Defence ministers discussed the reaction to the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015. French President François Hollande has invoked article 42§7 of the Treaty of the European Union, requesting bilateral aid and assistance from the other EU member states. Ministers expressed their unanimous and full support to France and their readiness to provide all the necessary aid and assistance.
Capacity building for security and development
Ministers discussed efforts to help partner countries prevent and manage crises. They were joined by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who underlined that while both the EU and NATO were doing a lot for capacity building, more needed to be done. All member states supported this view: Increasing capabilities in partner countries is the best way to create stability and diminish the need for crisis management intervention.
The High Representative concluded the debate indicating that the EU will address these questions in the coming months by:
- starting to implement pilot projects in a few partner countries, including Mali, Central African Republic and Somalia;
- working on the different possible financial instruments, including within the African Peace Facility and a possible future dedicated instrument.
Ministers, joined by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, discussed operations, in particular:
- EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia, the EU's military operation in the Southern Central Mediterranean;
- EUMAM RCA, the EU's military advisory mission in the Central African Republic.
Ministers were told that operation Sophia has so far resulted in the handover of 42 smugglers to the Italian authorities and saved the lives of about 5400 migrants.
The Council adopted conclusions on the Central African Republic.