Defence ministers of Germany, Portugal, Slovenia discuss EU presidency

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Ljubljana – The defence ministers of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia held an online meeting on Thursday at the initiative of Germany’s Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to exchange views on the German six-month stint at the helm of the European Council and discuss the priorities for next year, when Portugal and Slovenia will take over successively.

Kramp-Karrenbauer along with Joao Gomes Cravinho from Portugal and Slovenia’s Matej Tonin discussed strategic decisions, cooperation between the EU and NATO, and the importance of transatlantic cooperation, the Defence Ministry said.

Tonin pointed out that despite anti-coronavirus measures, the Germany’s presidency has been successful, especially regarding the agreement on the terms of third-country participation in the projects of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and debate on the Strategic Compass, the new security policy document.

The ministers agreed that a document could be drawn up by the presidency trio to address all four main pillars of the Strategic Compass – crisis management, development of capabilities, partnerships and resilience, with each of the countries coordinating one area.

The Portuguese minister presented the main goals of Portugal’s presidency in the joint security and defence policy, where the country will give special emphasis to maritime security and cooperation between the EU and Africa in security and peace.

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Tonin too stressed the importance of partnership with the African Union and the role of the EU in its stability and security. He said missions and operations in this region were crucial, which was why Slovenian troops were taking part in the EUTM Mali mission.

The EU has been striving to increase its role on the global level as part of the Coordinated Maritime Presence (CMP) through coordination of presence of capabilities of member states. As part of Portugal’s presidency, member states are to define a special area of maritime interest, where they would exchange information, the ministry said.

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