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13 mars 2014 4 13 /03 /mars /2014 12:50
The forthcoming EU Maritime Security Strategy - SEDE

13-03-2014 SEDE

 

The Subcommittee will exchange views on the forthcoming EU Maritime Security Strategy with Didier Lenoir, acting Director of the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate, EEAS, and Beate Gminder, Head of Unit, Maritime Policy Mediterranean and Black Sea, DG MARE, European Commission.

 

When : 19 March 2014


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7 mars 2014 5 07 /03 /mars /2014 16:50
European Commission Memo on the EU's Maritime Security Strategy

 

6/3/2014 EU source: European Commission Ref: EC14-061EN

 

Summary: 6 March 2014, Brussels - European Commission Memo on the EU's Maritime Security Strategy

 

Q: Why is the Commission and the High Representative proposing only elements for a strategy?

A: One of the objectives of this process is to ensure that the Member States are fully involved in the development of this strategy. A European Union maritime security strategy cannot be developed without the involvement of Member States since many operational activities are carried out by national authorities. The Commission and the High Representative are therefore looking forward to working closely with Member States in order to deliver a full-fledged strategy. We are confident that the strategy once adopted will represent the views and interests of all stakeholders.

 

Q: How have Member States been involved so far?

A: The Member States already have provided substantial input through events organised at EU level and through various written contributions. Additionally, the Commission and the European External Action Service organised a stakeholder consultation in June 2013, where Member States expressed their support to the general approach. The intention is that the Joint Communication will serve as a basis for further work on shaping the strategy together with the Member States in the EU Council under the leadership of the Hellenic Presidency.

 

Q: What would be the purpose of such a strategy?

A: The purpose of an EU Maritime Security Strategy would be to provide a common framework for relevant authorities at national and European levels to develop further their specific policies. The aim of such a strategy would be to protect EU's strategic maritime interests and identify options to do so. Such a framework would provide the context and ensure coherence amongst different sector specific maritime policies and strategies. Most importantly it would significantly strengthen the link between internal and external security aspects of the maritime policy of the EU and civil and military cooperation.

 

Q: What are the main aims?

A: The main aims of an EU Maritime Security Strategy should be: (1) to identify and articulate the main strategic maritime interests of the EU; (2) to identify and articulate the maritime threats, challenges and risks to the strategic maritime interests of the EU; and (3) to organise the response, i.e. provide the common policy objectives, common principles and areas of common support as the backbone of the joint strategic framework in order to create coherence for the diverse and wide array of sector specific maritime policies and strategies.

 

Q: Does the EU only have maritime interests or does it also have a maritime responsibility?

A: It is crucial to identify the strategic maritime interests of the European Union. The global maritime domain is of vital importance to the EU and it is multi-layered. It is a crucial domain for free commerce and trade. In addition, seas and oceans are interrelated eco-systems; it is a source of resources; open seas and coastal areas are zones for tourism etc. The EU is a global actor therefore it does not only have interests, it also has to take adequate responsibility. This global responsibility has to be transformed into concrete and specific actions and to promote the respect for international law, human rights and democracy, and rules-based good governance at sea.

 

Q: What does the term "cross-sectoral" mean?

A: The term 'cross-sectoral' refers to actions or cooperation between different marine or maritime functions. They are still largely organised in isolation of each other and often along national lines. Modern maritime risks and threats are multifaceted and can have implications for all of these sectors involving different policies and instruments. The responses therefore should be adequately integrated and cross-sectoral in their nature. It means finding a common maritime security interest among different functions and aspects concerned.

 

Q: What are the sectors addressed?

A: Some of the most evident sectors are maritime safety, maritime transport, marine environment protection, fisheries control, customs, border control, law enforcement, defence, research and development and others. A 'joined up' approach to maritime policy, making these sectors work better together, can make the security policy more coherent, effective and cost efficient.

 

Q: What is the added value of this strategy - what will change compared to the current situation?

A: The added value of a shared strategic framework is that it provides the necessary basis to ensure coherent actions and policy development. It also facilitates the coordination of all efforts and ensures that different policies are 'joined up'. The ambition is that the EU can become more resilient in addressing threats and risks in the maritime domain and as such it would be more capable at safeguarding its values, strategic maritime interests and promoting multilateral cooperation and maritime governance. In essence, the result of the strategy would be that maritime security activities would be much more coordinated than today.

Different policy frameworks have resulted in the European Security Strategy (ESS - 2003) and the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP - 2007), which have been developing separately. Also sector specific legislation is already in place like the maritime transport security legislation - Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 on enhancing ship and port facility security and Directive 2005/65/EC on enhancing port security, the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) improving the situational awareness and reaction capability of Member States and of the EU Border Agency Frontex at the external borders - Regulation (EU) No 1052/2013), SafeSeaNet, a Union maritime traffic monitoring and information system for EU waters, managed by EU Maritime Transport agency EMSA, or the 3rd Maritime Safety Package.

 

Q: How will the actions, identified in this strategy, be put in practice?

This depends to a large extent on the opinion of the Member States since many of them would fall under their competence, but already existing examples with joint deployment plans and enhanced information exchange systems can eventually lead to the use of common platforms for surveillance operations. This aspect will however need to be discussed in detail with Member States.

 

Q: Will such a strategy promote deployment of more naval missions similar to EUNAVFOR Operation ATALANTA?

A: The use of all possible tools and instruments should be considered when addressing a maritime insecurity situation. Each case requires a full evaluation of the situation in order to identify the best action. In the case of the piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia, which gravely endanger shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden, the deployment of international naval forces was deemed necessary as local capacities to ensure maritime security were not available.

 

Q: Why is such an initiative taken now?

A: Already on 26 April 2010 the Council invited the High Representative, together with the Commission and Member States 'to undertake work with a view to preparing options for the possible elaboration of a Security Strategy for the global maritime domain'. More recently in December, 2013, the European Council called for "an EU Maritime Security Strategy by June 2014, on the basis of a Joint Communication from the Commission and the High Representative, taking into account the opinions of the Member States". This is the direct response to these requests.

 

Q: What are the next steps?

A: Based on the elements proposed be the Joint Communication from the Commission and the High Representative, an EU Maritime Security Strategy should be elaborated within the appropriate EU Council bodies and be adopted not later than in June 2014.

European Commission Memo on the EU's Maritime Security Strategy

Note RP Defense : on EDA website : Further step taken in the MARSUR network development

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4 mars 2014 2 04 /03 /mars /2014 12:18
Remarks by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton following the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council on Ukraine

 

Brussels, 03 March 2014 Ref 140303/02

 

" As you know, I called today the meeting of EU foreign ministers because of the extremely worrying developments in Ukraine, the second such meeting in less than two weeks. We discussed the situation over several hours.

As you will see in the conclusions we have agreed, we condemned the clear violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity by an act of aggression of the Russian armed forces and the authorisation of the use of the Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine.

Without question this is in breach of Russia's international obligations and its commitments.

We are firmly convinced that there needs to be a peaceful solution to this current crisis, in full respect of international law.

We call on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops to the areas where they are permanently stationed on the basis of the agreement for the Black Sea Fleet stationed in Ukraine.

We also call on Russia to agree to the request of Ukraine to hold consultations and to take part in urgent consultations amongst all signatories and adherents of the Budapest Memorandum of 1994.

We will continue to promote any constructive dialogue aimed at reaching a peaceful solution and continue our ongoing engagement in in ternational facilitation efforts, working with the UN, the OSCE, and other international organisations.

We also welcome the possible OSCE fact-finding mission.

In the absence of de-escalating steps by Russia, the EU will decide what the consequences will be for bilateral relations between the EU and Russia. We talked about the potential of suspending the bilateral talks on visa matters and the New Agreement and we will consider targeted measures.

Today, we also commended the measured response shown so far by Ukraine. We stand by the efforts of the new government to try and stabilise the situation.

We recognised the importance of inclusiveness at all levels of government, including reaching out to regions and ensuring an adequate level of protection of national minorities.

We also support the efforts of the government to pursue reforms.

As you know, we are working with the international community and international financial institutions, especially the IMF, on an international assistance package to address the urgent economic needs of Ukraine, based on that commitment to reform.

To that end, today in Kyiv we have sent a fact-finding mission from the European Commission to start that work.

And finally we once again confirmed our offer of the Association Agreement as well as our commitment to enhancing people to people contacts."

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3 mars 2014 1 03 /03 /mars /2014 07:40
Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the developments in Ukraine's Crimea

 

Brussels, 01 March 2014 European External Action Service Ref 140301 / 01

 

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission , issued the following statement today:

 

" I deplore today's decision by Russia on the use of armed forces in Ukraine. This is an unwarranted escalation of tensions. I therefore call upon the Russian Federation not to dispatch such troops, but to promote its views through peaceful means.

 

Any possible movements, action and stationing of forces must be in accordance with international law and commitments, notably under the UN Charter and the OSCE Final Act, the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 as well as bilateral treaties such as the one regulating the stationing of the Black Sea Fleet.

 

I call on all sides to decrease the tensions immediately through dialogue, in full respect of Ukrainian and international law. The unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected at all times and by all sides. Any violation of these principles is unacceptable. More than ever, restraint and sense of responsibility are needed.

 

I commend the measured response by the transitional government of Ukraine to these extremely worrying developments in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea over the last few days.

 

An extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council will be held on Monday to discuss the EU's response to these developments. I will also meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov thereafter. I will travel to Kyiv on Wednesday to address these issues with all stakeholders. "

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29 janvier 2014 3 29 /01 /janvier /2014 08:40
Joint EU-Russia statement on combatting terrorism

 

28/1/2014 EU source: Council Ref: CL14-011EN

 

Summary: 28 January 2014, Brussels - Joint EU-Russia statement on combatting terrorism

 

1. Guided by our common goals and noting with satisfaction the new format of the regular meetings within the political dialogue on counter-terrorism under the auspices of the MFA of Russia and the European External Action Service, that allows, in particular, an exchange of views in this field, we agreed to further develop strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the European Union, especially in combating and preventing terrorism, and to this end, in particular:

 

- consider possibilities for further strengthening cooperation in response to crimes committed by terrorists and organised crime, including exploring prospects of signing cooperation agreements in the future, to ensure, inter alia, an information exchange between Russia and the EU in the sphere of combating terrorism in conformity with their respective internal legislation including data protection standards;

 

- expand cooperation in exchanging best practices in counter-terrorism and training experts in counter-terrorism through joint seminars, training courses and other activities, the list of which will be adopted at consultations on combating terrorism within the Russia-EU political dialogue;

 

- intensify our cooperation in the UN framework as well as other multilateral fora such as the G8, in particular G8 Rome/Lyon Group, and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF), OSCE, and the Council of Europe, as well as other international organizations actively involved in combating terrorism.

 

2. The Russian Federation and the European Union condemn as criminal any acts of terrorism as defined by article 2 of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (1999). Under no circumstances can such acts be justified, be it based on political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other consideration. We declare that we are united in countering terrorism based on the rule of law and respect for human rights and believe that an effective response to this global threat will be achieved through coordinated actions of the international community under the auspices of the UN, based on the UN Charter, the UN Security Council resolutions, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant principles and norms of international law, in particular international human rights law, refugee law and international humanitarian law.

 

3. We commit to ensuring that measures taken against terrorism, including by international bodies, fully respect human rights and rule of law principles, and that human rights laws are applied and implemented in counter-terrorism programmes and policies of national governments. We affirm that effective counterterrorism measures and the protection and promotion of human rights are not conflicting but complementary and mutually reinforcing goals.

 

4. We state that, in spite of the success in addressing this challenge in recent years, terrorism remains one of the most serious and constantly evolving threats to global peace and security. In the context of the increasing speed of globalisation and the growing use of advanced technologies, terrorism develops rapidly, extends to new regions of the world, and the range of activities by its supporters expands.

 

5. We act on the premise that the fight against terrorism is a long-term process, requiring from the international community a complex approach and united efforts for countering terrorists striving to impose their will on states, both at national, regional and global levels.

 

We consider it important that the legal protection for individuals is ensured as international regulation on counter-terrorism intensifies.

 

6. We note with concern the growing ties between global terrorism and cross-border organised crime. We call for joint efforts towards concrete and full implementation of the United Nations Convention against Organized Crime (UNTOC), signed in 2000, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), signed in 2003, as key multilateral tools to fight transnational organized crime.

 

We are concerned by negative effects of the integration between drug syndicates and terrorist networks which creates a new challenge - the increased link between organised crime, drug trafficking and counter-terrorism. We call for joint efforts, with the coordinating role of the UN, above all, against global centres of heroin and cocaine production, as well as synthetic drugs, from which a part of revenues is used for financing terrorist activities.

 

7. We intend to strengthen our cooperation countering terrorist financing activities, as well as legal cooperation, in particular in extradition and legal assistance on criminal cases, including identification, arrest, confiscation and return of property acquired through terrorist activities. To this end, we will promote cooperation between the competent agencies of the Russian Federation and EU including Eurojust and Europol.

 

We will further strengthen cooperation and interaction through Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as well as in the format of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) in order to ensure greater efficiency of joint efforts in blocking channels for financing terrorism and countering money laundering. EU and Russia will encourage a stronger commitment at international level towards fully tracking financial flows originating from illicit trafficking, including off-shore jurisdictions.

 

8. The European Union and the Russian Federation agree on further exchanges and developing cooperation concerning the prevention of terrorism, in particular on the radicalization and recruitment of terrorists, foreign fighters as well as on the protection of critical infrastructure in the energy field. In this context we also consider it important to focus on the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. We express concern with the increasing threat of misuse of the internet by terrorists for spreading terrorist ideology and propaganda, and for recruiting and training new members and supporters among citizens of Russia and EU Member States. We welcome cooperation and initiatives to counter these threats.

 

9. We note the importance of developing public-private partnership in combating and preventing terrorism, and contacts with all the components of the civil society, including media, religious groups, business community, cultural and educational institutions in order to prevent the spread of ideology of terrorism and violence.

 

10. We stand together to assist and support victims of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, according to our national laws and principles of international law. We underscore that victims of terrorism can contribute to the prevention of terrorism, including by serving as credible messengers against the ideology of violence espoused by terrorist groups.

 

11. We declare our commitment to:

 

- continue, individually and jointly, our international efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and to ensure and strengthen the widest possible global counterterrorism coalition,

 

- bring to trial criminals, organisers and sponsors of terrorist attacks on the basis of the principle 'aut dedere aut judicare' (extradite or prosecute) and ensure that persons responsible for hiding, financing, and supporting them are punished in accordance with obligations under international law,

 

- strengthen international cooperation in order to prevent, detect and suppress terrorist attacks, identify, search for, and extradite persons involved in terrorist activities, block channels for financing terrorism, including through full implementation of relevant international counter-terrorism conventions and UN Security Council resolutions, in particular UNSC Resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

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27 janvier 2014 1 27 /01 /janvier /2014 13:45
Update on the Central African Republic - Subcommittee on Security and Defence

27-01-2014 SEDE

 

On 23 January the SEDE subcommittee jointly with the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Development exchanged views on the current status of operations in the Central African Republic (CAR) with representatives of France and the EEAS. An exchange was also held on developments in South Sudan.

 

 


Further information
presentation
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20 janvier 2014 1 20 /01 /janvier /2014 20:50
La politique étrangère et de sécurité européenne : politique commune ou agrégat de diplomaties nationales ?

20.01.2014 Maxime Lefebvre - robert-schuman.eu

 

Malgré le lancement d'une politique étrangère puis de défense commune, l'Union européenne n'a pas véritablement dépassé le stade westphalien de l'organisation des relations internationales. Elle est le plus souvent divisée sur les grands sujets et sur les crises majeures. Elle ne veut pas faire la guerre. La solution à ces blocages ne peut être que pragmatique : agir davantage ensemble, formuler les intérêts européens, et développer les outils communs. L'année 2014, avec les changements qui s'annoncent à la tête des institutions, peut être l'occasion d'un renouveau.


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18 janvier 2014 6 18 /01 /janvier /2014 17:45
L'UE vient en renfort de la France en Centrafrique

 

17/01/2014 Alain Franco correspondant à Bruxelles - Le Point.fr

 

Les ministres des Affaires étrangères de l'UE devraient donner leur feu vert lundi à l'envoi de soldats européens pour appuyer la France en Centrafrique.

 

La France n'est plus seule en Centrafrique. Lundi, les ministres des Affaires étrangères de l'UE vont donner leur feu vert à un soutien européen à l'armée française. C'est ce que réclamait François Hollande, qui en avait fait une priorité lors du sommet européen de décembre dernier consacré à la défense.

La mission des soldats qui viendront soutenir l'armée française sera de sécuriser la zone de l'aéroport de Bangui, en incluant les camps alentour, qui accueillent, dans des conditions précaires, nombre de déplacés qui cherchent à s'y mettre à l'abri des violences intercommunautaires. "Les tensions sont latentes et palpables. La journée, les habitants de certains quartiers sont chez eux, mais, le soir, ils rejoignent les camps pour passer la nuit en sécurité", explique une source diplomatique. "À vingt kilomètres de Bangui, les violences continuent. Tout est en place pour un dérapage avec des conséquences dramatiques", reprend-il. À Bruxelles, le ton au "Service d'action extérieure", siège de la diplomatie européenne, est plus alarmant qu'au début de l'intervention française. "Elle a permis d'éviter le pire. Mais la sécurité est extrêmement fragile. Les États membres sont conscients de la gravité du problème", estime un diplomate de haut rang. "Tous les éléments sont réunis pour un génocide en Centrafrique", a même averti l'ONU, jeudi.

 

Contingent de 500 à 1 000 soldats

L'accord politique de lundi sera la première étape. Mercredi, le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU devrait donner mandat aux Européens pour agir. "Il nous faut une base juridique", dit-on. Puis viendra le moment de se compter. Paris espère "que six à douze pays feront des offres". "La Belgique enverra des troupes dès que nous aurons un cadre européen", affirme au Point.fr son ministre des Affaires étrangères Didier Reynders. La Pologne, la République tchèque sont aussi sur les rangs. L'Estonie a officiellement proposé l'envoi d'un peloton d'infanterie de 35 personnes avec des véhicules blindés et une unité de soutien logistique, soit 56 soldats. C'est beaucoup au regard de la taille de son armée.

Officiellement, personne ne se risque à un objectif chiffré. Mais les fourchettes évoquées varient entre 500 et 1 000 soldats, pour une durée de quatre à six mois. Ce qui permettra aux soldats français "fixés" autour de l'aéroport de se consacrer à d'autres tâches, plus urgentes. Plus de 1 600 soldats français sont déployés depuis plus d'un mois en Centrafrique. "Nous visons un début de déploiement sous trente jours. Pour l'instant autour de l'aéroport. Mais qui sait quel sera le besoin d'ici là", indique un diplomate de l'UE. Car la situation est mouvante et "elle concerne toute la région. La route qui mène au Cameroun n'est pas sécurisée, et Yaoundé nous signale une augmentation des réfugiés qui franchissent la frontière. Il faut absolument stabiliser la situation en Centrafrique, car l'insécurité a des conséquences sur tout."

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17 décembre 2013 2 17 /12 /décembre /2013 08:45
Conclusions du Conseil sur la République centrafricaine

 

Bruxelles, 16 décembre 2013 - Conseil Affaires Etrangères – Conseil de l’Union Européenne

 

Le Conseil a adopté les conclusions suivantes:

 

1. L’Union européenne (UE) est extrêmement préoccupée par la crise en République centrafricaine (RCA) qui s'est dégradée de jour en jour avec des effets catastrophiques pour la population. L'insécurité et les violations massives de droits de l’Homme et du droit international humanitaire sont omniprésentes. La situation humanitaire est alarmante. L’accroissement d’une dimension interconfessionnelle et ethnique dans les affrontements est de plus en plus inquiétante. Dans ce contexte, l'UE salue l'intervention de la France en appui à la Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique sous conduite africaine (MISCA) conformément à la résolution 2127 (2013) du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies (CSNU).

 

2. L’UE réitère que la responsabilité première de protection des populations incombe aux autorités de transition de RCA. Tout doit être mis en œuvre pour rétablir sans délai la sécurité et l’ordre publics et pour protéger les populations civiles. L’UE fait appel aux autorités de transition, aux groupes armés, aux leaders communautaires et à l’ensemble des Centrafricains pour faire preuve de retenue et ne pas entrer dans un cycle d’attaques et de représailles violentes, et salue le rôle modérateur des autorités religieuses.

 

3. L’UE est particulièrement alarmée par les graves atteintes et violations des droits de l’Homme et du droit international humanitaire, ainsi que par l’impunité généralisée qui prévaut dans le pays. Elle condamne l’ensemble des exactions, dont les exécutions sommaires, arrestations et détentions arbitraires, cas de torture, recrutement et emploi d'enfants par les groupes armés, violences sexuelles et disparitions forcées. L’UE exhorte tous les groupes armés à mettre fin sans délai au recrutement et l'emploi d'enfants par des groupes armés. Une attention particulière doit être apportée a la protection, à la libération et à la réintégration de tous les enfants associes aux groupes et forces armés.

 

4. L'UE souligne que tous les auteurs des violations des droits de l'Homme et du droit international humanitaire, y compris les leaders de l’Armée de résistance du Seigneur, devront en répondre devant la justice. Elle rappelle que la RCA a ratifié le Statut de Rome et que les actes qui constituent des crimes contre l'humanité et des crimes de guerre relèvent de la compétence de la Cour pénale internationale. L'UE encourage la mise en place rapide de la commission d'enquête internationale, prévue par la résolution 2127 (2013) du CSNU, chargée d'enquêter sur les violations du droit international humanitaire et du droit international des droits de l'Homme et d’atteintes aux droits de l’Homme perpétrées en RCA par toutes les parties depuis le 1er janvier 2013.

 

5. L’UE reste alarmée par la crise humanitaire de plus en plus dramatique. L’UE et ses Etats Membres ont triplé leur assistance humanitaire depuis 2012 - plus de 60 M€ déjà en 2013. Ils resteront fortement mobilisés pour répondre à l’urgence et accompagner la sortie de crise du pays. L’UE fait appel à toutes les parties à assurer l’accès libre et en toute sécurité de l’aide humanitaire dans le plein respect des principes humanitaires internationaux. Le Conseil salue l’initiative conjointe de la Commission européenne et de la secrétaire générale adjointe des Nations unies chargée des affaires humanitaires, coordonnatrice des secours d’urgence, de convoquer une réunion à haut niveau sur la situation humanitaire en Centrafrique le 20 janvier 2014.

 

6. Face à la gravité de cette crise, au déplacement de personnes et au flux croissant de réfugiés, il est impératif d’agir pour contribuer à une sortie rapide de ce conflit qui pose un risque éventuel aux voisins de la RCA et à la région plus large. L’UE se félicite des résolutions 2121 (2013) et 2127 (2013) du CSNU ainsi que des résolutions du Conseil des droits de l’Homme relatives à la RCA. Le rétablissement de la sécurité, de l’Etat de droit et de la gouvernance démocratique pour tous les habitants de la RCA reste l’objectif primordial de l’engagement international, y compris de l’UE.

 

7. Dans le cadre d’une approche globale, le Conseil affirme la disponibilité de l’UE à examiner l’utilisation des instruments pertinents pour contribuer aux efforts en cours visant à la stabilisation du pays, y compris dans le cadre de la Politique de Sécurité et de Défense Commune (PSDC), dans ses deux dimensions militaire et civile. Lorsque les conditions sécuritaires seront suffisamment stables, un appui dans le domaine de la réforme du secteur de la sécurité (RSS) devra également être examiné, pour garantir un règlement durable de la crise.

 

8. L’UE apporte son plein appui à l’action déterminée de ses partenaires africains qui ont su, parmi les premiers, prendre la mesure des risques et qui ont décidé d’y répondre afin de favoriser une stabilisation rapide de la situation : l’Union africaine (UA), la Communauté économique des Etats d’Afrique centrale (CEEAC), y compris à travers la MICOPAX, et leurs Etats membres. L’UE les invite à poursuivre leur engagement pour que la MISCA puisse rapidement atteindre ses capacités opérationnelles. A cet égard, l'UE mobilise un financement à hauteur de 50 M€ en faveur de la MISCA à travers la Facilité de paix pour l’Afrique. L’UE soutient le projet de l’UA d'organiser rapidement une conférence de donateurs notamment sur la MISCA, comme le prévoit la résolution 2127 (2013) du CSNU.

 

9. L’UE souligne l’importance de maintenir une forte mobilisation internationale pour répondre à la crise en RCA, et apprécie l’engagement continu des Nations unies (NU) y compris sur place à travers le Bureau intégré de l’Organisation des Nations unies pour la consolidation de la paix en République centrafricaine (BINUCA). Elle salue la déclaration de Bangui publiée à l’issue de la troisième réunion du Groupe international de contact sur la RCA le 8 novembre à Bangui et invite ce groupe à poursuivre ses efforts dans ce sens, en lien avec les Nations Unies et la médiation de la CEEAC. L’UE salue toutes les initiatives en faveur d’un dialogue interconfessionnel et de la réconciliation, ainsi que la signature par les autorités de transition du Pacte républicain à Bangui, le 7 novembre 2013. Elle demande à tous les acteurs de s’engager dans un processus de dialogue et de réconciliation nationale pour apaiser et surmonter les tensions intercommunautaires qui menacent la cohésion sociale du pays. L'UE fait également appelle aux autorités de transition à garantir la participation effective des femmes au processus de transition, conformément à la résolution 1325 (2000) du CSNU.

 

10. L’UE appelle les autorités de transition à travailler ensemble, ainsi qu’avec les partis politiques et la société civile, de manière inclusive et de bonne foi, pour conduire le processus de transition à son terme, conformément à l’accord de Libreville du 11 janvier 2013, à la déclaration de N’Djamena du 18 avril 2013, à l’appel de Brazzaville du 3 mai 2013, et à la déclaration de Bangui du 8 novembre 2013. Elle les incite à ne ménager aucun effort pour faire avancer le processus politique dans la perspective d’élections et du retour à l’ordre constitutionnel d’ici février 2015. Dans cette perspective, elle exhorte les autorités de transition à mettre rapidement en place l’Autorité nationale des élections et à œuvrer en faveur d’un redéploiement de l’administration civile.

 

11. Malgré l'instabilité qui y prévaut depuis un an, l'UE reste le seul partenaire majeur de développement à maintenir sa coopération en RCA pour répondre aux besoins de la population. Dans ce contexte, elle mobilise 23 M€ (du 10ème FED) pour renforcer les projets prêts à redémarrer dès que les conditions sécuritaires le permettront, en plus d’un programme de 10 M€ pour appuyer la stabilisation du pays. Le Conseil marque son plein soutien à l’action résolue de la Commission européenne. L'UE se prépare par ailleurs à accompagner le processus de transition en vue de restaurer les institutions démocratiques et contribuer à la fourniture des services sociaux de base aux populations."

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16 décembre 2013 1 16 /12 /décembre /2013 14:50
EU Common Security and Defence Policy in action

13 déc. 2013 European External Action Service (EEAS)

 

VIDEO AVAILABLE IN ALL 24 EU LANGUAGES (CLICK ON CAPTIONS)

The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is an essential tool in the foreign policy of the European Union. Since 2003, the EU has deployed some 30 missions and operations around the world. Taking the Horn of Africa as an illustration, this film highlights the contribution of CSDP to the EU's comprehensive approach to crisis management and how the CSDP translates into action on the ground. CSDP also offers the framework for enhanced cooperation among Member States by Pooling and Sharing military capabilities, the only way forward in a context of growing theats and budgetary limitations. It also supports the strengthening of the European defence industry, which is essential for the EU's strategic autonomy as well as a driver for jobs, growth and innovation.

For more information on the CSDP visit the website of the EU's European External Action Service, http://eeas.europa.eu/csdp/index_en.htm.

 

Note RPDefense : visit EDA (European Defence Agency) website too !

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13 décembre 2013 5 13 /12 /décembre /2013 11:45
Battlegroup pour le Centrafrique ? Quand Cathy a dit stop !

Les hélicoptères en RCA ne seront pas européens. Ici, un hélicoptère Puma en route vers le Centrafrique (Crédit : Ministère FR de la défense)

 

Déc 13, 2013 Nicolas Gros-Verheyde (BRUXELLES2)

 

Selon nos informations concordantes, la préparation du déploiement de la force de réaction rapide de l’Union européenne en Centrafrique a été stoppée net sur ordre… de la Haute représentante de l’UE, Catherine Ashton.

 

Suite de l’article

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11 décembre 2013 3 11 /12 /décembre /2013 08:30
L'arsenal chimique détenu par Damas 15309.2013 Service Infographie du Figaro

L'arsenal chimique détenu par Damas 15309.2013 Service Infographie du Figaro

 

BRUXELLES, 10 décembre - RIA Novosti

 

L'Union européenne continuera à aider l'Organisation pour l'interdiction des armes chimiques (OIAC) à contrôler la destruction des arsenaux chimiques syriens, a déclaré mardi la chef de la diplomatie européenne Catherine Ashton à l'occasion de la remise du prix Nobel de la paix 2013 à l'OIAC.

 

"L'UE continuera à aider l'OIAC dans sa tâche difficile qui consiste à vérifier la destruction d'armes chimiques, en particulier dans le contexte syrien. L'Organisation apporte une contribution importante au renforcement de la sécurité et de la stabilité dans le monde entier", lit-on dans la déclaration de Mme Ashton.

 

Le diplôme et la médaille de lauréat du prix Nobel de la paix ont été remis mardi au directeur général de l'OIAC Ahmet Uzumcu à Oslo.

 

"Ce prix traduit la reconnaissance de la contribution importante apportée par l'OIAC à l'édification d'un monde libre d'armes chimiques", a souligné la chef de la diplomatie européenne.

 

M. Uzumcu dirige l'Organisation internationale pour l'interdiction des armes chimiques depuis juillet 2010. A l'heure actuelle, l'OIAC regroupe près de 190 Etats. La semaine dernière, le diplomate turc a été réélu à la tête de cette organisation.

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6 décembre 2013 5 06 /12 /décembre /2013 08:45
rca-04-12-2013-service-infographie-du-figaro

rca-04-12-2013-service-infographie-du-figaro

 

05 décembre 2013 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

BRUXELLES - L'Union européenne examine le soutien, essentiellement financier, qu'elle prévoit d'apporter à l'intervention des troupes africaines et françaises en Centrafrique après le feu vert du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU, a-t-on appris jeudi de sources diplomatiques.

 

L'UE devrait saluer, dans une déclaration attendue en fin de journée, le mandat accordé par le Conseil de sécurité aux forces françaises pour intervenir en soutien à la Misca (force africaine en RCA), a-t-on indiqué de même source.

 

Décidée à apporter un soutien à cette mission, l'UE examine plusieurs options, qui sont essentiellement d'ordre financier, a indiqué Michael Mann, le porte-parole du service diplomatique.

 

L'aide consacrée au fonctionnement de la Misca devrait être substantielle, probablement de plusieurs dizaines de millions d'euros, selon des sources diplomatiques.

 

D'ores et déjà, Londres a proposé une aide logistique limitée à la France. Selon des sources gouvernementales, elle devrait se traduire par la mise à disposition d'un avion militaire gros-porteur C-17, comme cela avait été le cas lors de l'intervention française au Mali en janvier. Mais l'envoi de troupes britanniques n'est pas une option sur la table, a averti un porte-parole du ministère britannique de la Défense.

 

La France et la Grande-Bretagne ont renforcé ces dernières années leur coopération militaire, en insistant notamment sur l'interopérabilité qui les a conduites à agir conjointement en Libye, en 2011.

 

Au cours des discussions à Bruxelles, des experts de l'UE avaient évoqué la possibilité de déployer le groupement tactique européen (battlegroup), dont l'objectif est de pouvoir participer rapidement à des opérations à l'étranger.

 

Créé en 2007, ce groupement n'a encore jamais été utilisé sur un théâtre d'opération. Pour le second semestre 2013, il comprend environ 1.500 militaires de cinq pays, dont le Royaume-Uni, qui le dirige.

 

Selon des sources diplomatiques, des responsables britanniques ont demandé que l'analyse des experts évoquant le déploiement du battlegroup ne soit pas communiquée aux Etats membres, appelés à décider.

 

Les Britanniques sont traditionnellement réticents à un renforcement des outils de défense commune au sein de l'UE, privilégiant l'Otan ou les accords ad-hoc entre pays.

 

Des responsables de certains pays ont par ailleurs mis en avant l'absence d'une demande par la France d'un déploiement de forces européennes.

 

Dans leur analyse, les experts de l'UE soulignaient que l'envoi d'une force militaire européenne serait susceptible de contribuer notablement au rétablissement de la sécurité pour la population, facilitant ainsi la distribution de l'aide humanitaire en Centrafrique.

 

L'UE a débloqué une aide humanitaire d'urgence de 20 millions d'euros depuis le début de l'année pour les victimes des violences en Centrafrique.

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5 décembre 2013 4 05 /12 /décembre /2013 17:50
EU Security and Defence e-newsletter issue nr 76

 

Dec. 3, 2013 PRESS EEAS


EU Security and Defence e-newsletter issue nr 76

(original version - EN)

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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 18:50
Conseil européen 19 et 20 décembre 2013

source european-council.europa.eu
 

Dans un monde en mutation, l'Europe se doit de jouer un rôle plus important pour assurer la paix et la sécurité internationales. L'UE contribue à la gestion internationale des crises à travers sa politique de sécurité et de défense commune (PSDC). Elle devrait disposer de capacités qui puissent répondre aux besoins à venir. Dans le même temps, en raison des contraintes financières actuelles, il devient plus urgent pour les États européens de coopérer étroitement dans le développement des capacités militaires.

Dans ce contexte, le Conseil européen de décembre 2012 a demandé que des travaux soient menés sur trois objectifs qui sont étroitement liés:

  • Efficacité sur le plan opérationnel: il s'agit d'être en mesure de mieux répondre aux crises et de déployer les capacités requises de manière rapide et efficace. Il s'agit également de continuer à affiner l'approche globale de l'UE, qui consiste à mettre tous ses instruments au service de la prévention des conflits et de la gestion des crises.
  • Capacités de défense: il s'agit d'aligner les capacités civiles et militaires sur les besoins à venir. Une coopération européenne plus systématique et à long terme dans le domaine de la défense pourrait permettre de combler les lacunes en matière de capacités, par exemple en envisageant d'emblée dans la planification effectuée par les États membres la mutualisation et le partage des moyens.
  • Une industrie européenne de la défense plus forte: il s'agit de développer une base industrielle plus intégrée et plus compétitive pour l'industrie européenne de la défense, grâce par exemple au bon fonctionnement du marché de la défense ainsi qu'aux activités de recherche et de développement. Une industrie européenne de la défense plus forte est également synonyme d'emploi, d'innovation et de croissance: elle emploie près de 400 000 personnes, génère jusqu'à 960 000 emplois indirects et est source de nombreuses innovations.

Le Conseil européen de décembre 2013 fera le point des progrès accomplis et fournira de nouvelles orientations.

Calendrier
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28 novembre 2013 4 28 /11 /novembre /2013 18:35
Establishment by China of an 'East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone'

 

Brussels, 28 November 2013 EEAS 17082/13(OR. en) PRESSE 514

 

Declaration by the High Representative Catherine Ashton on behalf of the European Union on the establishment by China of an 'East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone'

 

The EU is concerned to learn of China's decision to establish an 'East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone' as well as the accompanying announcement by the Chinese Ministry of Defence of "emergency defence measures" in case of non-compliance. This development heightens the risk of escalation and contributes to raising tensions in the region. The EU calls on all sides to exercise caution and restraint.

 

With its significant interests in the region, the EU is following these developments closely. The legitimate use of sea and airspace are rights enshrined in international law and are essential for security, stability and prosperity. Actions that bring or appear to bring these rights into question are not conducive to finding lasting solutions to the differences that exist in East Asia's maritime areas. The EU calls upon all parties to take steps to calm the situation, to promote trust building measures and reach out diplomatically to seek peaceful, cooperative solutions according to international law, in order to defuse tensions and resolve differences constructively.

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 17:50
Subcommittee on Security and Defence Meeting 27 November 2013

Source SEDE(2013)1127_1

 

1.         Adoption of agenda

2.         Approval of minutes of meeting of:

  • 14 October 2013                                                                      PV – PE521.642v01-00

3.         Chair’s announcements

With the Council and Commission and EEAS

4.         Combatting piracy in the Gulf of Guinea
- Exchange of views with representatives of the EEAS and DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid

5.         Missile defence: state of play
Exchange of views with:
- Roberto Zadra, Head of the Ballistic Missile Defence Section, NATO
- Nikolay Korchunov, Acting Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO

6.         An anti-missile shield for Europe and its political and strategic implications

            AFET/7/13425

                        2013/2170(INI)         

Rapporteur:

Sampo Terho (EFD)

PR – PE521.746v01-00

Responsible:

AFET –

 
  • Consideration of draft report
  • Deadline for tabling amendments: 7 January 2014, 12.00

7.         After the FAC Defence and before the European Council on Defence and Security – A Diplomatic and Military Stocktake
Exchange of views with:
- Walter Stevens, Chair of the Political and Security Committee
- Lieutenant General Wolfgang Wosolsobe, Director General of the EU Military Staff

8.         Any other business

9.         Next meeting(s)

  • 2 December 2013, 15.00 – 18.30 (Brussels)
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11 novembre 2013 1 11 /11 /novembre /2013 12:50
EU Military Exercise 2013 (MILEX 13)

source EEAS

 

Press briefing on the EU Military Exercise 2013 (MILEX 13), on Friday 15 November.

 

The briefing will be given by the Operation's Headquarters Commander for the Exercise, Major General Alkiviadis STEFANIS, the Director General EU Military Staff, Lieutenant General Wolfgang WOLSOLOBE and the Chairman of the Military Committee, General Patrick de ROUSIERS

 

The exercise will focus on the military planning process for the deployment of a EU military force. The scenario will include a humanitarian assistance dimension.

 

The exercise focuses on the interaction between the EU Operation Centre and an EU FHQ provided by France. The exercise involves the EU Operations Centre, the EU FHQ, the EUMS, and, in an appropriate manner, other services from the European External Action Service. MILEX 13 will exercise the Comprehensive Approach within relevant EU bodies concerning crisis management.

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28 octobre 2013 1 28 /10 /octobre /2013 08:50
Claude-France Arnould prolongée à la tête de la Défense européenne

25/10/13 7sur7.be (Belga)

 

Le conseil d'administration de l'Agence européenne de Défense (AED) a décidé à l'unanimité de prolonger d'un an le mandat de sa directrice, la Française Claude-France Arnould, a-t-on appris vendredi auprès de l'agence.

 

Cette extension de mandat, jusqu'au 15 janvier 2015, avait été recommandée par la haute représentante pour la politique étrangère et de défense de l'Union européenne, Catherine Ashton.

 

L'AED a été créée en 2004 pour favoriser la coopération en matière de défense entre les pays de l'UE (les 27 moins le Danemark) et dispose d'un budget annuels d'environ trente millions d'euros. Si Mme Arnould en est la directrice exécutive, la véritable "patronne" est Mme Ashton.

 

Mme Arnould était en fonction depuis janvier 2011, pour un mandat initial de trois ans. Elle avait succédé au premier directeur de l'AED, le Britannique Nick Witney.

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15 octobre 2013 2 15 /10 /octobre /2013 11:15
Déclaration de Catherine Ashton, Haute Représentante de l'UE, sur son Rapport final sur la PSDC

 

Bruxelles, le 15 Octobre 2013 ref 131015/01 - www.eeas.europa.eu

 

La Haute Représentante de l'Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité et vice-présidente de la Commission, a fait ce jour la déclaration suivante:

 

" Le Conseil européen m’a demandé en décembre 2012 de présenter des propositions afin de renforcer la Politique de sécurité et de défense commune (PSDC), dans la perspective d’une discussion des Chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement en décembre de cette année. J’ai présenté en juillet un rapport intérimaire et remets à présent le rapport final.

 

Ce débat entre les dirigeants intervient à un moment opportun. L'UE a besoin de protéger ses intérêts et promouvoir ses valeurs, et elle doit être capable d'agir comme garant de la sécurité, tant dans son voisinage qu’au niveau mondial. Cela nécessite, pour être crédible, des capacités et une base industrielle solide.

 

C'est à la fois un défi et une opportunité. La coopération en matière de défense n'est jamais un acquis, mais il est évidemment possible de renforcer davantage la coopération entre États membres afin de développer et déployer des capacités. En outre, l'industrie de la défense peut être un moteur pour l'emploi, la croissance et l'innovation.

 

Le rapport contient des propositions et des actions dans trois domaines :

 

- Renforcer la PSDC : l'Union doit être en mesure de réagir rapidement aux défis sécuritaires – cybersécurité, espace, énergie, sécurité maritime ou des frontières. Pour agir comme garant de la sécurité, nous devons être en mesure de nous engager avec nos partenaires, et de renforcer les capacités des organisations partenaires et des pays tiers, en utilisant tous les outils de notre action extérieure. C'est l'idée de notre approche globale.

 

- Améliorer les capacités de défense européennes : la coopération est devenue essentielle au maintien des capacités et à la réussite de la PSDC. Elle permet aux États membres de développer, acquérir, exploiter et maintenir des capacités ensemble, tirant ainsi le meilleur parti des économies d'échelle potentielles.

 

- Consolider l'industrie européenne de la défense : l’existence d'une base industrielle forte et en bonne santé est une condition préalable pour le développement et le maintien de nos capacités de défense, et pour assurer l'autonomie stratégique de l'Europe. La Commission européenne a présenté en juillet une communication intitulée « Vers un secteur de la défense et de la sécurité plus compétitif et plus efficace en Europe ». Les propositions contenues dans mon rapport complètent le travail de la Commission."

 

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14 octobre 2013 1 14 /10 /octobre /2013 13:50
Press Background briefing on the HR’s final report on CSDP

13.10.2013 EEAS Ref 131013/01

 

A background briefing on the final report of the High Representative and Head of the European Defence Agency on CSDP, will be held ahead of the December European Council, on Tuesday 15 October, at the EEAS building.

 

with Mr Maciej Popowski, EEAS Deputy Secretary General,

 

Mr Patrick de Rousiers, Chairman of the European Union Military Committee,

 

and Mr Eric Platteau, Head of Media andCommunication for the European Defence Agency (EDA)
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3 juillet 2013 3 03 /07 /juillet /2013 12:50
Subcommittee on Security and Defence Meeting - 10 July 2013

Brussels -10 July 2013, 9.30 – 13.00 DRAFT AGENDA SEDE(2013)0710_1

 

10 July 2013, 9.30 – 13.00

1.         Adoption of agenda

2.         Approval of minutes of meetings of:

  • 20 May 2013                                                                            PV – PE513.232v01-00
  • 27 May 2013                                                                            PV – PE513.238v01-00
  • 3 June 2013                                                                              PV – PE513.323v01-00

3.         Chair’s announcements

With the Council and Commission and EEAS

4.         The future of the European combat aircraft industry
- Exchange of views with General Jean-Georges Brévot, David Marshall and Georges Bridel of the Air and Space Academy, Toulouse

5.         The implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (based on the Annual Report from the Council to the European Parliament on the Common Foreign and Security Policy).

            AFET/7/12812

                        2013/2105(INI)         

Rapporteur:

Maria Eleni Koppa (S&D)

 

Responsible:

AFET –

 
  • First exchange of views

                Workshop with experts (see separate programme)

10 July 2013, 15.00 – 16.00

6.         Situation in Afghanistan
- Exchange of views with Karl Åke Roghe, Head of Mission, EUPOL Afghanistan

* * *

10 July 2013, 16.00 – 17.30

Jointly with the Committee on Foreign Affairs

7.         Exchange of views with D. Pedro Morenés Eulate, Minister of Defence of Spain

* * *

10 July 2013, 17.30 – 18.30

8.         EU Space Industrial Policy, releasing the Potential for Growth in the Space Sector

            AFET/7/12757

                        2013/2092(INI)          COM(2013)0108

Rapporteur for the opinion:

Tarja Cronberg (Verts/ALE)

 

Responsible:

ITRE –

Angelika Niebler (PPE)

 

       
 
  • Consideration of draft opinion

9.         Any other business

10.       Next meeting(s)

  • 18 September 2013, 9.30 – 13.00 and 15.00 – 18.30 (Brussels)
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20 juin 2013 4 20 /06 /juin /2013 16:50
Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency

Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency

Brussels | Jun 20, 2013 European Defence Agency
 

In view of the recent publication of the Cyber Security Strategy for the European Union, the Irish Presidency, in association with the Estonian Ministry of Defence and the European Defence Agency, organised a high-level EU Cyber Security conference in Brussels on 20 June.

The conference aimed to advance the debate on European Union Member States’ preparedness to face cyber threats at national level and across the EU as a whole. The growth of cyber attacks on critical private, government and defence networks requires a coordinated response at the EU level and across Member States. To successfully counter this emerging cyber threat, cooperation between national security, defence, law enforcement and technical incident response organisations within and between Member States needs to be encouraged to identify and exploit synergies. The conference brought together key policy-makers across the EU cyber community to highlight preventative measures, the need for cooperation and crisis response procedures to the mounting cyber security challenge.

After keynote speeches delivered by Mr Alan Shatter, Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence and Mr Jaak Aaviksoo, Estonia’s Minister for Education and Research, as well as Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, the first panel concentrated on a strategic view as to how the EU can protect itself against cyber threats. Mr Maciej Popowski (EEAS), Amb Gabor Iklody (NATO), Mme Claude-France Arnould (EDA) and Amb Jean-François Blarel (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs) discussed how to develop increased information sharing, early warning, and crisis response as well as closer cooperation between EU and NATO. While the second panel looked at crisis response systems, the third panel discussed cyber resilience in the EU with a view to public and private cooperation. Looking ahead to the European Council in December including defence topics, the final session of the conference dealt with requirements and capability development in cyber security and cyber defence. Topics discussed were cyber defence requirements for CSDP operations, synergies between civil R&D and military R&T as well as cyber security/defence “Dual-Use” capabilities.

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13 février 2013 3 13 /02 /février /2013 20:10
Remarks by EEAS Deputy Secretary General Popowski following Informal meeting of Ministers for Defence

 

13/2/2013 EU source: Council Ref: CL13-017EN

 

Summary: 13 February 2013, Dublin - Remarks by Maciej Popowski, Deputy Secretary General for the European External Action Service following the Informal meeting of Ministers for Defence

 

Thank you, Minister, for hosting us!

 

Going back to the discussion on the wider picture - defence, the future of the European Defence - one of the ministers has captured it very well by saying that defence matters. I think we all recognize that defence matters, but we need to do our outmost to make it more operational.  We want to play a global role as the European Union, but we also have to be able to play a global role which means that we need the capability, we need the tools to do that, to be able to act.

 

When we talk about defence, it is not only about operations and missions, it is also about the industrial basis. We have a sizeable industry in Europe, there is a lot of untapped potential. For example there is potential for synergies on issues like research and development, when we talk about space, the remotely pirated systems, cyber security or maritime surveillance. There is a lot of civilian research going into that but it could serve both purposes, civilian and military, and this is the kind of potential we need to look at.

 

For Mali we are getting closer to the moment of deployment of the training mission, basically imminent. We still need to complete the process of force generation, but I think there is a lot of support for that and a lot of support and recognition for the French effort on the ground. Therefore it is really needed that we move into Mali and start training the Mali forces, including on the issues pertaining to human rights and humanitarian law. This is quite important and was underlined by many Member States. So we hope that the training will start, as planned, in early April.

 

On the Horn of Africa, we have made a lot of progress but there is no room for complacency. This is the message from the newly appointed Operation Commander of EUNAVFOR - Atalanta. The number of piracy attacks has gone down significantly, as ministers have said. But of course the pirates are there and they can always come back, so we need to maintain our posture. We also need to work with the authorities of the countries of the region, because piracy starts ashore, so we need to equip these countries to be better, to be able to police territorial waters for example, so we have already launched an advisory training mission to do that.

 

Finally, on the EU/UN partnership, it is now very high on the priority list and we are very engaged including the context of the Mali situation. We are also looking at a longer term international engagement with and in Mali, because UN is also considering launching a UN peace-keeping operation, a blue helmet operation sometime in the future.

 

Thank you very much.

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20 janvier 2013 7 20 /01 /janvier /2013 08:50

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/GAA_de_Rousiers.jpg

 

14th January 2013 - European interview n°69 - Interview with General Patrick de Rousiers - .robert-schuman.eu

 

1. How would you present the role played by the Military Committee of the European Union which you chair? You are also a military advisor to Ms Ashton, what does this entail?

 

Since 6th November 2012 I have been chair of the European Union’s Military Committee (EUMC) for a three year term. The EUMC, comprising army chiefsof-staff, is the supreme military body within the Council of the European Union. This committee is the military consultation and cooperation forum between the 27 Members States in the area of conflict prevention and crisis management. It provides military advice for the Political and Security Committee (PSC). As its chair I play the role of coordinator and I lead debate in a spirit of consensus.

 

My second responsibility is that of military advisor to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and the Security Policy. She chairs the Foreign Affairs Council and leads the Common Foreign and Security Policy. I play two roles vis-à-vis Ms Ashton.

 

The first comprises the provision of information which I deem pertinent, particularly problems raised by the 27 chiefs-of-staff, the desired changes to missions and coordination issues. It is my mission to be the link between a certain number of areas like the chains of command and military operations.

 

Secondly, in view of my professional experience it is my role to provide a personal analysis of ongoing situations. Regarding Mali for example, as we were planning the EU’s commitment to training the Malian forces, the Prime Minister was overthrown. In such situation, the question was to continue nor not. We had to assess the issues at stake and the risks. Strictly speaking my role was therefore to give my thoughts on defence issues. Equally, as part of preparations for the 2013 European Council for example, I have to inform Ms Ashton of issues that might be addressed in the specific area of defence. It is about providing an informed opinion.

 

2. You were in office during France’s Presidency of the EU in 2008 and you witnessed the launch of the European External Action Service (EEAS), what do you think of its development so far?

 

The European External Action Service (EEAS) has developed significantly. Indeed before its creation, the initiative to take a European project forward was almost exclusively the remit of the Member States, and even of two Member States, one of which often supported the Presidency of the European Union. Now we have succeeded in creating a different impetus thanks to which the EEAS is a driving force. Of course its potential still has to be developed but it does have the capacity. We can see this in a number of examples, firstly via the 140 delegations or EEAS offices across the world. These delegations are a dense diplomatic network that can support and even leverage the action of the national delegations of a great number of Member States. They are the voice of the 27 Members of the European Union and not the voice of each of the nations.

 

However, in the future they will not supplant the national delegations in at least one area: that of the protection of the Member States’ citizens. In short the EEAS delegations are both the captors and the links, able to communicate a message in expression of the States’ common concerns.

 

The EEAS is also the cradle of strategic dialogue with major players. This dialogue does not just target debate over topical issues but really aims to become established long term in order to define what kinds of activities the European Union might develop and this, in all areas, including defence. The potential is extremely promising and it is already perceptible from an internal point of view.

 

3. How can the various visions of defence between the States be reconciled?

 

The most recent enlargements have highlighted the historic vision of some who simply want to be shielded by NATO. First we should remember that the threats we face require responses which most of the time go beyond the strict framework of one nation. So we have to have a tool that enables us to act pertinently together on a wide range of issues. This is why I am a fervent defender and promoter of the European Union and of European Defence in particular.

 

Today I think a European State has to have several means of response which we might compare to the “Russian Matrioshka” (nested dolls). The first of them lies in a State’s ability to act militarily as such within its borders, on a European or international level. This is why there is no European army, because this role is, above all, the reserve of the States. As General de Gaulle recalled, ensuring the defence of its fellow countrymen is a State’s primary reason for being. Above all the army is the expression of the common will of an entire population, enabling the political powers to take responsibility for the protection of its national territory and its values.

 

In Europe we share a common history, common values but also a desire to act together. This is the second “nested doll” which enables a response to a crisis: by defining ourselves as such we shall act collectively together long term and across the entire world.

 

In support of this it is difficult to identify a place where Europe is perceived badly, denied or rejected. Quite often we are made rather welcome. Why is this? I think that the different history of each of the 27 is a strength. As soon as the Member States manage to commit themselves unanimously it can be interpreted as the defence of values that are not far from being universal.

 

Furthermore the European Union’s capacity to act is specific in that it can cover a wide range of issues: political, industrial, legal, financial and of course defence. Incidentally we should remember that defence is used as a tool within a general policy. Using Defence as a tool in the EU is not a final goal. It is not its reason for being; it is just a part of it included within a “portfolio”. The European policy of defence and security is a capacity that enables response in crisis settlement.

 

4. The European citizen is sometimes confused about who is acting and on whose behalf in view of national (like the French operation Licorne) or international missions (undertaken by NATO and the UN for example)? What particular features can an EU intervention provide?

 

In a way the European Union has become an expert in conflict prevention. In all events it would like to do that. The European Union’s strength lies in the common determination to act on a political level as far as States are concerned, support them, help them become aware of what is at stake. Collectively we can help settle a crisis by deploying tailor-made means. In this context the European Union can, if necessary, provide the military means to complete, influence and sometimes contribute towards creating conditions for other means of action. The European Union distinguishes itself by its extremely specific approach.

 

All of the actions undertaken by the European Union off the coast of Somalia or in Georgia, in these very different regional contexts, illustrates this unique capability. Recent events off the Horn of Africa illustrate the European Union’s capacity to mobilise the means to help a State recover its sovereignty and its stability. Humanitarian aid was essential and a great deal was done in this respect, but it was not enough. We might have continued for a decade like this at the risk of seeing the situation stagnate. In this theatre of operation a real dynamic for conflict management was introduced. Hence in the case of Somalia two military actions impacted against the development of the crisis to a certain extent: the fight against piracy and the training of Somali forces, which has helped consolidate a transition government and facilitate the emergence of a political process. The situation is developing positively but requires continuous commitment. In the case of counter piracy you can act in two different ways: either at sea, by arresting the pirates and bringing them back to land - this is a strictly military option. But one can also engage in a process which will help activate all of the levers to settle the problem. This is what the European Union helps achieving, using the different tools it has at its disposal in terms of conflict prevention and management.

 

Another example is Mali. The European Union is providing its political influence, is exercising pressure, encouraging awareness on a regional level. It is showing that the 27 Member States which comprise the Union are concerned about the situation and in particular about the stability of this part of the African continent. The European Union is therefore showing its determination to continue its commitment and demonstrating that this will involve more than just humanitarian aid, which remains vital however. We have made a commitment to this country, notably in an area facing major security issues. This shows that Europeans are ready to take risks and that they are prepared to do it collectively when it is necessary.

 

In this context the European Union’s field of action is not viewed from a strictly military angle with the aim of taking the north of Mali for example. The European Union believes that this is not its role, nor part of its action. It indicates rather that it is a problem which is both a domestic one for Mali and also a regional one, and that this has to be settled on both levels. However to help the Malian government, the European Union is going to implement a training programme for the Malian army. This is the dynamic behind Europe’s action.

 

At this stage we have a UN resolution which enables the launch of this action. But not all of the conditions have yet been met to deploy the training staff. At present a political process is ongoing to make it possible. But in order for political pressure to continue we need military leverage. We should stress that we are in a context which is totally different from the aim of which is exclusively military. Many countries have said they intend to help significantly towards this mission if it gets the green light. We are therefore in a positive dynamic.

 

To continue with another example – during the EU Navfor Atalanta operation, strikes were undertaken on land on logistics depots in order to damage the pirates’ capacity to act and to send out a deterring message. Hence, in the same way, the European Union showed its determination to use force when necessary. Finally in 2008 the European Union’s involvement in Georgia took shape very quickly as soon as leadership emerged and that everyone saw that this was an emergency. Although sometimes, a process takes time because we are in dialogue with the political structures in the zones of conflict.

 

5. Military budgets have suffered because of the crisis. In European industry, pooling and sharing and joint research in certain programmes, stresses the desire to share. Do you think that the European Union will succeed in achieving an “industrial defence pillar”?

 

Firstly it should be stressed that industry cannot be forced. Industry functions according to the laws of the market. It is the market that creates this dynamic via the perception of the short and mid-term, but also via historic partners. Industrial groupings are always difficult to set up. As the military we can help defining common requirements, to set out employment doctrines, structures which enable us to work together. In fact it is via the user that we can influence industry which designs and produces arms programmes.

 

How can we rationalise this industry? It is difficult because not all countries share the same vision. This requires determination to give rise to greater sharing in terms of programming, investment, the design of employment doctrines and concepts. This can only be done by the progressive, stage by stage creation of clusters, i.e. via grouping certain Member States who want pool thought over specific issues. This implies the drafting of strategic documents which provide an insight, such as an industrial green paper, which would define, for example, what we want to do collectively in the area of environmental protection, in combination with the employment of military tools, including armament. There is a wide range of options in response to this question. Cohesion could be created on these themes.

 

In all events in Europe we must ensure that our great grandchildren still have the choice. The difficulty of the question lies in identifying the threats and the dangers as well as identifying the key sectors that we have to protect as they are strategic both in terms of defence but also for the protection of other areas of life. What are the technologies we have to maintain? This is the kind of question which helps the European Defence Agency to make sense. This agency is an excellent venue for coordination and thought on these issues.

 

6. In anticipation of “new security threats” (cyber-attacks, arms of mass destruction, energy infrastructures etc …) is the European Union able to project itself? Or will further thought and investments be required in response to these?

 

Which risks do we face right now? It is difficult to foresee this as we speak. To quote a real example, who could have said a year before the strike against the Falkland Islands that one State was going to invade another, and annex it as part of its territory?

 

Similarly no one would have thought at the time that we would encounter pirates to the extent we have experienced off the coasts of Somalia. On this specific point, in France the very idea of “pirate” had been removed from the legal framework. It had to be re-introduced in order to be able to bring the pirates to justice. Who would have thought just a few years ago that we were to witness, after the drama of 1914-18, the massive employment of chemical arms against civilian populations? We saw this in both the north and south of Iraq in the 1990’s. There are other examples of course. As a result it is not the most obvious nor the most salient points which represent threats for the future and which justify or govern thought over Europe’s capabilities. Indeed we have to anticipate all kinds of developments.

 

As far as “new threats” are concerned – if there are two themes which the European Union is focusing on – where there is a dynamic – it is in the areas of terrorism and cyber-security. In terms of the latter we need to acquire greater awareness. We also have to define a military plan. This is now underway. The Commission and the EEAS are also working on it.

 

At this stage, not all of the Member States are on the same level of preparation regarding these threats. In terms of cyber-security Estonia is certainly the most advanced European country amongst the Member States. Others have neither the tools nor the necessary organisation. In some cases awareness of these issues is limited because the extent of the danger is not yet perceived. In terms of cyber-defence our behavior is similar to the one we adopt against radiation for example: we can see nothing, smell nothing until the catastrophe is on us. However we have taken a major step forward in perceiving the risk, notably in the pillage of economic data and the capacity for remote weapons. Potentially we must be prepared to face arms that may weaken and create profound disruption in the functioning of our States. Hence the need for emergency plans regarding critical energy structures where we shall continue to develop response, warning, prevention and information sharing systems, as well as the means to provide feedback and of course, response.

 

7. In the extremely sovereign area of defence, how do you see the development of the transfer of competences?

 

The transfer of responsibilities exists. The command of European air transport illustrates this. Most military transport activities (tactical and strategic lift) of the German, Dutch, Belgian and French armies, are planned and undertaken by a single, multinational centre in Eindhoven. Each of these country’s teams manages the fleet of the other indifferently. It is a kind of military “Sky Team” or “Star Alliance”.

 

However this does not mean a transfer of sovereignty: each country’s cockade is still there and the countries in question retain their means. In practice it is a means to optimise air transport capabilities. Hence the loading of planes (passenger or freight) is optimised for example so that they do not return empty and are made available to other nations if this is necessary, notably as part of the operations in the Horn of Africa or in Afghanistan and during training. The optimisation of means is a permanent process but other sectors have major potential for synergy and optimisation: the employment of planes, their maintenance, the management of logistics flows, legal responsibilities. We can also see the benefits of this type of agreement. This would enable a team of German mechanics to repair a Belgian, French or Dutch plane whilst enjoying a legal framework that clearly defines the responsibilities of each of the participants. These would lead to major savings in the long term. Why not plan for land transport or logistics? Potentially we could go much further in the use of drones or in the area of training simulation.

 

No State nor the EEAS, nor Brussels is campaigning for the successful reunification of the 27 and soon 28, in a single initiative like that of the « Sky Team » or the « Star Alliance ». This would create a European army, or at any rate, the start of a European army which present many advantages and yet a have a great many drawbacks. This hypothesis does not match our requirements. We are committed together in theatres of operation under the European Union flag but also under our national banner. There is no desire to engage exclusively under the European Union flag. Hence the clusters I spoke make sense. There are a number of cooperation agreements to be developed but how far are the European countries prepared to go? How much do we want to transfer without creating a totally European structure? Indeed in each case it involves regional, local and historic partnerships which have specific reasons for being. This would create a wealth of solidarity in terms of defence and would, in my opinion, be particularly virtuous.

 

8. The European Heads of State and Government agreed on 14th December 2012 to devote some time at their December 2013 meeting to defence. They highlighted the European Union’s “increased responsibilities”. What are these? What defence themes might be addressed during this Council?

 

The last time there was real debate was in 2005. The issue was also mentioned at the end of 2008 thanks to a “defence” chapter that was included in the European Council’s agenda. The will to include these questions on the agenda for the end of 2013 is therefore welcomed. Based on the results that have been achieved collectively in terms of defence by the European Union over the last few years, the idea at the European Council will be to see what other paths or areas of action the Member States want to pursue together. Debate will therefore focus -in my opinion – on the level of interdependence and the level of solidarity desired and/ or accepted by the Heads of State and Government.

 

In an ideal world this would be based on a process and documents drafted to show and identify what the challenges, threats, and the values defended by all 27 Member States are. Once this has been done the question of developing capabilities which are to support these choices has to be set. Of course we cannot expect sequential work on this but work undertaken in parallel.

 

My opinion about the development of threats is that the first of these is not the one we immediately think of. The real threat lies in the structural disarmament of Europe and the problem of capabilities will arise in the future. If the rest of the world around us were peaceful it would not be an issue. Unfortunately this is not the case. I believe that the first challenge is to be able to maintain a joint view shared by every Member State whereby defence issues are long term and require investments.

 

Indeed the commitment of some European countries in operations (Iraq, Afghanistan in the last few years together with the financial crisis has led to a halt in entire sections of capability development and operational planning which had proven their efficiency, use and necessity in the past, but are now deemed too costly to be kept long term. The first challenge Europe faces is to ensure that these choices are made together, so that we optimise them to avoid “capability deficits”. This challenge is important because the cohesion between Europeans depends on it and in the future it will be about our ability to defend our values.

 


 

 

 

 

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THE ROBERT SCHUMAN FOUNDATION, created in 1991 and acknowledged by State decree in 1992, is the main French research centre on Europe. It develops research on the European Union and its policies and promotes the content of these in France, Europe and abroad. It encourages, enriches and stimulates European debate thanks to its research, publications and the organization of conferences. The Foundation is presided over by Mr. Jean-Dominique Giuliani.

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