Informal Meeting of Defence Ministers [fr]
The meeting of Defence Ministers, the first informal ministerial meeting of the French Presidency, will take place on 12 and 13 January at the Ateliers des Capucins in Brest. It will be followed by the informal meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers (Gymnich).
Since 2017, a particular emphasis has been placed on European defence with the launch of such initiatives as the European Defence Fund and the Permanent Structured Cooperation. Drawing on this unprecedented progress, the French Presidency must contribute to consolidating the initiatives already in place and launching new projects. The objective is to enable Europeans to deal with a continually deteriorating strategic environment. This first informal ministerial meeting of the presidency will bring together the 27 Defence Ministers of the Member States of the European Union. It will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Security and defence
This milestone event will allow the ministers to share their priorities in the field of security and defence. Several discussions are planned, including a dinner with the NATO Secretary General and the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, a working session on contested strategic areas, in particular in the field of space, and a joint working session of Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministers.
At this final stage, discussions should focus in particular on the “Strategic Compass” project. For the first time, the European Union will develop a White Paper setting out the roadmap for security and defence by 2030. Drawing on a joint threat analysis, it will define the actions to be taken in four key areas: crisis management, capacity-building, resilience and partnerships. The outcome of two years’ work, launched under the German Presidency, this document is to be finalised by March 2022 in order to be endorsed by the Heads of State and Government at the European Council meeting on 24 and 25 March.