EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, spoke about the prospects of EU-NATO ties at the Future of EU-NATO Cooperation Conference. She called the current developments in the mutual relations between the European Union and NATO the most crucial and momentous time in the history of the relationship – “definitely the most momentous time since the Berlin plus agreement”.
She referred to the 2002 Berlin plus agreement – a comprehensive package of deals between both sides – saying that, at that time, the EU was still rather small, before the large enlargement of 2004, and thus today “cooperation between the European Union and NATO is crucial to the security of our entire continent, and of the Atlantic space, on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Ms Mogherini reaffirmed that despite the fears about the future of the transatlantic bond after the US presidential elections, she believed that “there is one safe pathway, to preserve a healthy relationship, and a strong one, between the two shores of the Atlantic.” She said that in order to pursue such a relationship, all must accept their responsibilities and invest in cooperation on the international level and in multilateralism as defined in the EU’s Global Strategy as a “rules-based world order”. This also means, she pointed out, that “Europe must also take responsibility for its own security”.
EU’s chief of diplomacy also urged Europe not to “hide behind our borders: it would not be coherent with our history and with our values of solidarity but it simply would not work,” and added that “As threats have multiplied and changed in their nature, we must, as Europeans, engage with the world, starting with our region. And we must engage with all our power – the power of a Union of half a billion citizens, unique in the world”.