The purpose of the Conference was to provide guidance on further enhancing ongoing informal staff-to-staff cooperation between IMS and EUMS.
During his opening remarks, General Broeks stated that “since the signing of the Joint Declaration in Warsaw, contacts among NATO and EU staffs have increased at all levels and have now become the new normal”, with staffs regularly cooperating on key areas such as Hybrid or Cyber Defence.
The importance of EU-NATO cooperation was echoed by General Pulkkinen, who underlined that "the two military Staffs have relationship at all levels, any time, and on many many issues;" adding that "we have to keep doing it this way, supporting the overall effort."
Among the various topics discussed, particular attention was dedicated to the ongoing maritime cooperation in the Mediterranean between NATO Operation SEA GUARDIAN and EU operation SOPHIA, the possibility of further NATO-EU cooperation in Western Balkans and the impact on the military Staffs of the Joint Declaration, signed in Warsaw in July 2016.
The DGs' Conference was also the occasion to run the 2017 edition of the Scenario Based Informal Discussion, which served the two Staffs to deepen the various and challenging questions that need to be answered while developing a coordinated response to a security crisis.
The DGs’ Conference is held twice a year with the participation of the Directors of all EUMS Directorates and IMS Divisions and has been ongoing since 2003. The last meeting was held on 29 November 2016 at the EUMS Headquarters.