Federal Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and EU High Representative Josep Borrell jointly invited the EU defence ministers to an informal meeting in Berlin.
There they focussed on developing the Strategic Compass and a threat analysis, as well as improving operational contributions by the EU. They also exchanged views on the post-COVID-19 order. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix were also invited to attend the meeting.
The Informal Meeting of EU Defence Ministers traditionally takes place in the country holding the Council Presidency. It serves as a forum to discuss current and general defence issues at EU level and is usually held at the start of a Council Presidency. The meeting is formally chaired by the EU High Representative and hosted by the country holding the Council Presidency.
It coincided with the Informal Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States, known as the Gymnich meeting, which was also held in Berlin on 27 and 28 August 2020.
The seventh meeting of the defence ministers of countries participating in the Framework Nations Concept (FNC) was scheduled to coincide with and to complement the Informal Meeting of EU Defence Ministers. This underlined the progress made in EU-NATO cooperation and emphasised the strengthening of the European pillar of NATO.
The German Federal Ministry of Defence considers the Informal Meeting of EU Defence Ministers to be the main event within the framework of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This meeting also provided an opportunity to set priorities for the further development of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
Further events to take place before the end of the year included the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting in the defence ministers’ format, planned to be held in Brussels in mid-November and the multinational medical exercise Resilient Response, due to take place at the end of November and to include reactions to a pandemic scenario, as well as a concluding high-level conference in Berlin on 10 December.
Further information is provided by the Federal Ministry of Defence (German only):