NATO and the EU Director Generals of Military Staffs discuss enhanced military cooperation
The Director General of NATO’s International Military Staff (IMS), Lieutenant General Jan Broeks (DGIMS), and the Director General of the European Union Military Staff (EUMS), Lieutenant General Esa Pulkkinen (DGEUMS) met on 26 November for the second of their bi-annual DG’s conferences. The areas of cooperation and discussion centred on the common military related proposals arising from the Joint Declaration (JD) of 2016 (reaffirmed in July of this year) with particular focus on the logistics, CIS, Capability Development and Gender domains. The conference concluded following a Scenario Based Discussion on Hybrid threats.
The discussions centred on the implementation of the common set of proposals as stated in the JD on EU-NATO cooperation, including the enhancement of CIS interoperability, particularly in enabling the exchange of classified information and consolidating EUMS participation in NATO’s biggest interoperability exercise, namely CWIX 2019. In the Logistics domain the focus concerned the cooperation and consultation at the military staff level, on military mobility and medical issues to ensure a coherent approach and the development of synergies between the EU and NATO.
The second part of the conference was dedicated to open discussions and information briefs, including the implementation of Women, Peace and Security and Gender perspective in the military leadership role. The NATO Gender Advisor's office invited the leadership to participate in a seminar in spring 2019 which will focus on the integration of gender perspectives in the strategic, operational and tactical level. Discussions were also held on the informal EUMS and NATO IMS Defence Capabilities Cooperation Plan and the development and operation of the European Union Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC).
Finally, a Scenario Based Discussion on the Hybrid threat was conducted. This is an evolving threat which is of serious concern to both NATO and the EU. The debate raised some pertinent and challenging questions which will help shape the direction of future EU-NATO cooperation.
Both generals complimented the staffs for the hard work in making these meetings a strong pillar of NATO-EU military cooperation on issues of common interest. Lt Gen Broeks stated “Our agenda is ambitious, but we know each other well enough to explore more options for deeper cooperation on issues of mutual interests”.
Since 2013, the DGs’ Conference has been held twice a year with the participation of the Directors of all EUMS Directorates and IMS Divisions. It is organised in turn at the premises of the EU or NATO. The next meeting will be hosted by the EUMS in mid-2019.