NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that the alliance should work with the European Union to optimize collective defense and achieve regional stability, DoD News reported Wednesday.
Stoltenberg told students at the Ecole Militaire military academy in Paris that NATO and EU are engaging in talks and the alliances have increased cooperation on cyber defense, maritime security, counterterrorism and countering hybrid warfare, among others.
“I am convinced a strong European defense is good for the European Union, it is good for Europe and it is good for NATO, as long as it respects three key principles,” Stoltenberg said.
The first principle is to increase spending on interoperable defense systems that can help member nations achieve cost savings.
The secretary general added that a stronger European defense requires cooperation with non-EU allies while “respecting the autonomy and integrity of the European Union.”
The third key principle is for EU to carry out defense efforts that complement, and not duplicate, NATO’s defense activities, according to Stoltenberg.
He noted that the two alliances should work together instead of competing since they share 22 member countries.