European Union External Action

“Virtual” session of the EUMC at CHODs Level to discuss the Military implication of Covid 19 pandemic

14/05/2020 - 19:09
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The Chairman of the European Union Military Committee, General Graziano, chaired yesterday a “virtual” session of the EUMC, at CHODs Level to discuss the Military implication of Covid 19 pandemic.

A part from the Military Representatives physically present in Council premises and the CHODs connected remotely by VTC from their Capitals, HR/VP, Mr Josef Borrell Fontelles, and NATO Chairman of the Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, also participated in the meeting.

"While all societies are struggling to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on every aspect of daily life, Member States' Armed Forces have been extensively engaged, supporting their respective national authorities in managing the pandemic, often with critical assets. This important effort has required both flexibility and creative problem solving." The Chairman Stressed during the VTC.

Speaking about EU Missions and Operations, CHODs acknowledged that, in military CSDP activities, the Commanders, at all levels, have effectively been able to adapt their activities, ensuring two priorities: keeping the personnel safe and secure, while fulfilling their mandates to the maximum allowed extent, thus enabling the EU to sustain our security presence abroad to the greatest possible level, in such circumstances.

"In the current scenario, the presence of EU military operations and missions is required more than ever, to limit the risk of a worsening of the security situation. One point should be clear: we must continue to be active, visible and operational." General Graziano highlighted

CHODs debated that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have strategic consequences for the security and defence domain.

The possible future scenario, in the aftermath of the crisis, presents possibly even more risks and challenges, compared to today, for what concerns security and defence, with new threats adding to or magnifying the old ones.

It will be imperative to thoroughly analyse the implications that the crisis has had and will have on the security situation, in order to properly address the anticipated challenges, both from and operational and a capabilities point of view.

The cooperation and coherence will be more important than ever, particularly with NATO, as stressed also by ACM Peach, where more efforts should be invested in enhancing opportunities for reciprocal assistance and teamwork.

The last point of discussion was about the need to focus on a responsive and clear communication strategy, able to counter disinformation with a transparent, timely and fact-based communication, on what we are doing and how we are reinforcing the resilience of our military activities.

The HR/VP, who addressed the Military Committee for the first time, highlighted that the pandemic will be a new threat and will deteriorate our security environment and this will only increase the need for a stronger European Union security and defence, and for a stronger Union in the world.