Media release

European Council in June — an important step towards further development of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy

Informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers in Riga. Photo: EU2015.LV
18 February 2015

During their informal meeting on 18 February, the 28 EU Ministers for Defence agreed that the European Council meeting of heads of state and government in June should be devoted to discussions on defence, with a debate on strategic security challenges and the EU's response to them.

The EU Defence Ministers concluded that recent events in the EU's neighbouring regions demonstrate that hybrid threats are a common challenge for the EU as a whole. The Ministers agreed that in the context of hybrid warfare effective strategic communication is a key defence tool which can help to build consensus both internally and externally. The Ministers stressed that in order to address this problem further tasks should be given during the discussion in June.

“We debated on the preparations for the forthcoming European Council discussion, which will be an important reference point for further development of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy,” explained Raimonds Vējonis, the Minister for Defence of the Republic of Latvia.

The informal meeting of the EU Defence Ministers was devoted to such issues as the European Council discussion on defence, the EU's fight against hybrid threats, strategic communications and the EU's rapid response capacity.

As previously reported, the informal meeting of the EU Ministers for Defence on 18–19 February at the National Library of Latvia carries out preparatory work for the European Council discussion on defence in June 2015, the most important defence policy event during the Latvian Presidency.

The participants at this informal meeting include the Ministers for Defence of the 28 Member States, Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, the Commanders of EU missions and operations, including General Sir Adrian John Bradshaw, the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) who is also the Commander of the European Force ALTHEA, and Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary General.

More photos.

Anete Gnēze
Senior Desk Officer of the Media Relations Section of the Military Public Affairs Department of the Ministry of Defence
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