Common perceptions, joint efforts and solidarity among Member States are imperative for the EU’s efforts to realise its ambition of a safe and peaceful future, according to Cyprus’ Defence Minister, Mr. Demetris Eliades. The Cypriot Minister was addressing today’s seminar, entitled “On the Road with CSDP” (Common Security and Defence Policy), which was co-organised in Brussels by the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU and the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations.
The high–level seminar, which took place today, October 30, at the premises of the Bavarian Representation, was geared at providing a forum for relevant stakeholders to evaluate the Common Security and Defence Policy’s current development and future direction.
Representatives and officials from EU institutions, Member States, acceding and third countries took part in the meeting, along with academics who specialise in the field of security and defence.
During his speech, Mr. Eliades outlined the Cyprus Presidency’s activities and targets during its presidency in the field of defence and security, while highlighting the focus placed on the CSDP.
“We have operated within the framework of our common effort to further boost the current issues of concern. With that in mind, we identified our contribution through four interrelated levels: The development of the EU Military Capabilities, the promotion of the International Security, the promotion of a common culture in the domain of CSDP and finally, the publication of books related with the CSDP,” said Mr. Eliades.
Developing the EU’s military capability
Participants discussed the current state of the CSDP following important relevant events during the past two years. With the Ghent Initiative of 2010, the Council Conclusions on Common Security and Defence Policy of December 2011 and the Chicago Summit in 2012, a renewed push was noted for a collective European action in addressing Europe’s strategic and critical shortfalls.
Participants evaluated the applicability and effectiveness of the approaches currently used to address these capability shortcomings, such as Pooling and Sharing (through the CSDP) and other bilateral or multidimensional approaches.
“Due to the current economic crisis, the EU has to use every available option like the Pooling and Sharing Initiative, in order to mitigate its identified capability problems, in the most cost-efficient manner,” commented Mr. Eliades.
The seminar also dealt with current developments in the field of defence, following the shift in the US defence strategy, the crises in Europe’s neighbouring regions and the alarming developments in the Gulf. Participants exchanged views on the EU’s responsibility as “security provider”, and what sort of implications this role entails for its military ambitions.
The Cypriot Defence Minister concluding his speech highlighted the following: “The EU, as a global factor, emerges as a calm, cultured and trustworthy force with political and economic initiatives with a pioneering presence in the fields of humanitarian and development assistance,” said the Cypriot Minister.
"The CSDP of the EU serves peace, security, stability and growth in Europe and the world,” Mr. Eliades continued.
Speakers praised the Cyprus Presidency for the high standard of events it has organised and for its initiatives, which promote the EU’s policies for peace, security and defence.
Discussions at the seminar are expected to contribute to the ongoing preparations for the CSDP Ministerial Council Conclusions of November 19.