Today, the Foreign Affairs Council (Defence), chaired by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, starts with an exchange of views on security and defence. Defence ministers coming from the 27 Member states are expected to have a broad debate covering three main important issues:
Firstly, they will discuss the many aspects of current and future EU cooperation in this field. Ministers could in particular underline the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the European Defence Fund, CSDP (Common security and defence policy) partnerships and ongoing work on military mobility. Ministers are expected to adopt a decision formally establishing the list of projects to be developed under PESCO (Permanent structured cooperation). They are also expected to adopt a recommendation on its implementation.
Secondly, Defence ministers will discuss cooperation with NATO together with the NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller. In the current strategic environment, cooperation between the European Union and NATO is important considering that they are facing common challenges emanating from the South and the East. The security of EU and NATO are inter-connected: not only are 22 EU Member States also NATO Allies; together, they can also mobilise a broad range of tools and make the most efficient use of resources to address those challenges and enhance the security of their citizens.
Lastly, EU defence ministers will review the EU CSDP missions and operations, in particular the military training missions deployed in the Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia. It will be an opportunity to discuss the functioning of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), which has responsibility for the EU military training missions since its creation one year ago. Indeed, the MPCC improves the crisis management structures of the EU. It will work under the political control and strategic guidance of the Political and Security Committee (PSC), based in Brussels, which is composed of EU member states’ ambassadors.
Maria Elena Argano
For further information:
European Council Website: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/fac/2018/03/06/
European Council Website: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/05/indicative-programme-foreign-affairs-defence-council-of-6-march-2018/?utm_source=dsms-auto&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Indicative+programme+-+Foreign+Affairs+(Defence)+Council+of+6+March+2018
European Council Website: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/33051/6-fac-defence-provisional-agenda.pdf