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(Office of the Press Secretary)

For Immediate Release June 20, 2000


I welcome the progress the European Union made at the Feira Summit to develop a common European security and defense policy. It will strengthen Europe's ability - and responsibility - to act in times of crisis. It will improve cooperation between the European Union and NATO. It will advance European unity while maintaining the vitality of the transatlantic alliance. I look forward to early implementation of the agreed steps, including the establishment of NATO-EU working groups and regular meetings with non-EU Allies.

I also welcome the EU's commitment to create a standing roster of police officers who can be deployed to support peacekeeping missions. As we have seen in Bosnia and Kosovo, there is a critical need for international civilian police who can fill the gap between local police and military peacekeepers in countries emerging from conflict. We will continue to work with Europe to ensure such forces can deploy rapidly when they are needed.