General Denis Mercier joined the meeting of the European Union Military Committee and NATO’s Defence Ministers Meetings, to help pave the way towards the next NATO Summit and to ensure that NATO continues to adapt for 21st Century challenges.
General Mercier, together with General Pavel, Chairman of NATO Military Committee, and General Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander Europe was invited by the European Union Military Committee to stress the importance of cooperation between NATO and the European Union; reaffirming that strong NATO is good for Europe, and a stronger Europe is good for the Euro-Atlantic area. General Mercier stated, “as NATO is adapting its command structure to remain fit for purpose, strengthening the NATO-EU partnership is an important driver in our common ambition to cope with a complex environment shared by all.”
Meeting for the second time this year, NATO Ministers of Defence provided military advice on ongoing work strands and provided recommendations on the way forward for the adaptation of the NATO Command Structure. During their discussions, General Mercier stressed Allied Command Transformation’s role in NATO: “If today’s adaptation is justified by the changes of our strategic assumptions, the complexity of the environment leads us to affirm that these assumptions will keep being challenged.”
In the margins of this ministerial meetings, during engagements with journalists covering the event, NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged the work done by NATO’s two strategic Commanders in order to conduct an NATO Command Structure review and to make tangible proposals to improve the movement of troops across the Atlantic, and within Europe. He opened his conference by saying, “we have the proposal from our strategic commanders, that’s based on a tasking from the Summit in Warsaw in 2016, last year. And then I hope that defence ministers will be able to make final decisions at their meeting in February, but we’ll agree on the outline design today.”