Observatory on European defence, April 2014
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: APRIL 1
NATO STOPS COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA
NATO Foreign Ministers has decided to suspend all civilian and military cooperation with Russia, in response to actions undertaken in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Political dialogue in the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) can continue, at the Ambassadorial level, to allow the exchange of views on this crisis. NATO’s relations with Russia will be reviewed at the next NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting, scheduled for June 14th.
EEAS: NEW DIRECTORS FOR CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING (CMPD) AND FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY
Catherine Ashton has appointed two new Directors in the European External Action Service, for the Crisis Management and Planning (CMPD) and the Human Rights and Democracy respectively.
Gabor Iklodi, from Hungary, will be the new Director for Crisis Management and Planning (CMPD). Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, he chaired also the Cyber Defence Management Board and the Terrorism Task force, and was the Head of the NATO/WEU Department. Furthermore, he has previously served as Hungarian Ambassador in Sweden and Norway, General Director for European Political Cooperation and Deputy Head of OSCE Mission. The Italian, Silvio Gonzato, has been appointed new Director for Human Rights and Democracy. Currently guiding the Secretariat of the Committee for Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, he has an extensive background as EP Advisor and Administrator in the field of external relations, human rights, employment and social affairs.
APPOINTEMENT OF THE NEW EUROPEAN SPECIAL ENVOY FOR CENTRAL ASIA
Following the resignations of Patricia Flor, the High Representative has decided to appoint the Hungarian Janos Herman as Special Envoy for Central Asia. Herman previously headed the EU delegation to Norway, worked as a Hungarian state secretary of foreign affairs, and was the Hungarian ambassador to NATO. The initial mandate will last six months, starting from April 2014.
EDA: NEW TEAM FOR MILITARY IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SINGLE EUROPEAN SKY INITIATIVE
The European strategy Single European Sky aims at optimizing the European airspace organization and management. Although SES regulations primarily apply to civil aviation, some implications could affect the military too. For this reason, EDA has been in charge of supporting participating Member States in the identification of the military operational and financial risks expected with the implementation of SESAR. The new SESAR team (Single European Sky ATM Research) will provide in-house expertise and will coordinate with Ministers of Defence to ensure that the military visions and requirements are taken into account in the implementation of SESAR. For this initiative, EDA will work closely with the SESAR Joint Undertaking (responsible for SESAR Development), the European Commission, NATO and EUROCONTROL.
EU: TRAINING MISSION IN MALI EXTENDED AND NEW CIVILIAN MISSION ESTABLISHED
The Council has extended EUTM mission (European Training Mission) Mali by two years, until 18 May 2016. EUTM Mali has the objective of supporting the training and reorganization of Malian Armed Forces, operating under Civilian Authority control, in the attempt to restore country’s territorial integrity. The extension of the mandate will allow military training of four additional battalions. Moreover, additional activities for the mission have been adopted by the Council. The mission will include also a “train the trainers” programme in order to contribute to the sustainability of the mission’s efforts. In addition, the EU has established a new civilian mission, EUCAP MALI, which represents a further European contribution for stability, success of institutional reforms and restoration of state authority throughout the country. The mission will provide strategic advice and training for three internal Security Forces in Mali: the police, Gendarmerie and Garde Nationale. The mission’s mandate will initially last for two years and its Headquarters will be in Bamako. This mission is part of the European Comprehensive Approach to security and development of the Sahel region and comes along with the above-mentioned EUTM MALI and the EUCAP Sahel Niger mission, supporting the fight against organized crime and terrorism.
UKRAINE CRISIS: THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL ADOPTS NEW MEASURES AGAINST MOSCOW
At the press conference, which followed the North Atlantic Council Meeting, the NATO Secretary General has announced the Alliance’s decision to adopt new measures to deal with the crisis in Ukraine. According to the principle of assuring defence through deterrence, Allied ships will deploy to the Baltic Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean and Military staff from Allied nations will intensify joint exercises. At the same time, a series of steps have been already taken, including enhancing Air Policing mission in the Baltic States, and AWACS surveillance flights over Poland and Romania. In general, there will a broader deployment of naval, air and ground-forces. Though stating full support for Geneva Talks and sustaining that a political solution is the only way forward “NATO's core task is to protect and defend its Allies”, reminded the Secretary General.
NEW EUROPEAN ELECTORAL OBSERVATION MISSION IN MALAWI
Upon invitation of the Malawi Electoral Commission, a European Union Electoral Observation mission has been established to supervise the presidential, parliamentary and local government elections, on 20 May 2014. This is the third time that the European Union observes elections in Malawi (previously in 2004 and 2009), suggesting the continuous European effort in supporting credible elections. The mission comprises more than 80 observers from 27 EU Member States and Norway, who will cooperate with other international electoral observation missions.
NATO MINESWEEPERS IN THE BALTIC SEA TO ENHANCE MARITIME SECURITY AND READINESS
On 16 April 2014, the North Atlantic Council has agreed on further measures against Moscow and aimed at reinforcing collective defence. Accordingly, four NATO minesweepers and a supply vessel have left the German port of Kiel to deploy to the Baltic Sea. The aim of the mission is to enhance maritime security and readiness in the region. The five ships, part of the Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group One (SNMCMG1), will participate in numerous port visits and participate in an annual mine clearance operation hosted by Latvia next month. The group is being led by Commander Eirik Otterbu of the Royal Norwegian Navy.