Arriving at the European Council on Thursday (28 June 2018) the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he will be discussing NATO-EU cooperation with European leaders. He highlighted that NATO-EU cooperation is making a lot of progress and that both organisations are working together on migration, tackling the root causes and helping to stabilise the neighbourhood, including by training local forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He said that both organisations are also cooperating in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean, and that NATO is providing help to the EU Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean, with ten ships and maritime surveillance aircraft currently in the region.
The Secretary General stressed that NATO and the EU are also cooperating on “military mobility, infrastructure, legal hurdles, to make sure that we are able to move forces quickly through Europe if needed”.
Speaking about NATO-EU cooperation in the Western Balkans, the Secretary General said “We have been working together there for many, many years. And it is really encouraging to see that there is progress, there is some hope”. He announced he would meet Prime Minister Tsipras later on Thursday and Prime Minister Zaev on Friday.
“And I will commend them both for their courage, for their leadership, agreeing on the agreement on the name issue. And I’m confident that when the NATO leaders meet at the Summit next month in Brussels they will decide to open accession talks with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹.”
Mr. Stoltenberg said that he would also discuss transatlantic issues and the importance of the transatlantic relationship with European leaders.
“We should have no illusions, Europe and North America need each other especially now when we see security threats, challenges we haven’t seen for many decades. We have to stand together, Europe and North America”, he said. “And NATO-EU cooperation is part of this transatlantic relationship, and therefore I also look very much forward to signing a joint declaration between President Juncker, President Tusk and me before the NATO Summit”.