Mon. Jan 30th, 2023

Current Affairs

EU defence ministers were briefed by the High Representative, Josep Borrell, about current affairs, thereby reviewing a number of recent developments and upcoming events.

The Council was informed about the High Representative’s recent trip to the Sahel, where he visited Mauritania, Mali and Chad. Ministers emphasised that stability in the region remains key for Europe’s security.

Ministers then discussed Russia’s recent military build up in illegally-annexed Crimea and on the Ukrainian border. The debate reaffirmed the EU’s position that Russia must de-escalate and reduce tensions, and that the full implementation of the Minsk agreements is key to a lasting political solution.

The High Representative updated ministers on the EU’s response to Mozambique’s request for EU assistance to help address the security crisis and the terrorist threat in Cabo Delgado.

We are considering a potential EU Training Mission. We have a few steps ahead of us, but I hope it will be launched as soon as possible. I have given clear instructions to the services to accelerate work because we need to respond to the Mozambique request with a certain sense of urgency.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Strategic Compass

The Council exchanged views on the strategic compass, with a focus on crisis management.

After a discussion on the threat analysis in November 2020, that highlighted the need for the EU to be prepared for future challenges and crises, the Council discussed a concrete set of ideas and proposals on how to be ready to react to risks.

“The European Union needs to be more effective and take decisions faster. We discussed notably how to launch our missions and operations more quickly, as well as how we could create more incentives to improve the number of personnel and staff and assets deployed to EU CSDP missions and operations.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The Council discussion based on the proposal of the High Representative highlighted the need for more flexibility to better adapt the EU’s civilian and military missions to the needs in each crisis, including through enhanced coordination and cooperation with other military operations conducted in ad hoc coalitions by member states or other partners.

Ministers also touched on the need for the EU to have having fully equipped and prepared staff to react quickly to crisis. In this context, the idea of an initial entry force that could be deployed as “first responder” in an urgent crisis was discussed.

The Strategic Compass is scheduled for adoption by the Council in March 2022.


Following the requests of Canada, Norway and the United States of America to participate in the PESCO project Military Mobility, the Council adopted positive decisions authorising the coordinator of this project – the Netherlands – to invite the three countries.

Canada, Norway and the United States of America will be the first third states to be invited to participate in a PESCO project.


Over an informal working lunch, ministers exchanged views with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. on operational engagement in theatres of common interest, from the Mediterranean to Afghanistan.

European Defence Agency Steering Board

The European Defence Agency’s steering board met in the margins of the Council meeting to review the state of play in the implementation of the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence recommendations (CARD), looking in particular at collaborative opportunities in capability development, research and technology.

European Union Satellite Centre Board

The High Representative chaired for the first time the board meeting of the EU Satellite Centre (SatCen) at ministerial level. The board discussed the role of SatCen within the CFSP and beyond, with a focus on its future tasks and functions, and appropriate level of ambition.

Meeting information

  • Meeting n°3791
  • Brussels
  • 6 May 2021
  • 10:00

Preparatory documents

  • Provisional agenda
  • List of A items, non-legislative activities
  • List of A-items, non-legislative activities, correction 1
  • Background brief

Outcome documents

Press releases

Source EU Council:

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