NATO Secretary General at the European Union Foreign Affairs Council, 13 NOV 2017


Good afternoon. I am looking forward to meeting the EU Defence
Ministers. I met 22 of them last week at the NATO defence
ministerial meeting. And earlier today a large number of EU Member
States announced that they are going to be part of the Permanent Structured Cooperation
or the PESCO. I am a firm believer of stronger European
defence. So I welcome PESCO because I believe that
that can strengthen European defence which is good for Europe
but also good for NATO. Stronger European defence has the potential
to help us increase defence spending, provide new capabilities and also to improve burden-sharing
within the Alliance. So this is a way to strengthen the European
pillar within NATO. I also welcome the fact that so many European
leaders have highlighted or underlined the importance that European defence has to be
developed in a way that it’s not competing with NATO, but which is complementary to NATO. We don’t need duplication, we don’t need
competition, but what we need is cooperation and a European defence which is complementing
NATO. Not least because non-EU Allies are vital
to European security. You know that after Brexit, 80 percent of
NATO defence spending will come from non-EU Allies. And three of the four battlegroups which NATO
has deployed to the Eastern part of the Alliance will be led by non-EU Allies. So I think to make sure we do this in a way
that we complement each other, there are at least three things that are of great importance. One is that we need coherence when it comes
to development of capabilities. We must avoid that the same nations have two
sets of requirements for what kind of capabilities they should develop. Secondly, we need to be sure that forces and
capabilities developed under PESCO are also available for NATO. And thirdly, we need the fullest possible
involvement of non-EU NATO Allies in the consultations and in the process. Because we also have to make sure that they
are included as far as possible in these discussions. Then I also welcome that we are making a lot
of progress when it comes to NATO-EU cooperation. We are implementing the Declaration and the
42 proposals we agreed last year. We are now looking at what more we can do
especially when it comes to fighting terrorism, working together NATO and the EU in the fight
against terrorism in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, what we can do when it comes to
women, peace and security. And also when it comes to military mobility
which is of great importance. Our ability to move forces quickly across
Europe. NATO has been working on this for several
years, since 2014, addressing many of the bureaucratic legal hindrances for border crossing,
but of course we need to do more, and we also need to address issues like infrastructure,
means of transportation, and therefore I welcome close cooperation between NATO and the EU
on military mobility and I think this can be a flagship for NATO-EU cooperation, how
to move forward on military mobility in Europe. Robin Emmott (Reuters): Are you aware of any
Russian interference in Catalonia’s independence referendum? Spanish ministers today have said that they
believe Russia used social media to try and swing the referendum against Madrid? Secretary General: We have seen several reports
about Russian attempts to interfere in domestic political processes in different countries. But I will not comment specifically on Catalonia. I will just leave that to the Spanish government
to comment on that.

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