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Video conference of defence ministers, 20 November 2020

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 20 november 2020, 18:30.

Main results

Strategic Compass

EU defence ministers exchanged views on the Strategic Compass. This is a forward-looking document in the making that aims to give the EU a common strategic direction in the area of security and defence, and to enhance the implementation of the EU’s level of ambition in this field.

We know what we are facing and what is ahead of us. Now we need to put into concrete objectives what needs to be done to respond to the growing threats and challenges that the EU will be facing in the coming decade.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Ministers took note in particular of the first ever threat analysis based on the inputs coming from the intelligence services of the 27 EU member states. This threat analysis will be translated into a comprehensive strategy to respond to the growing threats and challenges faced by the EU on the international stage.

The final Strategic Compass is scheduled for adoption by the Council in the first half of 2022.

Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)

Defence ministers exchanged views on the strategic review of PESCO, on which the Council approved conclusions ahead of the video conference via written procedure.

The review highlights a list of 26 PESCO projects, which will deliver concrete results or reach full operational capability before the end of 2025, but also stresses the need to fulfil the more binding commitments and achieve concrete outputs and tangible deliverables by 2025.

In the review, ministers set concrete political goals and agreed to develop incentives for participating member states to fulfil their commitments.

Earlier in November, the Council had agreed on the conditions for the participation of third states in PESCO projects.

Current affairs

EU defence ministers were updated on the situation in Libya in light of the recent ceasefire agreement and the relaunch of the Libyan-led political process. Ministers agreed that close coordination with the UN was important at this defining moment.

On Mali, the High Representative informed ministers of the resumption of the activities of EU's CSDP military ands civilian missions and operations (EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUTM Mali) on 13 October.

Finally, ministers were updated on the latest developments in the negotiation of the European Peace Facility and the status od the Military Planning and Conduct Capability. The MPCC is now the Headquarters for the EU training missions (EUTM) in Mali, Somalia and the Central African Republic.

Other items

European Defence Agency Steering Board

Ahead of the video conference of EU defence ministers, the European Defence Agency's (EDA) steering board met in a virtual format.

Ministers were presented with the final report of the first cycle of the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), adopted the agency’s 2021 general budget at €37.5 million, and approved EDA’s Three-Year Planning Framework (2021-2023).

Ahead of the meeting, the Council approved Guidelines for EDA’s Work in 2021.

Meeting information

  • Meeting n°VC-DEFENCE-1120
  • Video conference
  • 20 November 2020
  • 10:00

Preparatory documents

Outcome documents


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