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Videoconference of EU defence ministers: This is on Friday’s agenda

Met dank overgenomen van Duits voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2020 (Duits Voorzitterschap), gepubliceerd op donderdag 19 november 2020.

On Friday, 20 November EU ministers of defence will come together via videoconference under the auspices of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. The meeting will be chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Josep Borrell.

A focus of the virtual meeting will be an exchange of views on the Strategic Compass, which aims to provide the EU with a common strategic direction in security and defence policy in order to enable quicker action in the event of a crisis. The development of the Strategic Compass is a key goal of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Another agenda item is the strategic review of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). The foreign and defence ministers of 25 EU member states committed themselves to the initiative which was launched in December 2017. Its goal is to make the EU’s security and defence policy more binding, to implement joint defence projects and to strengthen the EU’s operational readiness. It is expected that the ministers will adopt Council conclusions on PESCO.

Josep Borrell will also brief ministers on current affairs, particularly the situation in Mali and Operation IRINI, an EU mission to enforce the UN arms embargo on Libya.


A meeting of the Steering Committee of the European Defense Agency at 9.00 will precede the videoconference, which begins at 10.00. Further information about the videoconference, including a livestream of the scheduled press conference beginning at 13.30, can be found on the website of the Council of the EU.

On this topic

Breakthrough for Third-State Participation in PESCO Projects: Agreement achieved after years of negotiationsInternal link

As of 5 November, third states can participate in defence projects of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) of the European Union. The compromise proposed by Germany was accepted on 28 October 2020 in Brussels.

FAQ about European security policy: Making the EU more resilient and capable of actionInternal link

Defence Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer met her EU counterparts in Berlin for an informal meeting. What are Germany's goals in the field of security and defence during its Council Presidency? Does Europe still need NATO? Questions and answers.

Strategic Compass: Developing strategic principlesInternal link

A European Union that acts globally requires achievable strategic objectives. This will ensure clarity within the EU and at the same time increase the European Union’s credibility with third parties.

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