Press release – EU Defence Ministers welcome progress of CSDP missions and operations
27.09.2012, 13:36 (CET)
EU Defence Ministers highlighted today the positive results achieved by the missions and operations of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and emphasised the need for acting comprehensively in response to security challenges, including in the Union’s Southern Neighbourhood. During the two-day informal meeting in Cyprus between September 26 and 27, ministers also expressed a clear concern on the political and security situation in Mali.

Cyprus’ Minister of Defence, Mr. Demetris Eliades, chaired the Informal Meeting on behalf of the High Representative Baroness Cathrine Ashton. She was represented at the meeting by the Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Ambassador Maciej Popowski.

Mr. Eliades described the meeting as a “positive step forward in our common efforts to enhance the Common Security and Defence Policy”, which aims to enhance peace, security, stability and growth.

Reinstating peace in the EU’s southern neighbourhood

During their discussions concerning the recent developments in Libya and the Sahel (Mali), ministers highlighted the crucial potential role of the CSDP in achieving a real and sustainable impact in the EU’s southern neighbourhood. Ministers expressed concern on the political and security situation in Mali, and requested the development of options to support international efforts to assist Mali, following also the recent request of the Malian authorities to the European Union.

Concerning Syria, the ministers stressed the urgent need for a political solution to be found as soon as possible, so that no more lives are lost. EU Defence Ministers welcomed the appointment of Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi as the UN and Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria.

"What we want to do is support the peoples of the region to build their own democratic institutions, democratic societies and democratic states on the basis of human and political rights," said the Defence Minister, stressing that this was the best way to have peace, stability and security in the region.

Encouraging communication and collaboration

Ministers were briefed by the Commanders of several CSDP operations, including EUNAVFOR Atalanta, EUTM Somalia, EUFOR Althea and EUCAP Nestor and welcomed the progress achieved. They emphasised the need to act comprehensively in order to obtain sustainable results. Ministers welcomed the progress of Operation EUNAVFOR Atalanta in combating piracy but also noted that progress is not irreversible.

EU Defence Ministers also discussed the issue of pooling and sharing with a view to developing military capabilities. Ministers welcomed the European Defence Agency’s proposal to develop a voluntary code of conduct on pooling and sharing, and emphasized the need to make this process more systematic and sustainable in the long run.

“Reactions to EDA's proposal on pooling and sharing and on the specific proposal to establish a code of conduct were quite encouraging as ministers were positive,” said Ambassador Popowski.

The EEAS Deputy Secretary General also pointed out that the main challenge is to link pooling and sharing as a European initiative with the national defence planning processes.

The ministers are expected to meet again during the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, on November 19.

The EDA Steering Board in Ministers of Defence formation meeting will be held on the same day.

Presidency Spokesperson in Cyprus
Costas Yennaris

Mobile: +357 99400234
Communications Officer
Elena Fysentzou

Ministry of Defence

Telephone: +357 22807592

Watch the press conference here

Find more related photos here
(September 26)

Find more related photos here
(September 27)