Briefing the media, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg highlighted the benefits of closer NATO-EU cooperation. He noted that, in the Aegean Sea, NATO’s deployment supports Greece, Turkey and the EU’s border agency Frontex in breaking the lines of human trafficking. “That is why last night we decided to continue our Aegean deployment,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.
Allies also decided last night that NATO’s new Operation Sea Guardian will support the EU’s Operation Sophia. Within two weeks, NATO ships and planes will be in the Central Mediterranean, ready to help increase the EU’s situational awareness and provide logistical support.
Today, ministers addressed ways to deepen NATO-EU cooperation in the areas of countering hybrid threats, cyber defense, coordinated exercises and supporting partners. Ministers also discussed recent initiatives to strengthen European defense. The Secretary General underlined that a strong Europe will make NATO stronger, especially by delivering more capabilities and by increasing defense spending among European Allies.