29/4/2015 EU source: European Union Ref: EU15-191EN
Summary: 29 April 2015, Washington, DC - Opening speech by High Representative and Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the 4th EU Symposium on security and defence cooperation between the European Union and the United States
- Check against delivery -
- (…)The global security environment is changing dramatically. We are talking about big pictures, but it's about people's life(…).
- (…)Now finally as Europeans we are increasing our efforts to tackle the humanitarian crisis we are facing. As we do that, though, we must also tackle the causes of migrations. Including the conflicts in Europe’s neighbourhood.
ON A STRONGER EUROPE IN SECURITY AND DEFENCE
- Since assuming my functions, 6 months ago, I have stressed the need to work on a stronger Europe when it comes to security and defence matters. Getting at least some integrated defence capacities is something we cannot do without. (…)
- It is to draw a clearer picture of this more connected, contested and complex world, that I have launched in the EU a Strategic Review, a process of reflection on the implications of the evolving international security environment and the role that EU can and must play in it. (…)
- (…)This is intended to be a first step in the process that might culminate in a new EU external strategy. This first step will be completed by the end of June, and will provide the basis for further decisions by the EU on how better to prepare for and act upon the challenges to peace and prosperity that we face on both sides of the Atlantic. (…)
- (…) Over the years the EU has gained significant experience and can deploy its missions on many different scenarios. (…) Ultimately, we believe that the best approach is to enable our partners in Africa to handle crisis management with minimal outside intervention. Yesterday the Commission adopted a Communication based on my proposal to enable the EU to "train and equip" forces of local partners. Since they will bear the brunt of crisis management, they deserve our strongest support. (…)
- (…)As we expand our ambitions, we also need to fill our defence capability gaps. At a time of reduced public spending, states seek ways to engage in pooling and sharing of capacities and resources, especially at the high-end capabilities. This can end up providing Europe with a good opportunity to reshape its defence spending. (…)
- The European Parliament reminds us that the cost of "non-Europe" in defence amounts to some €26bn per year, an enormous amount of money. And even more: 70% of European citizens support more integration in defence. For us, that is a call to action, and we want to fill this gap. (…)
ON THE EU-US COOPERATION ON SECURITY AND DEFENCE
- (…)The United States and the EU are reliable partners on security and defence. Our commitment as Europeans is to move further in this direction.
- (…)One of the promising strands of our cooperation has been increased military-to-military interaction. We must further step up information-sharing and collaboration between US and EU's military and civilian planners at all levels. We cannot afford to be duplicating efforts. (…)
- (…)The same applies to transatlantic cooperation on intelligence. Countering violent extremism and stopping foreign fighters has become an all-hands-on-deck job. We can only succeed if we join forces. (…)
ON EU-NATO COOPERATION
- (…)Our work to strengthen our capabilities through CSDP goes hand in hand with deepening ties with NATO. Hybrid, non-linear risks have put a premium on enhanced cooperation and contingency planning. And indeed the EU is strengthening its cooperation with the Alliance; we have developed an excellent working relationship. (…)
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