European Union External Action

EU defence and security agenda progressing fast: Mogherini

24/05/2017 - 18:15
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The European institutions are joining forces to deepen and strengthen the work in the field of security and defence, High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini said today, following a discussion by the European Commission on a reflection paper on the issue due to be adopted on 7 June.

"Today we started here in the [European] Commission a very important, ambitious, pragmatic and realist reflection. The Commission and the College take a strong interest and an active role in supporting the Member States’ ambitions on defence and security, with future options to strengthen this ongoing work on European Union security and defence, including using all the instruments that the European Commission can mobilise. It is a good example of institutions working tougher, putting together all the instruments we have, including the financial ones,” Mogherini said. "Security and defence are top priorities for our citizens and we are working on that with high expectations and political will," she stressed.

EU work on security and defence is progressing quickly. Last week, EU Defence Ministers agreed to establish the first Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) that will take over command of the EU training missions within the EU Military Staff.

They also agreed last week to work on the governance of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO): one of the provisions of the treaties that has never been put in place on security and defence, which allows groups of countries which wish to do so to take forward their cooperation without the participation of all. Ministers also decided to remove the financial obstacles to the deployment of the EU Battlegroups, which are designed to perform military tasks of a humanitarian or peacekeeping nature.

“The paper we have discussed today on the future of the European Union defence does not take into consideration keeping the status quo or even doing less, but envisages different elements of a menu doing more and doing better together in the field of defence, because we see a clear political will, a clear indication from our citizens that this is the way to go and this is exactly what we are already doing in our daily work,” Mogherini said.

All of this work is done in full cooperation with NATO, with which the EU has identified 42 different actions on which the two organisations can cooperate.

“The work we can do through the European Union’s means to support Member States in developing military capabilities will enable Member States to spend better by spending together and this is something that the European Union can support,” she concluded.