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José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Remarks by European Commission President Barroso at the NATO Summit in Lisbon

NATO Summit

Lisbon, 20 November 2010

I would like to congratulate particularly SG Anders Rasmussen and our host José Socrates, for this historic Lisbon Summit.

I thank President Karzai for his clear statement. Thanks also to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for the good cooperation we have also on the ground between the EU and UN.

ISAF is a visible demonstration of the partnership approach between EU, NATO and countries represented around this table.

In the last two years of global, regional and national economic challenges, we have learned how a cost efficient and results oriented approach has become ever more important.

The EU will endeavour to maximize our impact with a coherent and coordinated set of policy responses on economic, development, reconstruction, humanitarian, trade and other areas of the EU's competence.

We have a historic opportunity to take our partnership to a new level.

We need a complementary, synergetic, mutually beneficial partnership for security and development. This is for a simple reason: security and development are two faces of the same coin. We can and should work together in an ever changing and unpredictable world.

A more comprehensive approach addressing root causes and preventing emerging crises is the right way forward and that is exactly an area where the EU can give a specific and important contribution.

Turning to the work and focus of ISAF, this is a visible demonstration of the "comprehensive approach" I just mentioned.

I believe that our EU track record so far is good.

Afghanistan is a striking example of increasing mixed international missions. There, our coordinating mechanisms for humanitarian, civilian - including electoral monitoring and assistance -, in particular civilian training which is key, and military coordination mechanisms are meeting our common objectives.

But let me absolutely frank: we have another uphill struggle. That of keeping public opinion on our side, also when rendering capacity building assistance.

In a context of severe budget and financial constraints we have to show Europeans that Afghanistan is serious about tackling critical issues, from human rights to good governance, from judicial and electoral reform and fighting drug trafficking and corruption.

At this critical moment where unprecedented efforts are being made towards reconciliation and transition to full Afghan ownership, support from the International Community is more crucial than ever. But this is also a critical time to strengthen the Afghan Government’s legitimacy.

For the next 3 years, the EU will increase its assistance to some €200m per year to support reconstruction and stabilization.

The EUPOL mandate has been extended by 3 years and the EU's efforts should be seen in this synergetic way.

The EU’s High Representative Cathy Ashton has been working with General Petraeus on proposals to refine our mission and I would like to pay tribute to her work on this.

All this taken together means that the contribution by the EU as a whole will be nearly €1bn per year in the next three years.

The EU has been working for a long time on a regional approach because we believed that in Pakistan the issues at stake are equally important.

To conclude, the European Union will continue to play an active role in Afghanistan and in the region.

We will work closely with you as we face the daunting challenges ahead whilst recognizing that this is a long term-commitment on our side.

Thank you.

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