Tue. Dec 6th, 2022
Current Affairs

The High Representative provided the Council with a state of play on the European Peace facility, and ministers recognised the urgent need to guarantee the financial sustainability of this instrument, which has proved to be pertinent, flexible, fast and efficient in times of crisis.

The Council then discussed a possible CSDP engagement in Niger.

I have proposed a small and agile military mission to respond to the needs of the Niger Armed Forces in the field of maintenance and logistics. I hope that we will be able to establish it at the next Foreign Affairs Council in December.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The High Representative also informed the Council about ongoing work on the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity – one of the key deliverables of the Strategic Compass -, and about the joint High Representative and the Commission’s proposal on Military Mobility and Cyber Defence.

Defence capabilities and operational realities

The Foreign Affairs Council held a discussion on how to step up defence investments and defence capabilities on the basis of the 2nd report of the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence.

The discussion focused on how to replenish stocks, improve the readiness of EU forces, and ensure continued EU support to Ukraine and key partners. In this context ministers also touch on joint procurement. Work at EU level on this matter has advanced, as urgent needs were identified and the EU is now reaching out to the European Defence industry to ensure that it can deliver rapidly the needs of member states.

This was the first annual defence ministerial meeting on EU defence initiatives addressing capability development, as proposed by the Strategic Compass on security and defence.

Russian aggression against Ukraine

Following a presentation by the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov (via VTC), defence ministers informally exchanged views on the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine, together with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Ministers were updated on the military situation on the ground, where Ukraine has already recovered 50% of the territory occupied by Russia since February 2022.

What is clear is that on both fronts – the East and the South -, the military equipment provided by the Europeans and the US altogether to the Ukrainian Armed Forces is proving to be extraordinarily useful. These arms, especially anti-aerial are making a difference, clearly. This is a war of logistics, where supply chains matter a lot and critical equipment such as battle-tanks, artillery, and especially air defence systems are vital. We are convinced that thanks to this aid, Ukraine is not only resisting, but pushing back the Russian army.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Other Council decisions

The Council launched the European Union Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine), and adopted an assistance measure under the European Peace Facility (EPF) worth €16 million to support the capacity building of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by the EUMAM Ukraine.

The Council adopted a decision authorising the Netherlands as project coordinator to formally invite the UK to join the PESCO project Military Mobility.

European Defence Agency Steering Board

The European Defence Agency’s (EDA) ministerial steering board met before the Council meeting.

Ministers discussed and adopted the main findings and recommendations of the 2022 Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) report in the areas of defence spending, defence planning and defence cooperation. Ministers also approved the Agency’s 2023 general budget of €43.5 million, the staff establishment plan, and the Three-Year Planning Framework 2023-2025 which provides an overview of the nature, scope and expected impact of EDA’s activities in support of member states in the years to come.

Meeting information
  • Meeting n°3907-2
  • Brussels
  • 15 November 2022
Preparatory documents
Outcome documents
Press releases
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