161027defmin01 400General Denis Mercier joined NATO Defence Ministers meetings in Brussels, Belgium to highlight NATO’s Allied Command Transformation’s relationship with the European Defence Agency.

161027defmin01 400The deepening of this relationship will mutually benefit the respective strengths of each organization and avoid duplication of effort between the two organizations. In practice, this will assist the interoperability programs for Allied Command Transformation, the only NATO Headquarters in the United States.

Ministers addressed ways to deepen NATO-European Union cooperation in the areas of countering hybrid threats, cyber defence, coordinated exercises and supporting partners. General Denis Mercier took part in the meetings where Allied Defence Ministers discussed practical steps to take forward NATO’s cooperation with the European Union. Ministers were joined by the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, as well as the Defence Ministers of Finland and Sweden. The Secretary General underlined that a strong Europe will make NATO stronger, by delivering more capabilities and by increasing defence spending among European Allies.

Allies also decided NATO’s new Operation Sea Guardian will support the European Union’s Operation Sophia. Within two weeks, NATO ships and planes will be in the Central Mediterranean, ready to increase the European Union’s situational awareness and provide logistical support.