NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, met on Tuesday (10 January 2023) at NATO Headquarters to sign the third Joint Declaration on NATO-European Union cooperation.
Speaking at a joint press conference, Mr Stoltenberg said: “we are determined to take the partnership between NATO and the European Union to the next level.” The Joint Declaration aims to further strengthen and expand the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU, building on unprecedented progress in cooperation between the two organisations since previous declarations were signed in 2016 and 2018.
The leaders resolved to address growing geostrategic competition, resilience issues, and the protection of critical infrastructures. Other priority areas of work will include emerging and disruptive technologies, space, the security implications of climate change, foreign interference and information manipulation. The Secretary General underlined that the Joint Declaration “recognises the value of a more capable European defence that contributes positively to our security and is complementary to, and interoperable with, NATO”.
Mr Stoltenberg stressed the importance of NATO-EU cooperation in the context of the changed security environment following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He further noted that the NATO-EU partnership “will become even more important once Finland and Sweden become full NATO members,” and that “with their accession, NATO will be protecting 96% of the citizens in the European Union, and a higher share of its territory than ever before.”