Observatory on European defence, October 2013
IN THE SPOTLIGHT : OCTOBER 15
CATHERINE ASHTON PUBLISHES THE FINAL REPORT ON CSDP
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Head of the European Defence Agency, published her final report in preparation of the European Council in December. The report focused on three clusters: strengthening CSDP, enhancing defence capabilities, strengthening Europe’s defence industry. Regarding the first point, the report says the EU needs to be able to deal with new security challenges such as cyber, space, energy, maritime and border control. The report points out the need for Member States to commit to major projects in air-to-air refueling, satellite communication, remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and cyber defence. Finally, a strengthening of joint programmes combined with a renewed focus on R&D projects and SMEs are deemed essential in order to sustain the European defence industry.
EU TO OBSERVE ELECTIONS IN NEPAL
Following an invitation by the Nepalese authorities, the EU has decided to deploy an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to observe the Constituent Assembly Elections on 19th November 2013. Catherine Ashton has nominated Eva Joly, member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer for this EOM. A team of eight EU election analysts is deployed in Nepal and is following the electoral preparations. 34 long-term observers join the core team on 13 October and reach their areas of responsibility. Up to 60 short-term observers from 28 EU member states, as well as Norway and Switzerland will complete the deployment of the mission. A European Parliament Delegation will also join the observation mission for the voting process. Shortly after Election Day, the EU EOMwill issue a preliminary statement of its initial findings at a press conference in Kathmandu.
NEW HEAD OF THE EU MISSION IN GEORGIA
Toivo Klaar has been appointed new head of mission for EU operation in Georgia (EUMM Georgia), taking over the post of ambassador Andrzej Tyszkiewicz. The EU monitoring mission in Georgia was extended until the 14thof December 2014 with a budget of €26.65 millions. The mission started in 2008 following Russia- Georgia conflict to verify Russia’s withdrawal from the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Currently, 260 members from 26 Member States take part to the mission.
SWEDEN JOINS NATO RESPONSE FORCE AND EXERCISE STEADFAST JAZZ
Sweden has decided to join the NATO Response Force (NRF), as well as the Alliance’s largest exercise of the last seven years, Steadfast Jazz, after the North Atlantic Council approved. As a consequence, Sweden becomes the third partner country to join Steadfast Jazz, alongside Finland and Ukraine. Steadfast Jazz consists of a series of demanding exercises designed to test and certify the NRF, NATO’s rapid-reaction formation. The NRF is composed by land, air, naval and special forces units committed by NATO nations for a twelve-month period. In this context, Sweden has offered substantial forces to the next four rotations of the NRF.
EU LAUNCHES ELECTORAL MISSION IN MALI
Following a request by Malian authorities, EU will send an observation mission to monitor legislative elections that will take place between November and December 2013 in Mali. To this day, a team of experts comprising of nine specialists was send to Mali. Twenty new long-term observers before the 25th October, plus forty observers will be added to the EU team right before the beginning of the elections. After the election day, the EU mission will present its findings concerning the execution of the elections in a media conference in Bamako.
EU AND ISRAEL SPACE AGENCY SIGN AN ACCORD FOR COOPERATION ON NAVIGATION SATELLITE
EU and Israel Space Agency have signed their first accord for cooperation on navigation satellite. Such an accord allows Israeli academics and industries to participate in projects of satellite navigation with their counterparts in Europe.
NATO DEFENCE MINISTERS AGREED ON “CONNECTED FORCES AGENDA”
Defence Ministers of NATO’s Member States agreed on key elements of the “Connected Forces” initiative, whose development will be NATO’s top priority for the future. As explained by Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the initiative “will allow to achieve NATO Forces 2020 objectives: modern armed forces, strictly integrated, well equipped and able to operate alone or with other partners in any circumstances.” The Secretary General added that the Alliance will hold a joint exercise in 2015, comprising a high number of land, maritime and air troops of all Member States.
MANDATE OF EDA CHIEF EXECUTIVE EXTENDED
Following a recommendation by Catherine Ashton, Head of the European Defence Agency, the Steering Board unanimously decided to extend the mandate of Claude-France Arnould. Arnould’s mandate has been extended until January 2015.
EU SANCTIONS TO BELARUS EXTENDED
The EU Council has extended the sanctions against Belarus, as the country has not yet released political prisoners, no prisoner has been rehabilitated, and the respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles have not increased in Belarus since EU started its restrictive measures. In addition, Council updated the list of those whose assets are frozen on the EU soil or that could not travel in the European Union. In particular, 232 persons and 25 entities are targeted by EU sanctions.