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The Chairman of European Military Committee, Gen. Claudio Graziano, concluded a two-day visit to Germany, on the invitation by Gen. Eberhard Zorn, Chief of German Armed Forces, today.
In his first visit to Berlin since he assumed his current role at the heart of EU Institutions, Graziano had the opportunity to discuss with political and military authorities topics of common interest, like EU's commitments in military missions and operations and progresses of initiatives in terms of capabilities, along with the developments of current security international scenario.
Meeting with Gen. Zorn, with the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Minister of Defence, Peter Tauber and the Director General for Security and Defence Policy, Detlef Wächter, Gen Graziano praised the high quality contributions that Germany is already providing to Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations, for which the EU is very grateful.
All parties stressed the need for the EU to take greater responsibility in the security and defence field and the importance to keep working together to strengthen the European Defence.
"The EU – highlighted the Chairman - needs to increase its capacities in several areas, to be properly able to act and defend its citizens. A more autonomous EU will be better positioned not only to perform missions and operations with partners, but also to take the initiative alone, if and when necessary".
"We have underlined that the achievements of goals in term of capabilities - said Gen. Graziano - should be the main focus for the next cycle of the EU's initiatives in the field of defence. This would contribute to the fulfilment of the agreed EU Level of Ambition and to create a greater autonomous capacity to conduct the full range of military missions and operations."
During the meetings, the Chairman confirmed that is looking forward to support the initiatives that Berlin will set as a priority for his upcoming EU Presidency, in the second semester of 2020.
A particular highlight of the visit's first day was the award Gen. Graziano was presented with, by General Zorn.
"I am deeply touched by being honoured with the Knight Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany - said the Chairman - and I want to dedicate this award to all the men and women in uniform, who devote their lives at the service of peace and security, every day".
The second day of the visit was operationally focused, with a visit to the Munster Bergen Training Area, where the Chairman and his delegation had the opportunity to visit the Rapid Response Force Division, responsible for the preparation of the next German led EU Battlegroup, starting July next year.
Before returning to Brussels, Gen Graziano received a fully comprehensive overview on German contributions to international operations and mission, provided by the Bundeswehr Joint Forces Operations Command, in Potsdam.