Today I am writing from Bratislava, where I chaired an informal meeting of Defence Ministers that was also joined by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Our European Union faces huge challenges, which call for us to strengthen our common security and defence. Here is the first press point I had this morning, explaining the sense of today’s work.
We will move forward, starting with the Global Strategy I presented last June and turning it into action. By mid-November I will set up an implementation plan, with all Member States’ contribution, to be put forward at the formal Council of Defence Ministers. There is so much we can do, and I see there is a lot we are already willing to put in practice – as today’s meeting confirms (here is the press conference at the end of the meeting).
The second pillar of our action, besides the plan I am presenting, will be the Defence Action Plan on research and industry. We are working on it inside the European Commission, and it will be ready by the end of the year.
Finally, we focused on the European Union’s strategic partnership with NATO. Together with Stoltenberg we have started to work on the implementation of the Joint Declaration we signed in Warsaw on July 8th. With that Declaration we committed to cooperate on maritime security and migration, but also on hybrid and cyber threats. The Alliance can only benefit from a stronger European Union, as Stoltenberg said very clearly today. There is no contradiction, no duplication: we can make NATO stronger. Here is my press point together with Jens.