Monday

27th May 2019

Members to battle over defence strategy

EU policy makers will meet in Rome today to discuss the way forward for a European defence policy.

EU political and military directors from Foreign and Defence Ministries of the 15 member states and 10 accession countries are invited by the Italian Presidency today (29 August) to discuss the European security and defence policy (ESDP).

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Various ESDP issues are on the agenda for discussion, like the creation of a European armaments Agency, designed to let Europe have more military bang for its buck.

Also up for discussion is a controversial Belgian initiative which was outlined during a "mini-summit" held in Brussels in April between France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.

The participants at the "mini-summit" proposed the creation of a "core of collective planning and operational capabilities" for the EU without using NATO assets and capabilities.

The British will table what is basically a counter-proposal called "Food for Thought" and puts NATO at the heart of European security.

According to The Times, "Food for Thought" puts forward the idea of a "planning unit" for the EU's ESDP operations to be created as part of NATO headquarters (SHAPE).

The hope is that the unit’s placement would help to avoid undermining the Transatlantic alliance.

According to the Times furthermore, the United Kingdom has already forwarded its project to both current and future EU Member States.

The conclusions of the meeting will be presented on 5 September by the Italian Presidency to the EU foreign ministers at their informal meeting taking place at Riva del Garda (Italy).

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