Opening Statements on the topic of Defence at the Council


One can say that the ministers agreed in general on the proposal of an EU Defence Industrial Development Programme. The key argument in favor of that proposal was the possible cooperation between EU Member States to develop a joint defence plan, which would also enhance European integration. Finland also mentioned the value of an European peace project.

Furthermore, the minister of Hungary pointed out the threats of terrorism and illegal immigrants to his country are immanent. Therefore enhancing security is an extremely important issue in Europe. The minister of Finland also emphasized a possible Russian threat and the consequences of a stronger protection of the EU.

However, there have been a few discussions on how to finance the whole project. Some of the ministers were aware of the high costs the EU Defence Development Programme would generate: The minister of Belgium explicitly mentioned ‘’losing money’’ while developing technology.

Council – Tricks & Games

Throughout the discussion about the defence proposal, a lot different positions were presented. Tricks and intrigues were part of the political work and certain ministers sure know how to be the game masters. Hiding his intentions in plain sight, Greece‘s minister proved himself an even better lobbyist. The Blacklist is now not only a TV show but could also be the title of his plan.

Collaboration with the minister of Italy, as they are working on passing an amendment that will exclude certain non-member countries from treaties regarding the economic outcomes of the proposal. The Greek minister is not just rhetorically fighting to reach his goal, a certain „like for like“- agreement with Bulgaria‘s Minister seems to took place in in the Council yesterday. They tended to support each other in different amendments they both will surely benefit of. And next the question is: in which way gets the Minister of Bulgaria supported?

We don‘t know so far, but it seems like his dear topic concerning western Balkan countries actually got support from Croatia‘s and Sweden‘s minister.

by Nina Chahin & Marco Ligas

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