Observatory on European defence, December 2014
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: 16 DECEMBER
ACTION PLAN FOR THE EU MARITIME STRATEGY
The Council of the European Union, in its General Affairs Council configuration, has promoted the action plan for the European Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS), which had been adopted by the European Council in June. The first aim of the mission is providing European and national authorities with a general framework for a coherent development of specific policies against maritime threats. The second aim is protecting the strategic interest of the EU in maritime environment. The General Affairs Council’s action plan consist of 130 actions organized in five different areas: 1) external action; 2) awareness of maritime environment; 3) capability development; 4) risk management; 5) research and innovation. The Action Plan identifies the principal actors in the security framework at EU and national level and provides a timeline for the strategy implementation.
NATO SPEARHEAD FORCE OPERATIONAL FROM 2015
Foreign Affairs NATO Ministers have declared that an interim armed force will be operational from early 2015 to improve the Alliance’s readiness in response to the events in Ukraine and the instability of the Mediterranean Southern flank. The presence of the interim force will continue until the deployment of the full Spearhead Force, which will take place in 2016. The ministers, besides underpinning their will to maintain a continuous presence in Eastern member states, have discussed the progress achieved in the implementation of the Readiness Action Plan, which was signed by NATO Member States at Wales Summit in September 2014. According to Secretary General Stoltenberg the Plan implementation in Eastern countries is already occurring through the increase of military presence of NATO. In February, NATO defense ministers will decide the Spearhead Force size and set up, with the aim of deploying in 2016. In the meantime, a provisional force composed by German, Dutch and Norwegian troops will be deployed in the early months of 2015.
FIRST DIALOGUE ON CYBERSECURITY LAUNCHED BETWEEN EU AND US
The meeting between EU and US representatives took place in Brussels, where they discussed the relationship between foreign policy and cybersecurity. The participants welcomed the consensus obtained from theGroup of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security and the preventing measures agreed with the support of OSCE to reduce prospects for conflict in cyberspace. The EU and the US have underlined that no entity, company, should seek to have the absolute control of the Internet, and expressed their full support for an inclusive and transparent world governance. The representatives of the two missions have emphasized the value of the Internet Governance Forum and its developments in line with the principles established by the UN Commission on Science and Technology, as well as the importance of the NET Mundial Multistakeholder on the Future of Internet Governance meeting. The representatives have expressed their appreciations for the efforts undertaken to improve the transparency of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and transitioning the stewardship to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority(IANA). The UE and the US have declared to have high expectations over the next world forums on cyber governance, such as the World Summit on the Information Society in 2015, sponsored by the UN General Assembly, theGlobal Conference on Cyberspace in The Hague in April 2015 and the annual conference on Freedom Online in Mongolia in May 2015.
MANDATES OF EU MISSIONS IN GEORGIA AND AFGHANISTAN EXTENDED
The Council of the EU has extended the mandate of the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia) until 14 December 2016, and that of EU Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL Afghanistan) until 31 December 2016. EUMM is a non-armed civilian mission established to monitoring the agreement signed by Georgia and Russia after the war of 2008. The aim of the mission, whose personnel works in tight collaboration with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), is that of safeguarding stability and promoting peace in the region. Recently, the Political and Security Committee of the Council has appointed Kęstutis Jankauskas, experienced Lithuanian diplomat, new head of the Mission in Georgia. Based in Tbilisi, EUMM has a budget of €18,3 millions. The mission of the EU police in Afghanistan (EUPOL) has also been extended for two more years. EUPOL aims at assisting the development of an Afghani police until the end of 2016. The mission, with a budget of €58 millions until 2015, has a body of 450 people and is based in Kabul.
EU SANCTIONS AGAINST CRIMEA AND SEVASTOPOL
The Council of the EU has imposed further sanctions against Crimea and Sevastopol on investments, services and trade to reaffirm EU policy of not recognizing their illegal annexation by Russia. This decision follows a conclusion by the Foreign Affairs Council on 17 November. From 20 December, investments in Crimea and Sevastopol are outlawed. European companies shall no more buy real estate or offer tourism services in these two regions. Sales of technology, products related to transport, telecommunications, energy sector, as well as all the activities (even technical assistance) concerning engineering will also be prohibited.
DetailsRoma, Istituto affari internazionali, 2014, 2 p.