Panel seeks closer ties for EU and NATO

Jan. 29, 2010 at 1:22 PM

BRUSSELS, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says more collaboration is needed between the European Union and NATO.

Albright told a meeting of the European Parliament the group of experts updating NATO's strategic concept sees the need for improving relations, the EU Observer reports.

"We need to maximize collaboration with the EU and make more use of political consultation," Albright said in an address to the panel in Brussels.

The former head of the U.S. State Department has been appointed to lead an expert panel tasked with advising NATO's secretary-general on updating the strategic concept for the military alliance.

"With 20 plus members, NATO can be slow and caught flat-footed by change," Albright said Wednesday, adding that "internal complacency" represents a major threat to the alliance.

She says NATO's founding principle, the military defense of its members in case of an armed attack, will remain at the center of the organization.

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