaristic and aggressive policies pursued by Russia under President Putin; welcomes the clear language on Russia used during the recent NATO and EU-US Summits, and welcomes the establishment of an EU-US high-level dialogue on Russia; underscores the need for both NATO and the EU to have a consistent, proactive strategy and to lawfully, swiftly and unitedly respond to acts of traditional and hybrid aggression and provocation by Russia; reiterates its previous condemnation of Russia’s illegitimate and illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014; condemns Russia’s continuous use of cyber attacks, disinformation campaigns, fake news, assassination plots and poison attacks against opposition figures; calls for the EU and NATO to leverage and expand current engagements to counter Russia’s direct and indirect aggressions and activities directed against Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, as well as its ongoing assertive activities in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, in the Sea of Azov, in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the High North; recalls the importance of respecting international borders and the territorial integrity of Russia’s neighbours; recalls that the transatlantic partners must coordinate their dual-track approach of deterrence and dialogue with Russia, maintaining regular contact in the areas of arms control, military transparency and any other issues related to security;

22.  Condemns the recent Russian sanctions against top European officials and other EU citizens, including the President of the European Parliament, and regrets President Putin’s evident rejection of dialogue, as well as the violation of a number of major international commitments and continuous violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and considers Russia’s continued aggressive actions and increased military assertiveness as a threat to international security and stability; expresses concern about Russia’s recent large-scale military activities in and around Ukraine; expresses, in this context, its unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and calls for its military capabilities and resilience to be strengthened;

23.  Recognises that the growing influence, assertiveness, and military, technological and political rise of China need to be met with a coordinated transatlantic strategy; welcomes, in this light, the strong language used during the recent NATO and EU-US Summits; expresses serious concern regarding the policies pursued by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities when it comes to, among other things, the suppression of democracy in Hong Kong, the discriminatory treatment of religious and cultural minorities, especially the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, threats towards Taiwan, or aggressive policies and actions in the South China Sea; further points to the relevance of the fact that China, as an authoritarian regime, has entered into systemic competition with the transatlantic partnership by undermining the rules-based international order, which has been built over many decades, and in turn is attempting to reshape it according to the CCP’s own values, doctrine and interests; recalls China’s increased presence on the international stage as well as in Europe through its Belt and Road Initiative, its investments in critical infrastructure in Europe, its activities in cyber space, in the Arctic regions and in Africa, and its documented intellectual property theft and stockpiling of ballistic missiles; calls for close observation of Chinese activities in the area of information and communication technologies (ICT), especially with regard to its Digital Silk Road initiative, in order to prevent dependencies on infrastructure under the control of Chinese companies, which carries the risk of unilateral Chinese influence on international norm development in ICT; calls for the EU and NATO to increase coordination on securing critical digital infrastructure and telecommunications networks against tampering by foreign countries, by phasing out equipment that is produced by entities from non-democratic countries such as China;

24.  Encourages the EU and NATO to commence a strategic dialogue to develop a common and coordinated approach towards China, drawing on each organisation’s strengths and capacities in order to generate the most added value possible based on commonly agreed strategic goals;

25.  Expresses serious concern that authoritarian adversaries and competitors of the transatlantic partnership are not only using military but also political, economic, technological and social tools to undermine our societies and democracies; points to the significant security and economic challenges posed by hybrid threats, cyber attacks, foreign interferences, interference in elections and disinformation campaigns, which constitute an attack against the very nature of our democracies; condemns the recent increased cases of cyber attacks and espionage by state and non-state actors against EU Member States and NATO allies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, including targeting the healthcare sector; underlines the fact that any European effort in the field of resilience must also include, as the basis for ensuring support for our defence activities, a clear public communication strategy to increase public awareness of transatlantic security challenges; considers that the EU and NATO should seek to agree on and implement an all-encompassing approach for bolder, coordinated, proportionate responses and adequate conflict prevention, and crisis management mechanisms to counter common novel threats;

26.  Highlights that NATO remains a unique forum for defence cooperation between the EU and its former Member State, the UK; calls for a comprehensive, inclusive and strategic security and defence partnership between the EU and the UK; calls for NATO and the EU to increase common action on the international stage to protect democracy, including by strengthening multilateral organisations in order to defend the rules-based multilateral order against rising authoritarian powers; calls for the active development of closer ties with like-minded democracies around the world; believes that enhanced partnerships with countries such as Japan, Australia and India, who together with the US form the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, as well as South Korea and New Zealand, along with intensified cooperation with Taiwan, would not only increase our overall security but could help to ensure more effective implementation of global norms and rules, as laid out by multilateral fora such as the UN; also encourages EU-NATO cooperation with ASEAN members in this context;

27.  Encourages the EU, NATO and the UN to further explore opportunities for closer cooperation in crisis management, humanitarian actions, peacekeeping and the capacity building of partners, especially in joint areas of operation; calls for the creation of a more inclusive environment by increasing women’s participation across the three core tasks and throughout their political and military structures; urges the EU and NATO to work together for a more systematic implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security (WPS) and to develop joint education and training activities;

28.  Underlines the need for a consistent, clear, coherent and coordinated EU-NATO approach to the southern neighbourhood, addressing both traditional threats such as terrorism and the growing, aggressive presence of Russia and China; points to the past cooperation between NATO Operation Ocean Shield and EU Naval Force Atalanta in combating piracy and providing safe passage in the Gulf of Aden;

29.  Calls for cooperation and coordination in the Mediterranean between the EU’s Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI and NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian; emphasises that both operations contribute to security and stability in the Mediterranean;

30.  Is preoccupied by growing tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, which represent a threat to regional and global stability, and calls for intensified cooperation with like-minded partners in the region, which should include regular political dialogue and consultation, information exchange, and the coordination of training and exercises;

31.  Calls for strong commitment and coordination between the EU and NATO in sustaining the progress made in the past two decades in Afghanistan in the light of the withdrawal of the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, which should take place in an orderly, and coordinated manner; encourages further support to Intra-Afghan peace talks, with the insistence that the process preserves and builds on the political, economic and social achievements of the Afghan people since 2001, particularly the protection of women’s, children’s and minority rights;

32.  Supports enhanced coordination between the EU, the UN and NATO in Iraq, inter alia through the EU Advisory Mission (EUAM) in Iraq and NATO’s Mission Iraq (NMI), which both help to stabilise the country;

33.  Encourages EU-NATO dialogue and cooperation with partner countries in Latin America and the Caribbean; points out that Colombia is the only NATO partner country in Latin America and stresses the need to consolidate further partnerships in the region;

34.  Recognises that hybrid and cyber attacks by hostile states and non-state actors challenge the traditional definition of interstate conflict, espionage and sabotage; calls for the EU to further develop its own toolbox for protecting critical infrastructure against hybrid attacks; welcomes the work undertaken in the framework of the European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) to improve the protection of critical infrastructure within the EU; emphasises that both the EU and NATO should further strengthen their own capabilities to prevent, deter and respond to hybrid and cyber attacks, including against their own institutions; welcomes the clarification in the 2021 NATO Summit communiqué that the North Atlantic Council can decide to invoke Article 5 in the event of hybrid warfare, as it can in the event of an armed attack; calls for increased cooperation and cyber defence training; proposes the creation of a common cyber threat information hub, as well as a joint EU-NATO task force for cybersecurity, in order to define and agree on collective responses to cyber threats; calls for strong coordination between the EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in this respect; calls for increased EU-NATO coordination as regards establishing collective attribution for malicious cyber incidents;

35.  Welcomes the work of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid COE), the Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU Institutions, bodies and agencies (CERT-EU) and the NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) and sees this as a good example of EU-NATO cooperation; believes that a common response to cyber threats could be further developed through the Hybrid COE, including through joint courses and training; is convinced that more steps are needed, such as efforts to create more synergies between civilian and military components, to advance common resilience and hence avert future hybrid threats; points furthermore to EU-NATO potential in shaping global cyber norms, based on our shared common values; considers that the EU and NATO should coordinate their positions in developing an agenda for international arms control in key areas of EDTs with a military application;

36.  Calls for the EU and NATO to step up joint efforts to achieve and maintain global technological leadership in military capabilities, including through the collaborative funding of research projects based on frontier technologies, quantum computing and artificial intelligence, thereby fostering the development of cutting-edge military capabilities anchored in democratic values; highlights the role that civilian-oriented start-ups and SMEs play in today’s innovation in the field of emerging technologies; stresses that emerging technologies also offer opportunities to strengthen our defence postures; further stresses that interoperability, common technological standards and joint investment in cutting-edge technology, research and innovation are key for the EU and NATO to continue their ambition of protecting our citizens in the best possible way; emphasises that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) that respects fundamental rights and supports public interest requires the strengthening of an EU AI framework which involves public, private and civil society stakeholders; recommends that initiatives such as the EDIDP, PESCO and the EDF facilitate the engagement of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by advancing efforts that support incubation and capital investment; encourages the development of a set of common EU AI capabilities to bridge technical gaps in order to ensure that Member States lacking the relevant technology-industry expertise or the ability to implement AI systems in their defence ministries are not left behind;

37.  Notes the rapidity of technological developments, including digitalisation and the increased potential of AI, and calls on EU Member States and NATO allies to seek closer cooperation so that they maintain the technological edge as regards these megatrends, ensure the interoperability of their IT systems, and jointly strive to develop common ethical standards for these new technologies and to promote them globally; calls for the EU and NATO to take the lead in global efforts to set up a comprehensive regulatory framework for the development and ethical use of weapons with a certain degree of autonomy; encourages EU and NATO allies to actively take part in international negotiations on a legally binding instrument that would prohibit lethal autonomous weapons systems without meaningful human control; highlights that EU-NATO cooperation is fundamental to counter the ambition of adversaries such as China and Russia of technological dominance and the malign use of technology;

38.  Recognises the unprecedented challenge to global peace, prosperity, security, including human security, and stability posed by climate change as a ‘threat and crisis multiplier’; calls for enhanced EU-NATO dialogue and a set of actions to counter climate change and its multifaceted consequences for international security; recalls that the EU has a wider range of competences and instruments that allow it to provide a comprehensive response to the challenges posed by climate change and the collapse of biodiversity; underlines that both the EU and NATO should increase investments in green technologies with the aim of improving military effectiveness while minimising the environmental footprint and avoiding further damages to ecosystems;

39.  Acknowledges that space is a critical domain and that new technologies are rapidly enabling its use as one of the domains for defence; recognises that this creates both opportunities for EU-NATO cooperation and challenges for transatlantic security; acknowledges that NATO’s space operability depends on its members’ space-based assets, while highlighting the need to enhance cooperation based on existing EU programmes such as Galileo and Copernicus; believes that EU-NATO cooperation on space could help to promote space safety standards and best practices across the international community, ensuring mutual benefits in the areas of communication, navigation and intelligence; underlines the need for the EU and NATO to strive to prevent the weaponisation of space; notes the growing importance of space security and satellites, stresses the importance of the EU Satellite Centre and asks the agency to analyse and provide a report on the safety and/or vulnerabilities of the EU and Member State satellites to space debris, cyber attack and direct missile attack;

40.  Recognises the growing strategic importance of the High North and Arctic regions and their political, economic, environmental and security dimensions, and recognises the importance of coordination between the EU and NATO in the Arctic; stresses that the Arctic must remain an area of peaceful cooperation and calls for confidence-building measures to avoid steps leading towards an increased military presence in the region; notes that the Arctic Council is mandated to enhance constructive dialogue and sustainable development; recalls the EU’s application for observer status in the Arctic Council, recalls that the EU is currently updating its Arctic policy, and reiterates its call for enhanced cooperation with all Arctic partners, both bilaterally and regionally, including within the Arctic Council, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and the Northern Dimension partnerships, on all issues of common interest; underlines the importance of ensuring freedom of navigation in the High North; recalls the parliamentary dimension of cooperation in the Arctic, inter alia through the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR), in which the European Parliament participates;

41.  Commends the close cooperation between EU and NATO during the COVID-19 pandemic; underlines the important role of NATO allies and EU Member States’ armed forces during the COVID-19 pandemic and welcomes military assistance for civil support operations, notably for the deployment of field hospitals, patient transport, and equipment delivery and distribution; encourages EU-NATO initiatives aimed at facilitating the cross-border use of military logistical capabilities to tackle such emergencies, in order to allow for greater coordination, synergy, solidarity and support; stresses the need to increase the EU’s and NATO’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence (CBRN) preparedness; is convinced that common EU and NATO efforts in tackling the COVID-19 crisis directly contribute to enhanced resilience for our societies; underlines that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the challenges that disruptive emergencies, especially those of a non-traditional nature such as pandemics and natural disasters, pose to our current resilience; notes with concern that the COVID-19 crisis has had a negative impact not only on public health and the economy, but also on security, by accelerating geopolitical rivalries and enhancing uncertainties such as the continuity of supply chains, with lasting consequences for European and international security and stability; calls for the strengthening of EU-NATO cooperation with regard to better addressing non-traditional emergencies, which should include exercises on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, regular training exercises with the aim of better preparing Member States and allies to anticipate and better manage natural and man-made disasters, and the development of stockpiles of emergency equipment and necessary assets;

Time to deliver on EU defence ambitions

42.  Is convinced that the Member States must increase their efforts to meet the EU’s level of ambition and improve the EU’s ability to act with a more capable, deployable, interoperable and sustainable set of military and civilian capabilities and forces, which would give the EU the capacity to contribute more equitably and decisively to transatlantic security, while enabling it to advance towards strategic autonomy and further pave the way to progressively frame a European Defence Union (EDU) in the spirit of Article 42 TEU, should the European Council, acting unanimously, so decide; stresses that strategic autonomy strengthens transatlantic security, and by no means aims to duplicate measures and resources or decouple from or weaken NATO, but in fact aims to be complementary to and interoperable with NATO efforts and capabilities; underlines at the same time that EU strategic autonomy not only entails defence capability development, based on a strong and independent European Defence Technological Industrial Base (EDTIB), but also the institutional capacity enabling the EU to act, where possible with partners, particularly with NATO, and independently if necessary; believes that these increased European capability development efforts will allow the EU to take greater responsibility for European security, including in the European neighbourhood, and global stability, and to better promote common EU-NATO interests and values; emphasises that a European Union with strategic autonomy will act as a cornerstone for the Transatlantic Alliance and facilitate a more efficient and effective approach to a number of the global challenges arising today and in the immediate future;

43.  Firmly believes that, given the unprecedented level of challenges, the EU’s ambitions for PESCO and capability development must cover a full-spectrum force package; recalls that EU investments in defence are investments in the security of the transatlantic community as a whole, which will result in fairer burden-sharing between transatlantic NATO partners; underscores the need to advance defence capability development in order to adequately respond to common threats; believes that EU Member States, especially the 21 common EU-NATO members, need to act coherently and should consider identifying a clear ‘European ambition’ regarding capability development, in particular by increasing their investment in research and innovation and without disregard for the transatlantic partnership; calls on the 21 common EU-NATO members to apply the ‘single set of forces’ principle by declaring the same pool of potentially available capabilities for planning purposes within the EU and NATO; encourages stronger efforts by members of both organisations to achieve greater coherence of output between the NDPP and EU initiatives on capability development, in particular the High-Impact Capability Goals (HICG), the EU’s Capability Development Plan (CDP) and the EU CARD where requirements overlap, to avoid unnecessary duplications and to better respond to new threats; highlights the important role of the EDA in producing the EU CDP; underscores that any review of the EU’s objectives must also reflect on its Headline Goals and HICG; underlines that such a review is fundamental in order to reap the full benefits of initiatives such as PESCO; is convinced, furthermore, that the EU must improve the nexus between planning, research and the development of capabilities;

44.  Believes that the European allies in NATO, supported where possible by non-NATO European partners, as appropriate, should aim to ensure adequate burden- and responsibility-sharing with the objective of contributing an adequate share of the NDPP, reflecting on the importance and role of Europeans within the alliance; believes that this would have the simultaneous added effect of enhancing Europe’s ability to defend itself and would consequently also increase its operational capacities;

45.  Underlines that the transatlantic partnership can only be successful if all Member States fulfil their commitments, including defence investment pledges, and engage in mutual support; underlines NATO’s 2 % goal, reconfirmed at the September 2014 NATO Summit in Wales and fulfilled by some European NATO allies, and stresses that achieving this objective is also an investment in European security and stability, thereby ensuring preparedness for new global challenges; recalls, similarly, the commitment to spending 20 % of the annual defence budget on the crucial area of research and development; underlines that new threats, such as cyber and hybrid threats, are add-ons to the existing security challenges and hence require additional resources; underlines the fact that, as the pandemic has illustrated, security cannot merely be measured in terms of a percentage of GDP spent, and that multiple other elements should also be taken into consideration when judging contribution efforts to enhance the alliance’s common defence; calls for defence spending in absolute figures not to be reduced by the economic challenges that EU and NATO members are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic;

46.  Underscores that Europe, as far as possible, should look at these strategic challenges in a comprehensive and coherent way through the EU’s ‘integrated approach’, which should be continuously improved through better coordination mechanisms and command structures, as well as by taking into account new threats and challenges, and should then consider which capabilities it can develop together which would ultimately both serve the EU Member States’ contribution to NATO’s collective defence, while enhancing the interoperability of their capabilities;

47.  Reiterates its support for an effective implementation of the Defence Package directives concerning, respectively, procurement in the fields of defence and security and transfers of defence-related products; stresses that the full implementation of these directives would constitute an important step towards a European Defence Union by making EU defence policy more coherent and by fostering the development of the European defence industry; is convinced that their implementation is an effective way to counter the continued fragmentation of the EU’s internal market for defence products, which is still leading to unnecessary duplication and the multiplication of inefficiencies in defence spending by the Member States; underscores the importance of a strong, competitive and innovative European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), combined with the emergence of an EU defence equipment market which fully respects internal market rules, and the EU’s Common Position on arms exports; considers that this would increase European security and better equip members of both organisations; calls for further efforts to ensure a fully functional common defence market; highlights the importance of the EDF in pooling national resources for joint research, development, acquisition, procurement, maintenance and training, and calls for a strategic long-term orientation for its project funding; calls for greater synergies between the EDTIB and leading private sector actors in developing dual-use emerging technologies such as AI, while ensuring synergies with other actors (members of civil society, researchers etc.); underscores the importance of cooperation between the EDA and NATO and recognises the value of EU defence industrial cooperation within the Trans-Atlantic Defence Technological and Industrial Cooperation (TADIC); recalls the long-term ambition of building strong transatlantic cooperation in the defence and industrial sector in order to facilitate transatlantic technological and industrial development, addressing inter alia issues related to security of supply, a common approach to intellectual property rights, foreign direct investments and reciprocal access to defence markets; calls on the Commission to collaborate actively with NATO in order to facilitate transatlantic technological and industrial development; points out that European defence initiatives are complementary to those of NATO and designed to encourage Member States to engage in the field of defence; encourages close cooperation between the EDA and the NATO International Staff;

48.  Highlights the importance of joint European projects, such as the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), the Eurodrone, with full respect for international law, and the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), and calls for further ambitious and tangible projects;

49.  Welcomes the EU and the US’s commitment, as expressed at the recent EU-US Summit, to work towards an administrative arrangement between the EDA and the US; calls for the conclusion of a similar arrangement with other non-EU NATO allies, especially those with which EU accession negotiations have started, as appropriate, while respecting all the necessary safeguards to protect the security and defence interests of the EU and its Member States, in order to deepen transatlantic defence cooperation by ensuring that the military technology used is fully interoperable at a technical level;

50.  Welcomes the extension of the New START Treaty, which gives both signatories additional time to pursue negotiations with a view to agreeing on a new arms control instrument; calls for the EU and NATO to strive for the involvement of other states, notably China; recalls the need to increase cooperation and investment in the key area of air and missile defence; expresses strong concern about the expiry of the INF Treaty, which has created a new security risk for European countries in particular; calls for Europe’s security concerns to be recognised and properly addressed; regrets the recent withdrawals from the Treaty on Open Skies;

51.  Reaffirms its full support for the EU and its Member States’ commitment to the NPT as the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime; underlines the need to take effective measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament; reiterates its previous statement that international peace and security are strengthened in a world free from the existence and proliferation of nuclear weapons; urges the EU and NATO to strive towards an ambitious agenda for the preservation and strengthening of effective international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation regimes as a cornerstone of global, transatlantic and European security, and recalls the need to pursue policies designed to move forward with the reduction of nuclear arsenals and to set limits on the deployment of hypersonic missiles; expresses concern about the current developments and initiatives in Iran as regards its uranium enrichment programme; reiterates its continued support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as the best possible means of obtaining assurances of an exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy by Iran; welcomes the resumption of talks, and calls on all parties to return to full compliance;

52.  Calls for the EU and its institutions, while building on the foundation laid by the ‘integrated approach’, to develop both a common security and defence culture, which respects the specific character of the security and defence policies of the Member States, as well as a strategic approach, throughout its policy-making, which should apply in particular to decisions in the fields of trade, supply chain management, investment screening, development cooperation, infrastructure, mobility and digital technologies; underlines the key role of the Strategic Compass in this regard; underlines that in areas such as hybrid and cyber threats, as well as countering disinformation campaigns, the EU institutions are well positioned to develop joint responses; welcomes, in this regard, the December 2020 Security Union Package and believes that this is a good first step which needs to be swiftly followed up by further actions; notes the proposal for an NIS 2 Directive;

53.  Stresses the significance of military mobility in ensuring the speedy movement of forces within and beyond the EU, which is important for an effective and preventive defence; calls for the EU and its Member States to step up efforts to continue to reduce procedural barriers to military mobility; welcomes the indispensable role of the EU when it comes to enhancing military mobility, and demands a significant increase in efforts made to implement this project, particularly through PESCO, but also by encouraging Member States to stimulate their industrial bases to propose competitive projects eligible for EU co-funding; calls for increased synergies on the EU side between the various actors involved; emphasises that a whole-of-government approach involving the EU institutions, Member States and NATO is necessary for military mobility to succeed; calls for consideration of an action plan focusing on EU-NATO common interests in military mobility by increasing ambition in areas such as digitalisation, the cyber resilience of transport infrastructure and systems, and the possibility of using artificial intelligence solutions for the benefit of military mobility; believes that this project demonstrates both the added value of EU-NATO cooperation and proof of how EU instruments and competences can contribute to NATO’s collective defence; welcomes the fact that significant amounts of EU funds have been allocated to collaborative defence projects, despite not matching initial ambitions; recalls that 38 of the 46 current PESCO projects respond to NATO defence planning priorities and welcomes potential third-country participation in such projects, in line with the provisions of the relevant Council decision;

Towards an ambitious partnership

54.  Fully subscribes to the statement in the recent NATO communiqué that the European Union remains a unique and essential partner for NATO; reiterates, in this light, its firm belief that EU-NATO relations need to be upgraded to a truly strategic level in order to reach the partnership’s full potential, building on the unprecedented progress already achieved and with the overall objective of building a genuine organisation-to-organisation relationship; calls for regular special summits with the participation of all NATO and EU heads of state and government in order to maintain trust and understanding at the highest levels, and expresses its long-term vision for an EU-NATO Partnership Council; encourages a discussion, furthermore, on the creation of a permanent Council of EU Defence Ministers, which should closely liaise with meetings of NATO defence ministers; underlines the principle of inclusiveness in this regard;

55.  Reiterates the principle of inclusiveness, and encourages an increased number of joint informal meetings, as well as joint statements and communications by EU and NATO institutions’ principals; reiterates its previous calls for the EU and NATO to organise regular, and more ambitious, joint exercises, building on the existing practice of Parallel and Coordinated Exercises (PACE), ensuring the involvement of all Member States and allies, which would serve to enhance mutual EU-NATO understanding and further enhance staff-to-staff cooperation; encourages an enhanced exchange of unclassified and classified information in future exercises, in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner, as a first step in the exchange of information in real crisis situations;

56.  Calls on all members to work towards the conclusion of a security agreement between Cyprus and NATO;

57.  Welcomes the progress made on the 74 common proposals for action; believes, however, that more political support is needed to ensure full implementation; further calls for flagship projects to be put forward, for example in the field of EDTs and air-to-air refuelling, modelled after projects such as in the area of military mobility in order to increase ownership and make cooperation more tangible and results-orientated;

58.  Underlines that the EU and NATO must coordinate their efforts to combat terrorism by improving current practices of intelligence-sharing among Member States and NATO allies, with a particular emphasis on achieving better common situational awareness in key areas, including emerging safe havens, terrorists’ use of EDTs and hybrid tactics;

59.  Acknowledges that in view of the institutional limitations, EU-NATO cooperation to a large extent takes place on an informal and technical staff-to-staff level, limiting at times the active involvement of all Member States and allies; considers these limitations a vulnerability for transatlantic, as well as European, security, due inter alia to the potential blocking of access to NATO structures for EU CSDP operations; believes that this situation is unsustainable and therefore strongly urges all stakeholders to work together in good faith to seek a solution which would render cooperation more formal and predictable on all levels, with a view to building a genuine and solid organisation-to-organisation relationship; welcomes the discussion about future EU military command capacities, which must be interoperable and compatible with NATO in order to ensure the most effective operational capacity of the single set of forces;

60.  Underlines the need to reinforce allies’ unity, solidarity and cohesion; acknowledges the serious disputes between allies in the Eastern Mediterranean; welcomes the establishment of NATO’s de-escalation mechanism; recalls its concerns about Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 Russian missile system; stresses the importance of further trust-building measures based on dialogue and mutual respect; is deeply concerned about the behaviour of Turkey, a strategically important neighbour and NATO ally; calls on Turkey to avoid further provocative and destabilising actions, and encourages it to pursue a foreign, security and domestic policy that aligns with the obligations and expectations of an EU candidate country and NATO ally;

61.  Recalls that both the EU and NATO are built around common democratic principles; recalls that the North Atlantic Treaty is directly tied to the UN Charter; calls on NATO to demand from its members full compliance with all articles of the UN Charter; underlines that the transatlantic partnership not only needs strong militaries but also strong and resilient societies; emphasises the mutually reinforcing link between strong democratic foundations, based on respect for the rules-based international order, and a strong transatlantic partnership, which only together can ensure the longevity of our democracies; supports the idea put forward by the Biden administration for a global summit of democracies; calls for increased efforts to take into account the high aspirations of younger generations and enable the effective participation of young people in our democratic processes, and to clearly present to young people the strategic challenges that our societies face, in order to assure that they engage with these critical issues and actively support our common efforts;

62.  Recalls that a stronger role for the EU in security and defence has been described as a priority for EU citizens in Eurobarometer surveys; suggests that EU-NATO cooperation and security and defence issues at large should be addressed during the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe in order to ensure that people’s voices are heard;

63.  Underlines the importance of a proactive, effective and transparent communication, both in the EU and externally, and calls for even closer cooperation between the respective staff at both NATO and the EU on strategic communication, especially with regard to countering disinformation, foreign interference and cyber attacks, in strategically important areas such as the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries; calls for improved information-sharing in identifying hybrid attacks in order to increase responsiveness; insists, however, on the fact that both the EU and NATO must maintain their respective independent capacities; supports the idea of launching independent centres of excellence for the study of foreign languages spoken in strategically important regions;

64.  Underlines the importance of parliamentary diplomacy and reiterates its previous calls for an enhanced role for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (PA); recommends that the status of the European Parliament’s delegation in the NATO PA be upgraded by the NATO PA Standing Committee to full status, reflecting the importance of EU-NATO cooperation; calls for a joint meeting between Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives in order to discuss the common security threats to the transatlantic partnership and how enhanced EU-NATO cooperation could help address to them;

65.  Welcomes the first-ever participation of a NATO Secretary-General in a meeting of the College of Commissioners on 15 December 2020, which sent a strong message of mutual commitment in order to enhance the partnership between NATO and the EU; commends NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on his leadership and determination to advance EU-NATO relations, which corresponds to the ambitions and priorities laid out by the EU leadership;

o   o

66.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary-General of NATO, the European Defence Agency, the governments and national parliaments of the EU and NATO Member States, and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

(1) OJ C 28, 27.1.2020, p. 49.
(2) OJ C 388, 13.11.2020, p. 22.
(3) OJ C 449, 23.12.2020, p. 149.
(4) OJ C 232, 16.6.2021, p. 71.
(5) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0009.
(6) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0008.
(7) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2021)0102.
(8) OJ L 146, 9.6.2017, p. 133.
(9) OJ L 371, 6.11.2020, p. 3.

Last updated: 16 November 2021Legal notice - Privacy policy