The second meeting of the President’s Council in 2021 was held in Vienna in the afternoon of the 4th of November. It offered the opportunity to review the activities of the network, the debates have mainly focused on its adaptation to the new international context. The results of the working group dealing with the future of EU defence, chaired by EuroDéfense Nederland were prominently discussed. Afterwards the topic of EU-NATO relations was also considered.
The Council has also praised the excellent results achieved by the young members of the Outreach working group, who have established a new website, webinars, and newsletters . New projects were also introduced, such as podcasts.
Many reports had been sent in advance regarding :
– the observatories on the Mediterranean Basin, Federation of Russia, migration, China, space, Arctic, new technologies, fight against terrorism,
– the working groups on “climate change-energy-security and defence”, “small and medium-size enterprises”, “hybrid warfare”, “commissioning of new equipment”, all in the European context
A new working group on “ financing the future of Defence” has been created.
All of this demonstrates the dynamism of the EURODEFENCE network
On the 5th the participants have been invited to the “25 years European forum”, organized by the “Austria Institut für Europa und sichereitspolitik” and by the “Wilfrid Martens Center” , with brilliant high level interventions by Austrian officials – Mrs Klaudia Tanner, Federal Minister of Defence, Mrs Karolin Edtstadler, Federal Minister for the EU and the Constitution, General Robert Brieger, chief of Defence staff-, and former defence ministers – Mr Alain Richard (France), Mr Geoffrey Hoon (UK) and Mr Bogdan Klich(Poland). As the latter brought the CSDP in some way on the baptismal font, their testimonies and advices for the future were particularly interesting.
On the social side, EuroDéfense -Austria offered the delegations an excellent dinner at the Maria-Theresia Kaserne, and a fascinating visit to the Military Museum
The next EURODEFENSE meeting will take place in May 2022 in Paris