NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with European Union defence ministers to discuss boosting cooperation between the military alliance and the 28-nation bloc to struggle with looming threats to the region.
"I'm looking forward to discussing with them how we are responding to a more demanding and challenging security environment," Stoltenberg said during the meeting in Amsterdam.
The EU and NATO are working to strengthen their responses to threats such as Russia’s intensified military activity in the East and the DAESH terrorist group’s threats amid violent conflicts in the Middle East and Libya.
Foreign ministers also attended the meeting with defence ministers on Friday afternoon to discuss a united front in the defence and foreign strategy.
"The European Union has a choice between exporting stability and importing instability and therefore it has to strengthen its policies," said Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.
Stoltenberg also welcomed the Obama administration's announcement this week that it would propose quadrupling spending on its troops and training in Europe as part of the US military's accelerating effort to deter Russia after Moscow's annexation of Crimea and incursion into eastern Ukraine.
Stoltenberg described the US move as "an important sign and part of the adaptation of the alliance to a more demanding security environment."
The NATO chief said that the alliance was closely monitoring developments in Libya amid reports that DAESH increased its presence there.
Libya has been split between two rival governments since 2014, a consequence of the chaos that engulfed the country after a 2011 uprising that ousted and killed longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
"This just underlines the importance of fully supporting efforts to find a political solution, to reach a ceasefire and to have an agreement on a unity government in Libya,"said Stoltenberg.
"Because that will be an important first step, also to be able to fight ISIL[DAESH]," he added.