Against the background of changes to the global security environment, Latvian Minister of Defence Raimonds Vējonis emphasised the importance of working together to guarantee Europe’s security and prosperity. Opening a high-level seminar organised in the framework of the Latvian EU Presidency on 19 January, he argued that the European Council in June presented a significant opportunity to address common threats and challenges.
During his speech, Minister Vējonis outlined a review of strategic defence documents as one of Latvia’s priorities for the European Council. In particular, an update of the European Security Strategy should be assigned. Secondly, cooperation and coordination between EU bodies active in the field of CSDP should be enhanced. Minister Vējonis mentioned the four capability programmes on air-to-air refuelling, remotely piloted aircraft systems, satellite communications, and cyber defence, the European Defence Agency was entrusted with as successful examples of increased cooperation. He emphasised that the EU’s comprehensive approach including cooperation between military and civilian actors should be bolstered to address hybrid threats. Finally, cyber defence and the EU’s maritime security are two areas Latvia will put special emphasis on during its presidency.
The seminar "Building consensus towards the June 2015 European Council - next steps?" was attended by representatives from the EU Ministries of Defence, European institutions as well as representatives of the academic community. The European Defence Agency participated in a panel discussion on strengthening Europe’s defence industry. Tarja Jaakkola, Deputy Director & Head of Unit Market and Industry Policy presented the Agency’s work in the fields of research and dual-use. Further discussions included ways of enhancing the development of EU capabilities as well as the role of the EU CSDP in the global security environment.
(Copyright picture: Normunds Mežiņš, RYC)