On 23 April, the President of the European Council expressed his commitment to the development of European defence. Speaking after a meeting with Secretary-General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, he expressed a desire for the EU to become “a more capable, coherent and strategic global actor.”
As part of this process, he singled out the “excellent work” of the European Defence Agency, hailing in particular their efforts on air-to-air refueling, medical support, training and maritime surveillance. He echoed the argument that Pooling & Sharing is a necessity, to redress clear capability shortfalls and to adjust to financial austerity and a fast-moving strategic context. In this vein, he also expressed his desire for close cooperation with NATO to ensure a partnership for “the benefit of international peace and security.”
The full text of President van Rompuy’s address is available here.