The Informal Meeting of EU Ministers of Defence

Defence Ministers
Copyright: Dutch government

At the Informal meeting of the European Ministers of Defence in Amsterdam, the Romanian defence minister, Mihnea Motoc, highlighted, during the discussions on the defense cooperation and the European Defence Action Plan, the importance Romania gives to maintaining the military field in the attention of the political decision-makers, and to allocating of the adequate resources for the development of capabilities at a European level.

During the session dedicated to the ongoing operations and military missions focused on the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and Central African Republic, Romania reiterated its support for EU initiatives undertaken in Africa, focusing on efforts against maritime piracy, strengthen security and stability in the Horn of Africa.
The future EU Global Strategy was also discussed, in preparation for the European Council meeting in June 2016.

The meeting was attended by Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, who in his speech pointed out the importance of the two summits this summer, the NATO Summit in Warsaw and the European Council, including the identification of new opportunities for cooperation between the EU and NATO.

I’m looking forward to meet with the EU Defence Ministers and I’m looking forward to discuss with them how we are responding to a more demanding and challenging security environment. And recently we have seen some very important steps in the right direction. A few days ago the United States announced plans to substantially increase their military presence in Europe, by increasing four times the amount they spend on military presence in Europe, so they can fund more troops in the Eastern part of the Alliance, so they can finance the prepositioning of heavy equipment, tanks, armored vehicles and other kinds of heavy equipment. And also more exercises and more investments in infrastructure. So this increased US presence in Europe is an important sign and part of the adaptation of the Alliance to a more demanding security environment.

Another positive sign is what we see regarding defence spending in Europe. After many years of substantial cuts in defence spending, last year the cuts in defence spending in Europe practically stopped. That’s of course only the first step but it is a step in the right direction. The picture is still mixed, but we are moving now in the right direction.

And then of course we also see increased interest for cooperation between the European Union and NATO. I welcome that and I will discuss with the ministers how we can work more closely on challenges like hybrid threats, like working together to stabilize our neighborhood in the South. And also on other issues which are of great importance for both the European Union and NATO”, stated Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO.

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