Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian issued the following statement today after the presentation of the report submitted by the group of experts (1 December):
Today, the Foreign Ministers of the Atlantic Alliance gathered to examine and discuss the report submitted by the group of experts mandated at the last NATO Summit in London. The purpose of this reflection process was to strengthen the political dimension of the Alliance by providing recommendations on reinforcing Allied unity, solidarity, and cohesion. We are committed to that idea as an investment in the future of the transatlantic partnership.
The group has accomplished a remarkable work; their recommendations are substantial and well-balanced. We thank the group for its outstanding work under difficult circumstances.
Looking at present and future challenges, the report provides a sobering assessment of what our future security environment will be and charts a balanced course for the Alliance. The report and its recommendations will allow us to work on further strengthening the Alliance, including its role as the core transatlantic platform for the coordination of our security and defence policies. European sovereignty has grown over the years. We Europeans are no longer only asking ourselves what America can do for us, but what we should do to enhance our own security and build a more balanced transatlantic partnership. These are two sides of the same coin.
The report also allowed for a fruitful and timely discussion on the need to renew the transatlantic partnership in line with the depth of our bonds, common values and shared interests. Our common goal is to ensure that NATO remains fit for purpose against present and future security challenges. Security in the 21st century also depends on whether we find joint answers to these challenges. For this, cohesion among Allies is key, as identified by the group.
It is in this spirit that we fully support the recommendations to update the Strategic Concept of 2010, to recommit to the values and principles of the Washington Treaty and to reinvigorate our transatlantic bond, including through the recognition that stronger European defence efforts also strengthen the Alliance and the transatlantic partnership.
We look forward to a ministerial meeting prior to the Summit, which will allow us to agree on recommendations to the Heads of State or Government on the basis of this report and of our ongoing discussions at the 1-2 December ministerial meeting.