EU leaders and NATO sign a third Joint Declaration deepening cooperation on security and defence

The European Union leadership and NATO have signed a new third Joint Declaration deepening cooperation on security and defence in Europe.

It builds on similar agreements in 2016 and 2018 in the context of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg agreed the EU's embryonic defence capabilities should complement NATO's.

"Our declaration makes clear that NATO remains the foundation of our collective defence and remains essential for Euro-Atlantic security. It also recognizes the value of a more capable European defence that contributes positively to our security and is complementary to and interoperable with NATO," Stoltenberg said.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission agreed:

"The Russian threats and challenges are the most immediate, but they are not the only ones. We also witnessed China increasingly attempting to reshape the international order to its benefit. So we must bolster our own resilience. And with this new joint declaration, we also take our partnership to the next level."

The EU and the military alliance share 21 members who have common values and play complementary and reinforcing roles in support of international peace and security.

The enhancement of cooperation between the two organisations has been given fresh impetus since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.