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Observatory on European defence, January 2015


In the Spotlight: 9 January
Jorge Domecq New EDA Chief Executive

The High Representative of the European Union Federica Mogherini appointed Jorge Domecq as the new European Defence Agency (EDA) Chief Executive. Jorge Domecq, Spanish diplomat and current Permanent Representative of Spain to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), will succeed to Claude-France Arnould, after a long selection process started in December 2014. The new CEO has served as Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines and held several positions within the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, besides having acted as the Director of the Private Office of the NATO Secretary General and as Diplomatic Adviser to the Spanish Minister of Defence. The EDA is currently involved in the development of several projects in the security and defence field, including satellite communications, cyber defence, RPAS and air-to-air refuelling. Established in 2004, EDA supports and foster cooperation between Member States, especially in areas such as research, certification, standardisation and in the industrial sector.

5 January
Italy Leads NATO Mission over the Baltic

The end of 2014 marked the end of the 36th rotation of the NATO Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission, set to protect the air space over Baltic States. After handover of responsibility from Portugal to Italy, the Italian Air Force will join the mission, deploying four Eurofighters. The mission started in 2004, when Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined NATO. The new rotation has involved Spanish Eurofighters, which have replaced German aircrafts in the base of Ämari (Estonia) and Belgian F-16, which have supplanted Dutch aircrafts in the base of Malbork (Poland). In January, Polish forces joined the mission as well, deploying MiG-29 in Šiauliai, Latvia.

15 January
New Action Plan between NATO and Serbia

On 15 January the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) between NATO and Serbia was launched. IPAP is a cooperation plan aimed at strengthening cooperation and dialogue between NATO and non-member states. In this framework, NATO offers appropriate expertise in the field of security and defence, without dismissing other important areas for the Euro-Atlantic Organization. NATO Action Plans were initiated at the Prague Summit in November 2002 and have so far been agreed with Georgia, Azerbaijan Armenia, Kazakhstan, Moldova Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

19 January
New Head of EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Council has appointed Mr Lars-Gunnar Wigemark as EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He will also take over the role of the Head of the European Union's Delegation in Sarajevo. Mr Wigemark succeeds Peter Sørensen, who had been in place since 2011. Former Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan, the new Special Representative has 30 years of experience in the Swedish and European diplomatic services.

19 January
New EU Mission in the Central African Republic

The Council has established the EU Military Advisory Mission in the Central African Republic (EUMAM RCA), with the aim of reinforcing the security conditions of the country. The mission offers expertise in training and suggestions in security forces’ management. Among its tasks, there is also the promotion of a global reform of Central African armed forces (FACA). The mission, based in Bangui and with a capability of 60 staff under the leadership of French General Dominique Laugel, will last 12 months starting from the moment of Full Operational Capability. The budget for the preparation phase and the first year of the mission is estimated at €7.9 million. The mission, which will be launched following next Council decision, will follow EU military operation in the CAR (EUFOR RCA), which is going to be operational until 15 March 2015.

19 January
New EUCAP Sahel Mali Mission Launched

The Council has launched a new mission in the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy in Mali, the EUCAP Sahel Mali. The mission’s task is to support Malian security forces in maintaining order and ensuring state authority all over its territory, as well as to create the conditions for lasting peace. The mission provides expertise and training to the three internal security forces of Mali, the police, the Gendarmerie and the Garde Nationale. EUCAP Sahel Mali, based in capital Bamako, is set to last about two years (15 January 2017), and has a budget for the first year of €11.4 million.

27 January
Spain Joins NATO Missile Defence Mission in Turkey

Spanish troops reached Adana, in the southeast of Turkey, to join Patriot, NATO’s deployment of missile defence against Syrian ballistic missiles. Spanish forces have replaced Dutch troops in the air defence of Turkey’s south-eastern border. NATO Foreign Ministers approved the mission in 2012, after a formal request from the Turkish government. United States, Germany and the Netherlands deployed two Patriot missile batteries each and soldiers. Since the start of the mission, hundreds of Syrian short-range missile launches were detected and intercepted. At the moment, besides Spanish troops in the southern area of Turkey, American and German troops are deployed respectively in Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras.