ARCHIVE – Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before a meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels. Photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP/dpa
According to information from the German Press Agency, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, EU Council President Charles Michel and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg want to sign a declaration this Tuesday that, among other things, calls for better cooperation in protecting critical infrastructure such as the energy and water supply.
The text also mentions, for example, how to deal with information manipulation and interference from abroad and the security policy consequences of climate change as areas for increased cooperation. Global warming is considered a risk to peace and security because it threatens the livelihoods of millions of people. Even more humanitarian catastrophes, flight and migration as well as increasing conflicts over resources such as water and land could be the result.
As the security threats and challenges continue to evolve in terms of their reach and scope, the cooperation will be taken to the next level, according to the text for the statement, which is available to the German Press Agency. To this end, the cooperation will be expanded and deepened.
For the first time, possible threats from China are also to be addressed in a declaration on EU-NATO cooperation. China’s growing self-confidence and policies pose challenges that need to be addressed, the text says.
However, Russia’s war against Ukraine is cited as the greatest security threat. This affects stability worldwide and has triggered an energy and food crisis that affects billions of people. Russia must end this war immediately and withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
The statement, which is due to be signed at NATO headquarters in Brussels this morning, builds on two previous joint statements from 2016 and 2018. In these, for example, it was agreed to organize coordinated exercises and to strengthen cooperation in the field of cyber security.
Work on the third joint statement by the EU and NATO began in 2021 and should have been completed in the same year. However, coordination problems on both sides repeatedly led to delays.
In principle, it is also questionable whether a substantial expansion of the cooperation can really succeed. One reason is that Turkey, as a NATO member, has so far prevented agreements that would enable a comprehensive and uncomplicated exchange of confidential information with the EU. At least military cooperation remains very complicated or superficial in some areas.
Turkey justifies its blockade by not recognizing the Republic of Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, under international law. Turkish troops occupied the north of the island in 1974 when Greek putschists wanted to force Cyprus to be annexed to Greece. As a result, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey, was created in the north. The government of the Republic of Cyprus governs the southern part.