EU needs to take more responsibility for its security

Leaders confirmed their commitment to cooperate closely with NATO

Photo: EU Charles Michel and Jens Stoltenberg (L-R) during the video conference with the EU leaders on Friday.

During their ‘Security and Defence’ session at the video conference on Friday, the EU leaders expressed their will to remain committed to the Strategic Agenda 2019-2024,that is increasing the EU’s capacity to act autonomously. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg exchange with them views on the cooperation between EU and the Alliance.

We want to act more strategically, to defend our interests and to promote our values, European Council President Charles Michel stressed after the meeting. He also accented on the need to increase EU’s ability to act autonomously and “strengthen our cooperation with our partners”.

Concerning security and defence, the leaders want to promote the EU’s interests and values as well as its resilience and preparedness to effectively tackle all security threats and challenges.

“We reaffirm that, in the face of increased global instability, the EU needs to take more responsibility for its security,” the members of the European Council said in a statement.

They also confirmed their commitment to cooperate closely with NATO, “in full respect of the principles set out in the Treaties and those agreed by the European Council, and to strengthening our partnerships with the UN and key regional partners. We look forward to cooperating with the new US administration on a strong and ambitious transatlantic agenda that includesa close dialogue on security and defence”.

EC President Ursula von der Leyen outlined that “a good EU-NATO cooperation remains a top priority for the Commission”. We had an excellent exchange with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, she commented adding that “he was pointing out the very different threats and challenges we are facing”.

“And in some cases we address these challenges in NATO. You know all the theatres NATO is engaged in at the moment being. But there are also scenarios where NATO is not engaged, but where the European Union is called upon – if you take for example the EU missions or the UN missions. And the European Union needs to be capable to do that,” such a way von der Leyen described the situation.

EU leaders emphasised that this global cooperation will benefit from a stronger EU in the field of security and defence. They are also committed to enhancing the Union’s civil and military operational engagement. It includes improved force generation and making swiftly operational the European Peace Facility.

On the strengthening Europe’s defence technological and industrial base, they shared the opinion of fast implementation of the European Defence Fund, and pointed out the need of fostering synergies between civil, defence and space industries, including in the AI area and in the field of disruptive technologies, opening the way for participation of SMEs.

"This should support our resilience in relation to critical technologies and strategic value chains", they said and invited the  the Commission to present a technology roadmap by October this year for boosting research, technology development and innovation and reducing EU's strategic dependencies in critical technologies and value chains.

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