We believe that the time has come to give new impetus and new substance to the NATO-EU strategic partnership.
In consultation with the EU Member States and the NATO Allies, working with, and for the benefit of all, this partnership will take place in the spirit of full mutual openness and in compliance with the decision-making autonomy and procedures of our respective organisations and without prejudice to the specific character of the security and defence policy of any of our members.
Today, the Euro-Atlantic community is facing unprecedented challenges emanating from the South and East. Our citizens demand that we use all ways and means available to address these challenges so as to enhance their security.
All Allies and Member States, as well as the EU and NATO per se, are already making significant contributions to Euro-Atlantic security. The substantial cooperation between NATO and the EU, unique and essential partners, established more than 15 years ago, also contributes to this end.
In light of the common challenges we are now confronting, we have to step-up our efforts: we need new ways of working together and a new level of ambition; because our security is interconnected; because together we can mobilize a broad range of tools to respond to the challenges we face; and because we have to make the most efficient use of resources. A stronger NATO and a stronger EU are mutually reinforcing. Together they can better provide security in Europe and beyond.
We are convinced that enhancing our neighbours’ and partners’ stability in accordance with our values, as enshrined in the UN Charter, contributes to our security and to sustainable peace and prosperity. So that our neighbours and partners are better able to address the numerous challenges they currently face, we will continue to support their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, as well as their reform efforts.
In fulfilling the objectives above, we believe there is an urgent need to:
• Boost our ability to counter hybrid threats, including by bolstering resilience, working together on analysis, prevention, and early detection, through timely information sharing and, to the extent possible, intelligence sharing between staffs; and cooperating on strategic communication and response. The development of coordinated procedures through our respective playbooks will substantially contribute to implementing our efforts.
• Broaden and adapt our operational cooperation including at sea, and on migration, through increased sharing of maritime situational awareness as well as better coordination and mutual reinforcement of our activities in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.
• Expand our coordination on cyber security and defence including in the context of our missions and operations, exercises and on education and training.
• Develop coherent, complementary and interoperable defence capabilities of EU Member States and NATO Allies, as well as multilateral projects.
• Facilitate a stronger defence industry and greater defence research and industrial cooperation within Europe and across the Atlantic.
• Step up our coordination on exercises, including on hybrid, by developing as the first step parallel and coordinated exercises for 2017 and 2018.
• Build the defence and security capacity and foster the resilience of our partners in the East and South in a complementary way through specific projects in a variety of areas for individual recipient countries, including by strengthening maritime capacity.
Cooperation in these areas is a strategic priority. Speedy implementation is essential. The European External Action Service and the NATO International Staff, together with Commission services as appropriate, will develop concrete options for implementation, including appropriate staff coordination mechanisms, to be presented to us and our respective Councils by December 2016. On the EU side, the High Representative/Vice President of the Commission will steer and coordinate this endeavour.
We will review progress on a regular basis.
We call on both organisations to invest the necessary political capital and resources to make this reinforced partnership a success.