Informal meeting of Defence Ministers: arrivals, round table, extracts from the welcome speech by Sten Tolgfors, Swedish Minister for Defence and President in office of the Council
End production: 28/09/2009
On 28 and 29 September 2009, the EU Ministers for Defence attended an informal meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden. Sten Tolgfors, Swedish Minister for Defence and President in office of the Council, welcomed his fellow Ministers and Victoria, Princess of Sweden. Apart from the EU Ministers for Defence, participants included Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council of the EU and High Representative for CFSP, and representatives from the European Commission and the Office of the Secretary General of NATO.
The year 2009 marks the tenth anniversary of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). Through close cooperation, the EU Member States have developed resources, created new capabilities and worked to promote peace and security in the world. However, as this development has taken place, demand for support from the EU has also increased. One overarching objective is, therefore, to strengthen the EU as a global actor. The meeting in Gothenburg focused on continued capacity development and increased functionality of existing capabilities with the objective of increasing EU preparedness for crisis management.
During four working sessions, the Ministers discussed issues in the area of the ESDP. The first session dealt with cooperation in the area of maritime surveillance and civilian-military capacity development. The EU Battlegroups were also discussed. The discussion touched on how the Battlegroups - without changing the existing concepts - could become more functional and whether they could be used in a more flexible way. During the second day of the meeting, the operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Somalia were discussed. The final working session dealt with topics such as defence industry issues, with a focus on transparency and harmonisation. The meeting concluded with a working lunch where participants discussed the situation in Afghanistan, the broader commitments of the EU and cooperation with partner organisations. The UN Special Representative for Afghanistan took part in this discussion via video link.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of delegations
||Arrival of Jan Fulík, Czech Deputy Minister for Defence responsible for Foreign Affairs; and of Christine Roger, Permanent Representative of France at the Political and Security Committee (PSC); welcomed by Sten Tolgfors, Swedish Minister for Defence and President in office of the Council
||Arrival of Guiseppe Cossiga, Italian Secretary of State for Defence
||Arrival of Pieter de Crem, Belgian Minister for Defence, welcomed by Sten Tolgfors
||Arrival of Vytatutas Umbrasas, Lithuanian Vice-Minister for National Defence
||Arrival of Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council of the EU and High Representative for CFSP, welcomed by Sten Tolgfors (2 shots)
||Arrival of Victoria, Princess of Sweden, welcomed by Sten Tolgfors (2 shots)
||Arrival of Victoria, Princess of Sweden, in the meeting room (2 shots)
||Soundbite by Sten Tolgfors (extracts from his welcome speech) (in ENGLISH) welcoming Victoria, Princess of Sweden, and the Ministers;
2009 marks the tenth anniversary of the European Security and Defence Policy; during the past 10 years, the EU has carried out 22 operations on four continents; our military capacity has proven to be reliable in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Chad, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and most recently the ongoing operation off the coast of Somalia.