EU defence policy discussed by presidency trio’s defence ministers

Ljubljana – The defence ministers of the EU presidency trio of Portugal, Slovenia and Germany held an online meeting on Wednesday, the first as part of Portugal’s EU presidency, to discuss defence policy before the 2-3 March informal meeting of EU defence ministers.

Portugal’s Joao Gomes Cravinho, Germany’s Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Slovenia’s Defence Ministry State Secretary Uroš Lampret discussed the Strategic Compass project, the EU’s strategy on maritime security, and transatlantic relations.

The Strategic Compass is a two-year process seeking to boost the EU’s ability to navigate through international challenges.

The officials stressed the need to continue dialogue on the Strategic Compass, defining concrete steps to continue the dialogue and ensure cooperation of all EU members.

“We are committed to the common goal of strengthening the EU’s ability for action, we are taking concrete steps towards developing our main project – the Strategic Compass,” the three officials were quoted as saying on the Defence Ministry’s website.

They also discussed the concept of Coordinated Maritime Presences, focussing on the possible concrete measures to make the initiative operational in the Gulf of Guinea as a special area of maritime interest of the EU.

As part of preparations for the informal meeting of defence ministers, they also touched on the topics the EU should discuss with the new US administration.

Measures to make the new European Peace Facility, a fund to build peace and strengthen international security, operational were also on the agenda.

The last meeting between the EU trio’s senior defence officials was held during Germany’s EU presidency on 10 December.