NATO Secretary General welcomes PESCO, stresses need for complementarity

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg; Photo: NATO

BRUSSELS – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation ahead of a meeting with EU Foreign Ministers on Monday.

“I believe that this can strengthen European defence,” he said, while stressing the need for complementarity between NATO and EU efforts. Stoltenberg also highlighted that military mobility can be a flagship of NATO-EU cooperation, which is being stepped up.

“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 do not need duplication, we do not need competition, but what we need is cooperation and a European defence which is complementing NATO.”

To make sure that this is done in a way that we complement each other, Stoltenberg believes 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,” he said.