Observatory on European defence, March 2016
In the spotlight: 6 March
NATO expands its activities in the Aegean Sea
NATO has expanded its activities in the maritime area between Turkey and Greece. The scope of the mission is to contrast the traffic of human beings and to identify criminal networks feeding the recent migration crisis. The German flagship FGS Bonn, which belongs to the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), was the first ship of the Alliance to have access to Greek territorial waters during the first patrolling around the island of Lesbos.
The EU prolongs sanctions against 16 Ukrainians
The Council prolonged asset freeze for a further year against 16 Ukrainians people considered to be responsible of misappropriation of State’s funds. Measures have been revoked so far for only one person since their introduction in March 2014.
Scaparrotti new Supreme Allied Commander Europe
The Atlantic Council nominated US Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti as the new Supreme Allied Commander Europe. The General is presently Commander of the US Armed Forces in Korea (USFK) and will settle at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Power Europe in the next weeks.
EU Electoral Observation Mission in Peru
Following a formal request by the Peruvian authorities, the European Union started a mission in Peru with the objective of monitoring the presidential and parliamentary elections taking place on 10 April. The EU Chief Observer, Renate Weber, assured that the mission “will closely follow all stages of the elections,” working with transparency together with the Peruvian authorities.
EU halts consultations with Burundi
The Council concluded consultations with the Burundi Government within the framework of article 96 of the partnership agreement EU-ACP (Cotonou Agreement), suspending its financial support to the administration. However, the EU confirmed its commitment to keep open the channel of funds in favour of the population and its humanitarian assistence. The Council will review its decision every six months, being supported in its assessment by the joint monitoring missions of the European External Action Service and the Commission.
EU amends restrictive measures against Al-Qaida
The Council adopted a decision amending restrictive measures against members of Al-Qaida and other individuals, groups and entities associated with the terrorist organisation. The purpose is to interrupt the flow of economic and financial resources to individuals and entities linked to Al-Qaida and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), as mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 2253.
Refugee crisis: the EU sets emergency support
The Council set a mechanism aimed at helping Greece and the other states involved in the management of the arrival of refugees. The new regulation follows the political agreement reached by the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee on 9 March, translating into practice EU’s commitment to provide an immediate response to the complex situation. According to the Commission, the new package should have a budget of 300 million euros for 2016 and of 200 million euros for both 2017 and 2018.