Good Morning, welcome to the Atlantic Treaty Association. I am Alessandro Niglia, Senior Program Officer. I want to build on what have been already said by the ATA Secretary General. The opportunity to host you today here at our HQ is indeed a great honor for us and this comes in a moment when the necessity for greater security in our society is more relevant than ever since the end of cold war. With that, I am very confident We are going to have a stimulating discussion on NATO-EU cooperation with two preeminent speakers: Dr. Arnold Kamel and Mr Gabriele Cascone. I will introduce both of them in more details in just a moment.
Before that, I will take few moments for some remarks on the importance of the cooperation between NATO and EU.
Just a statistic that gives the sense of this new way of cooperation between NATO and EU. In the last 9 months more formal arrangements have been signed than in the previous 13 years when the cooperation started. This clearly shows that progress has been made
NATO Sec Gen Stoltenberg few days ago, during the Defence Ministerial Meeting clearly stated that A stronger EU means a Stronger NATO. It is evident that the cooperation between NATO and the European Union is essential and strategic.
- It is indeed essential because we cannot forget that 22 EU members are also NATO members sharing comparable principles and values. As a result, NATO and EU have to cope with common challenges from a complex security environment on the Southern and the Eastern flank. Furthermore, cooperation becomes necessary to avoid overstretching and duplication of efforts in a time when operational and financial resources are scarce or at least less accessible than the cold war period.
- From a strategic point of view NATO and EU are supposed to look at each other in a complementary way and make up for shortcomings.
The last NATO Summit in Warsaw demonstrated that this cooperation is feasible. Both NATO Sec Gen Stoltenberg and HR Mogherini have been working very closely in the last 2 years and now NATO and EU have never been so close. In this sense, the extent of political consultation is remarkable and official meetings have outlined the positive spirit.
I hope this lays a useful groundwork for today’s discussion and without further hesitations please allow me to kick off this panel.
We all see the multitude of crisis at our doorstep and in our backyard. NATO and EU face the same threats today, and it is essential strengthening information sharing, intensifying interaction and enhance the commitment on defence spending wisely.
But let me also say that NATO and EU are bound by much more than only common threats.