|Author (Corporate)||European Union: European External Action Service|
|Series Title||Press Release|
The EU's High Representative Federica Mogherini chaired on the 27 September 2016 an informal meeting of EU Defence ministers in Bratislava, together with Peter Gajdoš, Minister of Defence of Slovakia.
They discussed proposals to strengthen EU common security and defence. 'All 28 agreed today to move forward' stressed Mogherini after the meeting.
EU ministers reached a general agreement to proceed in parallel on three main aspects in the next months. First on the implementation of the Global Strategy in the field of defence and security by using instruments already foreseen in the EU treaties.
Secondly the High Representative and the Ministers discussed with European Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska the coordination with the European Commission on the European Defence Action Plan, especially in the field of industrial support related to Research and Technology.
Thirdly they discussed the strategic partnership with NATO through the implementation of the EU-NATO Joint Declaration signed in Warsaw in July 2016. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also joined part of the meeting with EU ministers to discuss the implementation of the EU-NATO Joint Declaration and EU missions and operations in the Mediterranean (Operation Sophia and EUBAM Libya).
During the meeting United Kingdom Defence Minister Michael Fallon reassured European partners that the UK would continue to play a proactive role in tackling security threats after leaving the EU.
Mr Fallon urged greater co-operation between the EU and NATO, building on the Warsaw summit which gave impetus to the NATO-EU partnership. He signed a Joint Declaration aimed at turning commitments into practical outcomes in areas such as maritime cooperation, cyber collaboration and stepping up efforts to counter hybrid attacks.
While separate Franco-German and Italian ideas for greater defence collaboration, regarded with concern by the UK, were informally discussed in the fringes of the meeting High Representative Mogherini stressed that all twenty eight countries had agreed to focus on 'concrete, operational, pragmatic steps that we can take within the existing treaties'.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who attended part of the meeting, said he welcomed debate on strengthening European military cooperation. 'There is no contradiction between a strong European defence and a strong NATO', he said.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry, Security and Defence|
|Countries / Regions||Europe|