The General Secretary of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, announced yesterday (Thursday) that he was launching a maritime security operation for the Alliance in the Mediterranean, to be known as “Sea Guardian”. This came at the beginning of the second day of the NATO Defence Ministers Council, which is being held in Brussels.
Present at the council was the head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini.
The NATO-Europe cooperation will be at the heart of discussions with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Sea Guardian will also cooperate with the EU naval force, through Operation Sophia (the military means for tackling the refugee crisis) indicated Mr Stoltenberg.
The cooperation between both operations will be of a logistical nature and will also revolve around the sharing of support means.
This Atlantic Alliance operation, which was agreed in July at the Warsaw summit, takes over from the long-term mission “Active Endeavour” in the Mediterranean, operated since 2001.
Sea Guardian in particular aims to ensure knowledge of the Mediterranean situation and to fight against trafficking and terrorism.
Its aim is also to maintain the freedom of the navigation, contributing to reinforcing regional capacity, NATO says.
Mr Stoltenberg and Ms Mogherini are, in particular, working on reinforcing cooperation and the NATO-EU partnership, in particular as regards cyberdefence, hybrid threats and military exercise threats.
Mr Stoltenberg concluded, “We are united here, because a stronger Europe means a stronger NATO.”