NATO chief highlights cooperation with EU

Brussels, Feb 24 (IANS) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg highlighted the importance of cooperation between the European Union (EU) and NATO while addressing the European Parliament.

In his Tuesday’s speech to the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs and its Subcommittee on Security and Defence, Stoltenberg said that 90 percent of the EU’s citizens are also citizens of NATO Allies, which underscores the importance of the relationship.

“Europe’s security environment is more complex and more unpredictable than for a generation,” he said, adding a strong relationship between the EU and NATO was essential in responding to the challenges.

He noted that NATO is working to enhance cooperation with the EU to address hybrid threats in key areas such as early warning, strategic communications, civil-military cooperation and cyber security, and welcomed EU plans for a stronger defence industry.

Calling 2016 “a big year” for the NATO-EU relationship, Stoltenberg said that June’s European Council and the NATO Summit in July would be key opportunities to strengthen “our unity and practical cooperation even further.”

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