14 XI 2016

Meeting of EU Defence Ministers

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“The main session of the conference of ministers of foreign affairs and EU defense ministers, concerning EU defense policy, ended with the adoption of joint conclusions that are in line with the main tenets of the Polish position,” said the Minister of National Defence Antoni Macierewicz in Brussels, during his meeting with journalists.
zdjęcie - Meeting of EU Defence Ministers
Photo. mjr Robert Siemaszko/COMON

On Monday, 14 November, Antoni Macierewicz participated in the meeting of the Defence Ministers of the European Union.

During the talks, which took place in accordance with the FAC formula under the guidance of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, the heads of defense ministries and foreign affairs discussed issues related to among other issues, capacity building for the security and defense of the European Union (CSDP—Common Security and Defence Policy).

As Poland’s Defence Minister pointed out in his speech “(...) during the sessions, it was noted above all that the eastern flank of NATO is just as important and critical an area for the EU in the sphere of defense, as is the southern flank.”

Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz, in speaking of EU–NATO cooperation noted that the efforts and actions that are being taken for the sake of security, may not in any event be some alternative. “These actions must be complementary and must be particularly developed in those areas, in which NATO does not implement its activities. (…) There, where NATO carries out its mission is where our financial, planning, combat and military effort focuses, within NATO structures, is where the EU need not undertake these types of undertakings. I think that we still have ahead of us quite a significant effort to apply such a separating formula in practice.”

An important topic of conversation during the meetings was also the question of the defense budget. “We also raised the issue, which can not be overlooked and is fundamental for EU defense policy. And as long as the Member States of the EU will not pay at least these 2% [of GDP], calculated according to the NATO system, everything will remain at the level of discussion. I placed much emphasis on this matter, which was met with a declarative response. We'll see if these efforts will result in the spending of larger sums of money by the other EU countries. So far, Poland remains one of the few countries that meet this condition.”

The head of the Defence Ministry, when asked about a comment to the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs concerning combat-ready battle groups, said that it has been adopted as a proposal for discussion. “From now until spring of next year, and perhaps even longer, the individual portions of this plan will be further detailed, discussed and made more specific.”

During Poland’s Defence Minister’s stay in Brussels, a meeting also took place with Italy’s Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti.

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