Strasbourg 15.09.2021 “…We are working with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on a new EU-NATO Joint Declaration to be presented before the end of the year. But this is only one part of the equation” the president of the European Commission Ursula von dery Leyen said, while addressing the European Parliament Plenary in Strasbourg.
“Europe can – and clearly should – be able and willing to do more on its own. But if we are to do more, we first need to explain why. I see three broad categories.
“First, we need to provide stability in our neighbourhood and across different regions.
We are connected to the world by narrow straits, stormy seas and vast land borders. Because of that geography, Europe knows better than anyone that if you don’t deal in time with the crisis abroad, the crisis comes to you.
“Secondly, the nature of the threats we face is evolving rapidly: from hybrid or cyber-attacks to the growing arms race in space.
Disruptive technology has been a great equaliser in the way power can be used today by rogue states or non-state groups. You no longer need armies and missiles to cause mass damage. You can paralyse industrial plants, city administrations and hospitals – all you need is your laptop. You can disrupt entire elections with a smartphone and an internet connection.
“The third reason is that the European Union is a unique security provider. There will be missions where NATO or the UN will not be present, but where the EU should be. On the ground, our soldiers work side-by-side with police officers, lawyers and doctors, with humanitarian workers and human rights defenders, with teachers and engineers.
“We can combine military and civilian, along with diplomacy and development – and we have a long history in building and protecting peace. The good news is that over the past years, we have started to develop a European defence ecosystem…”