NATO Chief Calls for Closer European Cooperation on Defense

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh RasmussenNATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called on European countries to step up cooperation on defence yesterday (2 September), arguing in favour of moves towards a borderless EU defence market and intensified integration on military matters.

The Nato chief will join EU defense ministers for an informal meeting in Lithuania this week (5-6 September) where defense cooperation will feature high on the agenda.

“I intend to bring the issue of cooperation between NATO and the European Union on defense matters and the need for Europe to intensify its efforts in capability development and invest more in security,” Rasmussen said at the alliance’s monthly press briefing in Brussels.

“It is important for Europe and it is important for the transatlantic alliance because a strong Europe is also a strong Alliance,” Rasmussen stressed. “As the situation in Syria demonstrates, we continue to face significant security challenges and it is vital that we are prepared to meet them.”

In Lithuania, the EU ministers will discuss a policy paper tabled by the European Commission in July, which called for a relaunching of industrial cooperation on defence, including on drones where Europe currently lags behind the United States and Israel.

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Image: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (photo: NATO)