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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence

Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence
Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis' participation in the works of  the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence

On Tuesday, 14 May 2019, the Minister of National Defence Evangelos Apostolakis participated in the works of the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of Ministers of Defence in Brussels, in the presence of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini.

The Conference’s subject areas included the following:

  • The evaluation of cooperation between the European Union and G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger) at a level of joint meeting of Defence and Foreign Ministers;

  • A review of the cooperation between the European Union and NATO with a focus on hybrid threats, in the presence of the Deputy Secretary General of NATO;

  • The progress of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) with an analysis of the National Implementation Plans 2019 and their evaluation;

  • A presentation of the implementation report concerning the long-term review of the European Defence Agency (EDA).

Within the framework of the Foreign Affairs Council’s works, the Minister of National Defence concluded the Project Arrangement on the improvement of the permits for cross-border traffic – movement in Europe, which is included in an EDA programme on facilitating military mobility.

The Minister of National Defence, in his speech, noted the following:

  • The emergence of hybrid threats emphasizes the constant evolution of the nature and the form of conflicts, which are going to be more complex and dynamic in the future. The EU-NATO cooperation on addressing such threats, as results from coordinated exercises that are carried out, but also from the respective European Center of Excellence (Hybrid CoE), aims at implementing joint actions and enhancing complementarity, by strengthening European security through the use of all available capabilities of both Organizations;

  • Greece is tangibly supporting the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) as a tool for fostering defence cooperation between member states with a view to achieving EU’s strategic autonomy. In this context, Greece is now coordinating 5 programmes and participates in another 13. The participation by way of exception of third entities in PESCO programme should not be contrary to the security interests of the European Union and its member states. In any case, it should be based on the Union’s principles and values, in accordance with its primary law and the principle of good-neighbourly relations.

  • EDA plays a key role in the prioritization of defence programmes and initiatives. EDA has a central role in the correlation and interlinking of the member-states’ defence initiatives. The review of the Council’s decision on the Organization is assessed as positive, since its role in the effort for European defence cooperation will be strengthened.

The Minister of National Defence, in his remarks during the works of the Council, referred to Turkey’s misconduct in the Aegean Sea, as well as to the illicit activities carried out by Turkey in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus. The Minister mentioned that Greece has condemned these actions and has urged Turkey to respect Cyprus’ sovereign rights and refrain from further unilateral actions, which would violate International Law and undermine stability and prosperity in the region. The Minister of National Defence, after pointing out that Turkey’s provocative conduct concerns the entire EU, called on his counterparts – showing solidarity with Greece – to act collectively, by taking any necessary actions at political, diplomatic and economic level.