Current Issue


November/December 2016


The EU is developing and strengthening its cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

EDC News: EU-NATO Cooperation

The Euro-Atlantic community are currently facing unprecedented security challenges and threats from the South and East. To address these challenges the European Union and NATO have come together and signed their first ever Joint Declaration at the NATO Summit (Warsaw, Poland on 8 July 2016). The purpose of the declaration is to enhance cooperation in areas, such as maritime security and countering hybrid threats (combination of cyber, conventional and irregular attacks).

The EU and NATO have pledged to implement the following (extract from the declaration) and present concrete options for their implementation by December 2016:

  • 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

NATO - Brief introduction

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was established in 1949 at the end of the Second World War (under North Atlantic Treatysigned on 4 April 1949). It is an international organisation which brings together the armies of various countries, including Britain and the United States and provides an opportunity for member countries to consult and take decisions on security issues at all levels and in a variety of fields. A “NATO decision” is the expression of the collective will of all 28 member countries since all decisions are taken by consensus.

Twenty-two of the 28 NATO member countries are also Member States of the European Union. NATO has an Open-Door policy allowing any European state, which can contribute to the security and principles of the Alliance, to be invited to join.

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