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Minister Krstičević attends EU Defence Ministers meeting

Foto: MORH
Foto: MORH

        The Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević attended the meeting of the EU defence ministers of 18 May 2017, focussed on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy and the strengthening of EU-NATO co-operation.  The meeting was preceded by a session of the EDA Steering Committee.

Reviewing the course of the implementation of the EU Global Strategy the ministers welcomed the activities launched to date and agreed on the need of continued efforts towards the projected outcome.
The ministers adopted the Council conclusions on progress in implementing the EU Global Strategy in the area of Security and Defence and the respective guidance for further work. An important aspect of the Strategy is the deepening of  EU –NATO partnership, which has seen progress in a few areas and needs  expansion.  
Addressing the implementation of the EU Global Strategy on behalf of Croatia Minister Krstičević underlined the importance of the EU's added value  and the decision making autonomy for  member nations.

The Minister stated that the Permanent Structured Cooperation was an appropriate direction for enhanced Common Security and Defence Policy and that the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence was a solid basis for improved cooperation focussed on defence planning. 
Croatia welcomes the European Defence Action Plan and the proposed launching of a European Defence Fund  and its financing structures (research and capability) enabling the investment  of projects for the development of key defence capabilities.
Minister Krstičević commended  the progress achieved in the EU-NATO partnership and called on for continued efforts in responding to hybrid and cyber threats, co-ordinated and parallel practice, building of resistance and capabilities of the partners.  The Minister appealed for retained focus on southeast Europe, in view of the current distressing  political and security situation and also underlined Croatia's support for a systematic and long-term co-operation in EU defence capability building and by extension for the related activities by the European Defence Agency.   

The defence ministers and the ministers of interior held a joint session on counter-terrorism, during which they reviewed the existing co-operation models in the exchange of information at the level of relevant units at the national and international levels and recommended further efforts in that regard, within  a respective legal framework.
Minister Krstičević met with NATO-a Jens Stoltenberg and discussed the the participation  of members of the Croatian Armed Forces in NATO-led operations and the preparations for the engagement in the enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania and Poland.
The Minister invited the Secretary General to visit Croatia.
Another meeting was with the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy  Federica Mogherini, who announced a visit to the Croatian Ministry of Defence.

Foto: MORH; European Union 

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