EU Defence Policy Directors will address key CSDP issues

01 July 2013, Last updated at, 10:11 EEST
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On 3 and 4 July the EU Defence Policy Directors will engage in a discussion in Vilnius over the most important issues on the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) agenda: preparations for the European Council on defence, development of the EU military capabilities, the EU-led operations and the EU partnerships. 

“This informal EU Defence Policy Directors meeting is one of the most important events in the run-up for the December 2013 European Council where the EU Heads of State and Government will be discussing European defence issues. We will update the EU Policy Directors on the preparations and suggest we identify together what we see as the main outcomes of the Council, both in terms of key messages and concrete deliverables,” said Lithuanian Defence Policy Director Dr. Vaidotas Urbelis, host of the EU Defence Policy Directors meeting. 

According to the Lithuanian Defence Policy Director, the key focus at the meeting will be on the enhancement of the efficiency and visibility of the CSDP. One of the most important points in this area is the development of EU capabilities, such as air-to-air refuelling, UCAVs and other initiatives; and the proposals to help enhance the efficiency of EU Battlegroups and finding solution with regard to their deployment.

During one of the three working sessions of the meeting the EU Defence Policy Directors will discuss the EU-led operations. Both EUTM Mali and EUTM Somalia have made significant progress over the last few months: EUTM Mali finished the training of the first battalion, EUTM Somalia was able to declare initial operational capability. The Defence Policy Directors will also address other currently on-going military operations, ATALANTA and Althea. 

At the meeting the Defence Policy Directors will also discuss the EU partnerships. “Achieving a durable peace and stability in the modern world is impossible without a close cooperation with partner countries and international/regional organisations, both in the neighbourhood and beyond,” Dr. V. Urbelis said.

At Lithuania’s initiative the session will concentrate on boosting EU relations with the Eastern partners and NATO in the field of defence. V. Urbelis stressed that during its term of the Presidency, Lithuania would be working on facilitating the political dialogue and practical cooperation with the EU Eastern partners in security and defence and the involvement of the EU partners into the CSDP through training events and preparations for contributing to the EU-led international operations. In the context of defence cooperation with NATO, Lithuania will seek NATO and the EU to become more complementary to each other through efficient use of available resources.

By tradition, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) will also be represented at the meeting. Ambassador Hüseyin Diriöz, NATO's Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning, and other NATO representatives have been invited to the meeting as well.

Informal meetings at Defence Policy Directors level are held every six months in the country hosting the EU Presidency. 

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