The first EURODEFENSE Council of Presidents in 2023, organised by EuroDefense-UK, took place on line on the 22nd of June, in 2 sessions, one from 11h00 to 13h00, and one from 14h00 to 16h00 ( CET).
It is only natural that our attention should now be focused on the war in Ukraine and all its consequences. But this should not make us forget other areas of tension, real or potential, fraught with threats to our European space.
The development of the Mediterranean basin is a major and permanent source of concern in this respect. The very real energy crisis and competition for oil and natural gas resources; the food crisis that is likely to spread; the political situation in countries undergoing rapid demographic change where aspirations for change and revolt are combined; the exacerbation of the resulting regional antagonisms; are just a few examples that make ancient Mare Nostrum a zone of turmoil and great uncertainty.
This is why the network of EuroDéfense associations created a few years ago an Observatory on the Mediterranean basin led today by Manuel de la Cámara, Ambassador of Spain, and connoisseur of this area and its problems.
On November 24, 2022 from 17:00 to 18:30 (CET), a webinar has taken place moderated by Jean FOURNET, President-in-office, EURODEFENSE network, with Ambassador Manuel de la Cámara as main speaker, who has presented the report of the observatory
Slides and comments can be read through the links below
The second Council of EURODEFENSE Presidents took
place in the Hague from 12 to 14 October 2022, at the Royal Netherlands Society
of Engineers (KIVI) premisses, Prinsessegracht 23.
It has been very successful, perfectly organised by
EuroDéfense Nederland, in 3 sessions (Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, Friday
On Thursday morning, the delegations paid a particularly
interesting visit to TNO, with the participation of The Royal Netherlands Aerospace
Centre (NLR), the Maritime Research Institute (MARIN), Damen Naval shipyards
and Thales Netherlands. It included a frank, brillant and dynamic debate on the
European Defense Industrial and Technological
The programme of the meeting focused on :
– strategies aiming at enlarging the network and recruiting
– recommendations on EU Defence,
– recommendations for the future of the network,
– status of the working group on “climate change-energy-security and defense”;
– EU Space policy,
– current and intended security and defense policies by the European Commission, introduced
by Mr. Stijn MOLS, EEAS Head of Division Security and Defence Policy
– situation in the Mediterranean Basin.
On Friday morning, EuroDéfense-Nederland had organised
a conference with the following speakers :
– Mr Sander van der Sluis (Head of European Union
Defence Policy at NL MoD) : Netherlands Defence policy white paper 2022
– Mr Maarten Lutje Schipholt (NL Industries for Defence
and Security foundation NIDV) : Industry views on European cooperation
– Mr Ron Keller (former Netherlands Ambassador to a.o. Ankara, Kiev, Moscow and Beijing)
: Observations on European foreign policy, impact of the Ukraine war
A very successful meeting indeed!
The War in Ukraine has caused a great upheaval for the existing European security architecture. The ripple effect has been most salient in the Nordic States as Denmark, Finland, and Sweden abandoned security stances that were considered far-fetched just months ago. For Denmark, the revision of the EU defense opt-out leads to a more coherent EU defense cooperation. However, as Peter Viggo Jakobsen shows, it obfuscates a feeling of general content on the overall security situation and a complacency when it comes to increasing its defensive capacities. Across the Kattegat, Gunilla Herolf observes that Sweden is abandoning its long tradition of non-alignment (and previously a neutrality policy). Although it had been inching closer to NATO since 2014, its full accession is to have a drastic effect as it provides the alliance with critical strategic depth to the alliance. As a result of this NATO will be more able to protect the Baltic states and to dominate the Baltic Sea. Lastly, Hanna Ojanen explains how Finish defense policy has always been about Russia.
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The annual meeting of the EURODEFENSE network, present in 15 countries, took place in Paris from 19 to 21 May 2022.
It started in the afternoon of the 19th with a visit of the “Musée Carnavalet”, presenting the History of Paris, followed by a reception at the “Quai d’Orsay”, of the Presidents of the network associations by M Alexandre VULIC, Deputy Director, Strategic Affairs, Security, Disarmament, at the Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs.
Friday 20 May was dedicated to a visit in the morning of AIRBUS at Elancourt facility, with a focus on Cyber Security, Secure Communications and Preparation of Combat Cloud, Massive Intelligence, and Spacecraft Electronics. In the afternoon, took place the Council of presidents at the Ecole Militaire, followed by an official dinner at the Cercle National des Armées, Place Saint Augustin.
On Saturday morning , EuroDéfense-France organised a public conference on the topic ”solidarity and Efficiency”. Speakers were :
– Sylvie Bermann, Ambassadrice de France, Ambassador to EU/PSC (2002-2005),
Ambassador to China (2011-2014), United Kingdom (2014-2017), and Russia (2017-2019).
– Hanna Ojanen, President of EuroDéfense-Finland, Research Director at Tempere University,
Adjunct Professor Finnish National Defence University.
– Robert Walter, President of EuroDéfense-UK and of the European Security and Defence Association, Member of Parliament (1997-2015).
– Alain Richard, “Val d’Oise” Senator, French Minister of Defence (1997-2002).
– Philippe Coq, Director of Public Affairs Airbus France.
Ralph Thiele, President EURODEFENSE Deutschland will discuss with Guillaume DE LA BROSSE, European Union Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space Head of Unit for Space innovation, Start-ups, Economics