“Over the past two years the European Union has made substantial progress in strengthening defence however, we have to ensure efficient implementation of the existing projects, tangible results and further investment in defence,” Minister of National Defence Raimunas Karoblis stated at the EU Defence Ministers’ meeting in Bucharest earlier today. EU Defence Ministers discussed implementation of joint EU defence initiatives, such as the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), European Defence Fund, Military Mobility, at the event.
Lithuania is one of the nations that constantly emphasise the necessity to ensure added value of the developed EU defence initiatives. R. Karoblis also underscored that NATO remains to be the main guarantee of security in Europe, therefore cooperation with strategic partners in the context of current threats is more important than ever.
Minister welcomed EU efforts and investment in enhanced defence but pointed out the importance of consensus of the countries. “First and foremost, we have to retain unity as we implement the EU defence initiatives. Only a consensus on what we all seek by such initiatives will allow us to get real results of joint initiatives and see strengthened EU defence capabilities,” he said.
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Frederica Mogherini spotlighted for the Ministers to technological advances and particularly – development of AI, saying that the EU should invest more in breakthrough technologies and their incorporation into defence capabilities.
On the eve of the meeting EU Defence Ministers sat down to a working dinner with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix to discuss Women, Peace and Security. The EU, NATO and the UN actively cooperate to strengthen the role of women in defence and military operations.