"The European Union must significantly change, adapt and demonstrate its strong features … The field of defense and security is determined by the EU-NATO-US relations. It [the European Union] must get an independent defense function or become a regional partner of [the United States and NATO]. Without the defense sphere, the European Union remains an economic colossus with feet of clay," Kotzias said at the meeting with senior officials from a number of EU and Balkan states.
The Greek minister pointed out that the European Union should strengthen its institutions, find a balance between the EU bodies and national states, as well as solve social problems.
"The European Union must develop as a mechanism, a system of institutions, a tool of modernization for all of us and itself, become a guiding light for implementation, promotion and dissemination of the rule of law, be a guardian of this principle in the international community," Kotzias said.
The Greek minister added that the issue of the EU-Russian relations remained on the bloc’s agenda.
The statement by the Greek senior official comes a week after EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the EU would prepare a detailed report on the recently proposed new instrument in the field of foreign policy and defense — the European Peace Facility.
In March, the Council of the European Union adopted a plan of action to implement a joint EU program called Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which foresees the possibility of a number of EU member states working more closely together in the area of security and defense in a binding and permanent framework. The program consists of 17 projects involving 25 countries.