EU maintains operational presence
EU Defence Ministers discussed the security and defence implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing in particular on the crucial role played by armed forces in supporting civilian actors and providing cross-border support among member states. In this context the Task Force that was established at the last video conference of Defence Ministers on 6 April has worked closely with member states to ensure the exchange of information and best practices.
EU Ministers of defence on May 12 held a video conference, chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.
Ministers concurred that the EU should continue to do its utmost to maintain the operational presence on the ground of its Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations, while preserving the safety of the personnel deployed.
They also underlined the need to strengthen preparedness and resilience for the future by conducting exercises, strengthening work on cybersecurity and countering hybrid threats including enhancing efforts to counter disinformation.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and UN Under-Secretary General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix provided an update on ongoing work in their organisations. They discussed with ministers defence cooperation in tackling the Covid-19 crisis.