AFET MEPs call for deeper EU-NATO ties

The Alliance remains the bedrock of the security and collective defence of its members, they say

Photo: EP Antonio López-Istúriz White.

Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) MEPs urged in a new report on EU-NATO cooperation that the transatlantic community can successfully manage its security challenges only by further deepening cooperation and taking partnership to a new level.

They said a reinvigorated strategic EU-NATO partnership is essential to address the security challenges facing Europe and its neighbourhood.

According to the report, adopted on Thursday by 51 votes in favour, 9 against and 10 abstentions, the transatlantic community is faced with a broad array of emerging threats, systemic competition and unprecedented common challenges which affect the security of the Member States and of their citizens.

The text states that “besides the military, the transatlantic partnership’s rivals and authoritarian adversaries use a range of tools to undermine our democracies”, including hybrid threats, cyber-attacks, foreign interferences, interference in elections and disinformation campaigns.

AFET MEPs support the EU’s ambitions to be a global actor for peace and security but underline that NATO remains the bedrock of the security and collective defence of its members, and of the transatlantic community as a whole.

Underscoring a strong EU-US partnership as key to successful EU-NATO cooperation, MEPs welcome the clearly stated commitment of the Biden administration to engage with EU and NATO partners in all domains.

MEPs consider that the work on both the EU’s Strategic Compass and the expected update of NATO’s Strategic Concept represents a unique opportunity to establish clear priorities and identify additional synergies between the partners and can contribute to effective global governance and multilateralism.

The report points to “important cooperation between the EU and NATO in the Western Balkans, to instability in the southern and eastern neighbourhoods as well as to the necessity of countering malicious foreign interference in the regions”.

Rapporteur Antonio López-Istúriz White (EPP, ES) commented that with the adoption of this report, “we reaffirm the EU’s efforts to increase its own defence capabilities, in a consistent and complimentary manner to NATO”.

According to him, this report will positively contribute to the discussions at the upcoming June NATO and EU-US summits, and show that EU instruments and competences can contribute to NATO’s mandate.

 

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