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Strengthening of EU military capabilities and cooperation with strategic partners

On the second day of the informal meeting of EU defence ministers, discussion focused on military capabilities and their further development. The Progress Catalogue 2007 identified both deficiencies and surpluses in the field of military capabilities, and the ministers agreed that it was necessary to continue activities for eliminating the deficits. It is necessary to improve all mechanisms currently available in order to ensure the necessary forces for EU operations.

The ministers agreed that the European Defence Agency has made great progress in the field of long-term strategies and their implementation during the brief period of its existence. It is important to be aware that the capability development plan offers opportunities for cooperation in the framework of different common projects aimed at increasing interoperability, reducing the costs of Member States and greater harmonisation of the European defence industry.

The defence ministers went on to discuss the strategic partnership with other security and defence organisations. EU and NATO must continue their efforts for an in-depth and concrete cooperation, for this is the only way to achieve a greater combination effect in operations. Furthermore, the EU confirms its commitment to further strengthen the cooperation with the UN, including the field of post-conflict reconstruction and crisis management.

The ministers stressed that special attention must be devoted also to the issue of human rights, especially to the situation of children and women in armed conflicts.

The informal meeting will conclude with a meeting between the presiding state of Slovenia, representatives of the Secretariat of the EU Council, and representatives of Norway, Iceland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Croatia and Turkey.


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Date: 22.02.2008