Observatory on European defence, July 2015
In the spotlight: 3 July
NATO: new Air Command and Control System activated
NATO has activated a new Air Command and Control System (ACCS) at the Poggio Renatico radar base. Italian authorities have officially declared the system to be fully operational, making Poggio Renatico the first ACCS site to achieve operational status. In addition, together with a static NATO Air Command and Control Centre, the site also hosts a deployable ACCS capability that the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) can use to conduct air operations either in NATO countries or out of the borders of the Alliance. This operational capability may also support NATO’s Readiness Action Plan, if required. On 17 June, the new system has been tested during an air policing exercise employing two Eurofighter Typhoon aircrafts controlled by the ACCS site in Poggio Renatico.
EU has prolonged the EUPOL COPPS police mission
The Council has prolonged the EU police mission for the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS) until 30 June 2016. The mission is part of wider EU efforts to support the Palestinian state-building process in the attempt to achieve a comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on a two-states solution. The mission, conducted within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), has been assisting the Palestinian Authority in building strong institutions in the areas of policing and criminal justice. For the mission’s activities, starting on 1 July 2015 and lasting until 30 June 2016, a budget of 9.175 million euros has been allocated.
Federica Mogherini appoints new chairmen for EDA Steering Boards
Federica Mogherini has appointed three new chairmen for the European Defence Agency (EDA) Steering Boards. Daniel Koštoval, former Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and current Deputy Minister and Head of the Defence Policy & Strategy Division at the Ministry of Defence, has been appointed chairman of the “National Armaments Directors” Committee. He will be in charge starting from 1 September 2015. Lieutenant General Erhard Bühler from Germany will be the new chairman of “Capability Directors.” Bühler is currently Director of Germany’s Defence Plans & Policy and Head of the Directorate General for Strategic Planning in the Federal Ministry of Defence. Finally, Bryn Wells, from the United Kingdom, will serve as chairman of the “Reasearch and Technology Directors” from January 2016. Wells has worked for the British Ministry of Defence since 1988 and he is currently advising British strategic policy on all aspects of the Ministry’s science and technology programmes.
Iran: EU extends suspension of sanctions
The European Union has extended the suspension of the restrictive measures agreed in the Joint Plan of Action with Iran dated 24 November 2013. The suspension of the restrictive measures has been decided in order to allow the implementation of the new Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed in Vienna on 14 July 2015 with Iran, EU, China, Russia, United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. The Council of the EU has prolonged the suspension of the measures for six months until 14 January 2016.