Observatory on European defence, October 2012
IN THE SPOTLIGHT : OCTOBER 10
NATO APPOINTS THE NEW SACEUR
The North Atlantic Council has approved the appointment of General John Allen, currently the commander of the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan, as the new Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR).
NEW NATO MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN APPROVED
Defence Ministers from NATO Allies and ISAF partner nations have endorsed the broad political framework for a new training, advising and assisting mission in Afghanistan after 2014.
EUAVSEC MISSION STARTS TO DEPLOY TO JUBA
The European Union Aviation Security Mission (EUAVSEC) has started to deploy to Juba in South Sudan. EUAVSEC is the European Union’s first engagement in South Sudan under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The mission aims to strengthen aviation security at Juba international airport in South Sudan by providing advice to the authorities in Juba in the field of air safety; training for security officers and law enforcement services at the airport; technical assistance; coordination of security activities. EUAVSEC has a budget of € 12.5 million and his mandate will last 19 months.
EU STRENGTHENS SANCTIONS AGAINTS THE SYRIAN REGIME
Given the intensifying violence in Syria, the Council has reinforced EU sanctions against the Syrian regime. The Council has added 28 persons to the list of those subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze. At the same time, two additional entities were targeted with a freeze of their assets in the EU. The Council has also took further steps in respect of arms, prohibiting the import into the EU of arms from Syria, or any EU involvement in the transport of Syrian arms. The Council has also banned EU nationals and enterprises from supplying financial services to Syrian arms exports. No EU citizens or companies must be involved in Syrian military cooperation with third countries, which could benefit the Syrian regime. This is the 19th round of EU sanctions against the Syrian regime. The decisions bring the total number of targeted persons and entities to 181 individuals and 54 entities.
EU ADOPTS NEW MEASURES AGAINTS IRAN AND THE NUCLEAR PROGRAMME
Given the EU’s serious and deepening concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme, the Council has significantly broadened EU restrictive measures against that country. The Council has took further measures to ensure that EU financial institutions do not process funds that could contribute to Iran’s nuclear programme or to the development of ballistic missiles. Therefore it has prohibited all transactions between European and Iranian banks, unless they are explicitly authorized by national authorities under strict conditions. The Council has also banned the import of natural gas from Iran into the EU. Vessels belonging to EU citizens and companies may no longer be used for transporting or storing Iranian oil and petrochemical products. Finally, the Council has targeted 34 additional Iranian entities providing substantial financial support to the Iranian government and one person involved in the Iranian nuclear programme with an asset freeze and a travel ban. This concerns notably entities active in the oil and gas industry and in the financial sector.
NEW ACTION PLAN BETWEEN EU AND THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission have announced the conclusion of negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) on a new European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan. The Action Plan sets out the objectives of EU-PA bilateral relations for the next five years.
MACEDONIA TAKES PART IN EU CRISIS MANAGEMENT
The Executive Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Pierre Vimont, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Nikola Poposki, have signed a Framework Agreement for the participation of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in EU crisis management operations.