NATO IMS and EUMS Senior Military Officials meet to enhance EU-NATO cooperation
Lieutenant General Jan Broeks, Director General of the NATO International Military Staff (DG IMS) and Lieutenant General Esa Pulkkinen, Director General of the European Union Military Staff (DG EUMS) co-chaired the EUMS-NATO IMS Director Generals’ Conference on 29 November 16 at the EUMS Headquarters. The conference’s focus was to build on existing informal dialogue and cooperation, as well as discuss the IMS and EUMS’s role in the implementation of the NATO-EU Joint Declaration signed on the margins of the Warsaw Summit this July 16.
During his opening remarks, Lieutenant General Pulkkinen stated that NATO and the EU "are facing a multitude of common challenges", highlighting the need for continuing military-to-military dialogue and collaboration between the EUMS and the IMS. The Joint Declaration, in particular, can serve as the framework "to boost and further extend the areas of our cooperation".
Topics under discussion included specific deliverables generating synergies between both military staffs in areas of common interest, such as parallel and coordinated exercises, program for Scenario Based Informal Discussions, cooperation between NATO operation Sea Guardian and EUNAVFOR MED ‘Sophia’ and cooperation on Cyber. During the open discussion both staffs briefed on the recent political and military developments related to the European Global Strategy and NATO-EU cooperation in Western Balkans.
In his closing remarks, Lieutenant General Broeks underlined the importance of continuous interaction between the two Staffs in supporting the guidance of the political level towards a more coordinated and synergetic NATO and EU approach to near and global security challenges. DG IMS said “through these meetings we intend to inspire military work in both of our Organisations, finding possible options on behalf of nations”.
The Conference is held twice a year with the participation of the Directors of all EUMS Directorates and IMS Divisions. It is also an example of the NATO-EU Strategic Dialogue, which has been ongoing since 2003.