Pentus-Rosimannus in Brussels: The European Union needs a new security strategy


At today's European Union Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, the Foreign and Defence Ministers discussed security and defence issues at a joint session, in preparation for the European Council focusing on defence in June of this year. Together with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, they discussed security threats in the European neighbourhood.

Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus estimates that in the changed global situation, the European Union needs clear views on how to move forward with the development of security and defence, since the strategy put together 12 years ago no longer reflects or is adequate in the current situation. According to the Estonian Foreign Minister they hope to receive a mandate to renew the European Security Strategy from the European Council in June. “We need a new broad-based European security strategy, which will adequately reflect the security environment, taking into account the risks in the Eastern neighbourhood, as well as the unstable situation in the Middle East and North Africa, and other current developments in foreign policy,” Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said. According to Estonian Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus’ vision, the new strategy should identify significant threats to Europe and give guidance on how to confront these risks and deal with them. “We hope the European Council in June will provide strategic guidance and clear guidelines for dealing with both hybrid threats and cyber-security; to increase defence spending and to enhance cooperation and strategic communication between the European Union and NATO,” Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus stated.

Also under discussion at the joint working session of the Foreign and Defence Ministers was the issue of migration, stemming from the implementation of the extraordinary so-called migration European Council’s decision of April 23 and the migration plan published by the European Commission on May 13. While a more detailed discussion of the migration plan is planned for the June meeting of the interior ministers of the European Union, Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said that it is clear that the critical situation in the Mediterranean region resulting from illegal migration needs swift, coherent and consistent action from the European Union.

The Foreign Affairs Council adopted a decision on the establishment of the military operation EUNAFOR Med, endorsing the Med EUNAFOR crisis management conception, which plans to block smugglers' activities in the Central Mediterranean.  “Estonia supports the creation of a military operation, but a necessary precondition is a UN Security Council resolution, so that the operation can properly go into service and operate in a targeted manner,” Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus said. According to the Estonian Foreign Minister, the military operation cannot be a goal in itself, but must be part of the European Union’s comprehensive approach, with great importance lying on cooperation with the southern Mediterranean countries. The EU's joint security and defence policy operation must not jeopardize UN-mediated peace talks in Libya.

The European Union Foreign Ministers will also discuss the latest developments in the Middle East peace process.


Additional information:

Marika Post

Press Spokesperson, Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU

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