The Federal Minister of Defence, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, have jointly invited the EU defence ministers to an informal meeting in Berlin on 26 August 2020.
They will focus on developing the strategic compass and a threat analysis, on improving operational contributions by the EU as well as on exchanging views on a post-COVID-19Coronavirus Disease 2019 order. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix have also been invited to attend the meeting.
Traditionally, the informal meeting of EU defence ministers takes place in the country holding the Council Presidency. It serves as a forum to discuss current and general defence issues at EU level and is usually held at the start of a Council Presidency. The informal meeting of EU defence ministers is formally chaired by the High Representative and hosted by the country holding the Council Presidency.
It coincides with the informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU member states known as the Gymnich meeting, which will also be held in Berlin on 27 August 2020. In addition, the 7th meeting of the defence ministers of countries participating in the Framework Nations Concept (FNCFramework Nations Concept) is scheduled to coincide with and to complement the informal meeting of EU defence ministers. This underlines the progress made in EU-NATO cooperation and emphasises the strengthening of the European pillar of NATO.
The Federal Ministry of Defence considers the informal meeting of EU defence ministers to be the main event within the framework of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This meeting also provides an opportunity to set priorities for the further development of the common security and defence policy.
Further events to take place before the end of the year include the Foreign Affairs Council (FACForward Air Controller) meeting in the defence ministers’ format, which will presumably be held in Brussels in mid-November, the multinational medical exercise Resilient Response (to include a pandemic scenario), which is due to take place at the end of November, and the concluding high-level conference in Berlin on 10 December.