An Informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers will take place in Dublin 12-13 February, chaired by Minister for Justice Equality and Defence Alan Shatter TD. The Secretary General of NATO and a senior UN peacekeeping official will attend. Discussions are expected to focus on recent European Council conclusions, Mali, the Horn of Africa and partnership with the UN.
The Informal Defence meeting is one of a number of Informal Ministerial meetings taking place during Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Defence Ministers from across Europe will attend the meeting as will the Secretary General of NATO and the Under Secretary General of the Department of Peacekeeping, United Nations. Participants will also include representatives from a number of the European Union Agencies and Organisations.
Speaking today Minister Shatter said:
“The topics discussed during our meeting will centre on how Ireland and the Union as a whole can contribute to the enhancement of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, a critical component of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, which is central to the achievement of Ireland’s foreign policy objectives”.
Ministers will discuss a paper prepared by the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) on the Common Security Defence Policy in particular on strengthening defence capabilities. Their discussions will also cover the following topics:
Ministers will be briefed by the Mission Commander of EU Training Mission Mali and will be invited to discuss the developing situation in Mali and the region, the deployment of the mission and the EU support to African-led International Support Mission in Mali.
Horn of Africa
Against the background of an evolving situation in Somali and the wider region, Ministers will be briefed by the Commanders of Operation Atalanta and EU Training Mission Somalia, and have an exchange of views.
In the context of the wider EU-UN partnership, Ministers will be invited to discuss how to improve and increase practical support for UN peacekeeping operations
The Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Defence formation deals with the European Union’s policies on Defence and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
The Council currently meets once informally (in the Presidency country) and once formally (in Brussels) during each Presidency. The meeting being held in Dublin Castle will be chaired by Mr. Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence. Member States are represented by their Ministers for Defence.
The key priorities of the Irish Presidency in the Defence arena are:
- Preparations for the EU Council on Defence in December, 2013
- Continued Development of Common Security and Defence Policy
- Pooling and Sharing of Defence Capabilities
- Supporting Current and Future CSDP Operations
- Enhancing EU/UN Relations
- Maritime Security and Surveillance
- Enhanced Co-Operation between the EDA and the European Commission
- Support for Jobs, Growth & Innovation through Restructuring of the European Defence Industry
The agenda for the Informal meeting of Defence Ministers is available on the Informal event page.