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Minister of Defence Tsahkna: The EU is strong when Member States develop national defence
Kaitseminister Margus Tsahkna ja välisminister Sven Mikser Euroopa Liidu välis- ja kaitseministrite ühiskohtumisel
Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna emphasised that Europe is strong when Member States contribute sufficiently to independent national defence at the joint meeting of the European Union’s ministers of foreign affairs and ministers of defence held in Brussels.
“To provide real content to our security cooperation objectives, we, as EU Member States, must dedicate sufficient resources to national defence,” stated Tsahkna. “The European Union can only be taken seriously as a global contributor when each Member State dedicates itself to its security and national defence, and uses sufficient resources to do so.“
Minister of Defence Tsahkna stated that a strong Europe is based on the unity and solidarity of Member States. “Estonia supports European defence cooperation, which includes everyone and benefits all Member States,” said the Minister of Defence. “In addition to strengthening defence cooperation within the European Union we must continue to move forward with EU-NATO strategic cooperation, in order to ensure uniform cooperation that complements one another’s capabilities.”
At their joint meeting, the ministers of defence and ministers of foreign affairs approved improvements to the EU’s leadership capability for civil and military training and consultation operations. Already this spring, a military mission planning and command capability will be created within the European Union Military Staff. Approximately 30 staff officers will be charged with organising operations analysis, planning and force creation.
At the joint meeting, the defence policy portions of EU foreign and security strategy were reviewed. In addition to the command capability for military missions, standing structured cooperation and the harmonisation of the promotion of defence planning between Member States were also discussed.
Preparations were made at the meeting of European ministers of defence and foreign affairs for the March meeting of the EU Council.
This summer, the allies will be carrying out large-scale training exercises on the Baltic Sea. The United States will be leading the annual international Baltic region training exercise BALTOPS, while the United Kingdom will be leading the deployment exercise Baltic Protector.