Funding of EU military operations to be discussed in Vilnius

26 September 2013, Last updated at, 13:15 EEST
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Participants of the EU Special Committee meeting | author: Ieva Budzeikaitė ( Lithuanian MoND)

Special Committee for administering common costs of the European Union Military Operations (ATHENA) will meet on 26–27 September in Vilnius, Lithuania, to discuss pertinent issues related to common funding of EU military engagements. Vice Minister of National Defence of Lithuanian Marijus Velička will welcome the participants and make an opening statement.

The European Union is currently conducting the following four military operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ALTHEA), Somalia (EUTM Somalia), and Mali (EUTM Mali) and off Somalia coasts in the Indian Ocean (EUNAVFOR ATALANTA).  The costs of these operations in agreed fields (for instance, costs for operational headquarters, medical services, etc.) are funded by all the countries that participate in the EU Common Security and Defence Policy.

The 2013 budget approved by ATHENA Special Committee consists of over 57 million Euros which is used to fund military operations in part as well as costs of administration, exercises, etc. 

ATHENA Special Committee meets once per month and once per six months it holds informal Committee sessions in a member state running the Presidency. Informal sessions usually focus on problems which might have emerged in the run of a year, solve issues generated by new operations or hold discussions on new documents initiated by member states.

“ATHENA with the Special Committee as the main decision-making body is not a working group of EU Council. It acts on its own procedures and makes decisions on common costs of EU military operations independently,“ Robertas Šapronas, Defence Advisor at the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU and Chairman of the Special Committee says. 

Lithuania participates in two military operations led by the EU.  Three Lithuanian servicemen serve in EUTM Mali from spring 2013. Since 2011 Lithuania has been contributing to the EUNAVFOR ATALANTA with a navy officer to operational headquarters in the UK and an autonomous vessel protection team (16 strong) and two logistic military personnel from summer 2013.

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