A reinvigorated, strategic EU-NATO partnership is essential to address the security challenges facing Europe and its neighbourhood, stress MEPs in a report adopted on Wednesday.

In a report on EU-NATO cooperation adopted on Wednesday, MEPs underscore that the transatlantic community can successfully manage its security challenges only by further deepening cooperation and taking partnership to a new level. MEPs praise the strong transatlantic unity exhibited by the NATO summit of 14 June.

Unprecedented challenges and unique opportunities

The Parliament welcomes the positive language on EU-NATO cooperation in the NATO Summit’s final Communiqué and points to a long list of common security challenges. These include hybrid threats, cyber-attacks, foreign interference, meddling in elections and disinformation campaigns.                                                                                                The EU’s represent a unique opportunity to advance cooperation, establish clear priorities and help identify additional synergies between the partners, MEPs point out.                They underline the importance of parliamentary diplomacy and reiterate their call for an enhanced role for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (PA) and the need to upgrade the status of the European Parliament’s delegation to the NATO PA.

Deeper EU-NATO relations and increased European defence efforts

MEPs welcome the progress made on the 74 common proposals for action, but believe that more political support is needed to ensure their full implementation.                            Members point to the increased European cooperation in the field of security and defence, notably through PESCO and the European Defence Fund, and call for Europeans to increase their efforts to assume greater responsibility for their own European security. In this context, Members underline the need for all member states to fulfil their commitments and engage in mutual support.

Strong EU-US partnership

Highlighting that a strong EU-US partnership is key to successful EU-NATO cooperation, MEPs welcome the Biden administration’s commitment to engage with EU and NATO partners. The presence of US forces in Europe is vital, they stress, and also welcome the unwavering support for robust NATO-EU cooperation expressed at last month’s EU-US Summit, as well as the intention to launch a dedicated EU-US dialogue on security and defence.

Coordinated transatlantic strategy towards Russia and China

Expressing their concern regarding the aggressive policies pursued by Russia and recognising that China’s growing influence needs to be met with a coordinated transatlantic strategy, MEPs welcome, in this light, the clear and strong language used at the recent Summits.                                                                                                                     Members further highlight the important transatlantic cooperation in the Western Balkans and on the key issue of resilience.

The rapporteur Antonio López-Istúriz White (EPP, ES) said: “With the adoption of this report, we reaffirm the EU’s efforts to increase its own defence capabilities, in a consistent and complimentary manner to NATO. In an era of great-power competition, we need to become a stronger partner, including in security and defence. Strengthening the strategic EU-NATO partnership is necessary to achieve this goal and meet our common security challenges.”                                                                                                                    The report was adopted by 493 votes in favour, 90 against and 103 abstentions.