- The Washington Times
Tuesday, January 10, 2023

NATO and the European Union on Tuesday signed a joint security cooperation declaration — the first since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year — that highlighted the importance of the U.S.-led trans-Atlantic alliance.

Speaking at a press conference alongside Charles Michel, president of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said they are determined to “take the partnership between NATO and the European Union to the next level.”

Even as some European leaders continue to call for less of an emphasis on U.S. military support, the joint declaration states that NATO remains the “foundation of collective defense for its allies and essential for Euro-Atlantic security.”

European states should spend more and build stronger armies, but their efforts should complement NATO‘s strategy, rather than be in competition with it, according to the declaration.

On Tuesday, Mr. Stoltenberg stressed the importance of the changed security environment in Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He said the partnership between NATO and the European Union will become even more important once Finland and Sweden become full NATO member states.

“With their accession, NATO will be protecting 96% of the citizens in the European Union and a higher share of its territory than ever before,” Mr. Stoltenberg told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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