EU is strengthening security and defence policy

20 December 2013, Last updated at, 15:42 EET
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author: R. Dačkus

President Dalia Grybauskaitė is attending this year's last European Council summit where European leaders are discussing - after a five-year break - security and defence issues. The EU heads of state and government were for the first time addressed by NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The President underlined that the state of play had changed significantly since the European Security Strategy was adopted ten years ago: Europe was facing new threats, and it was necessary to come up with a new assessment of the strategic environment, providing for a stronger EU role on ensuring security for Europeans.

 

"The emerging threats are more modern and dynamic. The buildup of military capacities in the EU's neighborhood, cyber-attacks against EU member states, energy supply disturbances, economic blockades, and information attacks cause serious concern. NATO successfully ensures the defence and security of the continent, but the European Union must also focus continued attention on these matters," the President said.

 

According to the President, Europe must strengthen the EU's military and civilian capacities, use the EU's rapid reaction force more effectively, and develop a competitive and transparent defence industry. It is also necessary to enhance the strategic partnership and political cooperation between the EU and NATO, especially in defence planning and exchange of information. Dalia Grybauskaitė said that Lithuania, too, was going to work for a more active response by the EU to cyber and energy threats, as well as for a stronger EU focus on maritime security.

 

Ensuring security and stability in the EU's neighborhood is yet another key issue for Lithuania. According to the President, the engagement of Eastern Partnership countries in the EU's civilian and military operations is very important. The more secure and stable the EU neighborhood is, the more secure the whole of Europe will be, the President noted. A good start was made at the Vilnius Summit where an agreement was signed on the participation of Georgia in EU-led missions and operations.

 

The EU leaders underscored the importance of not only military, but also civilian missions as they helped to restore security and stability in conflict stricken countries.

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From 28.11.2013 to 29.11.2013
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