Six successful months are coming to an end. In the presence of the EU High Representative Javier Solana and the Slovenian Minister of Defense Karl Victor Erjavec Jung looked back on a positive performance: “I am very satisfied with what we have achieved for Europe in the framework of the German EU-presidency throughout the last six months“.
The Minister gave examples such as the progress made in stabilizing the Western Balkans leading to a significant reduction of the international presence of troops for Operation Althea and future civilian missions to be undertaken by the EU in Kosovo and Afghanistan concerning policing and the rule of law. Moreover, the EU’s capability to act in terms of security policy was enhanced in joint cooperation, which applies in particular to rapid military response and strategic planning capabilities.
Another important item on the agenda of the German EU-presidency was the consolidation of the African peace and security architecture with special attention given to the DRC. According to Jung initial lessons from an overall successful mission have been learned in the DRC and in the course of a European seminar suggestions for a better cooperation between the EU and the United Nations have been made.
In this context, special emphasis is placed on the joint 18-month program of the three consecutive EU-presidencies headed by Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. By means of this new procedure the preparation and definition of core issues was for the first time significantly facilitated helping to secure continuity in addressing those issues. Accordingly, Portugal has made major plans for its term of presidency. Apart from consistently resuming the topics arising from the 18-month program Portugal intends to focus in particular on the situation in Africa.