On 13 November, Zanda Kalniņa–Lukaševica, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took part in a public discussion, “Which Future for European Security and Defence?”, organised by the Latvian Institute of International Affairs. Speaking in a panel discussion on “The external dimension of security and defence in the EU”, the Parliamentary Secretary highlighted the progress achieved in the implementation of the EU Global Strategy.
Zanda Kalniņa–Lukaševica said in the discussion that a significant breakthrough is the notification on the establishment of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) signed today in Brussels by the Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers of the majority of Member States, including Latvia. Also noteworthy is the proposal published by the European Commission on 10 November on increasing military mobility in the European Union.
“Reaching common understanding among the EU member states on the future of the Common Security and Defence Policy and commitment to closer cooperation is a vital prerequisite for the work ahead to counter global and EU’s internal challenges,” said Zanda Kalniņa–Lukaševica.
Given the changes in the security environment, EU citizens are putting security issues at the top of the EU’s agenda. According the Eurobarometer data, 83% of people in Latvia support the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy and believe that a joint EU action is needed in this field, the Parliamentary Secretary noted.
“Regardless of the particular scenarios, future cooperation of the EU Member States in the CSDP should result in a safer, stronger and more united Europe. To reach these goals, the Member States will have to commit to higher level of ambition and solidarity in cooperation, and to agree on mechanisms for financing security policy in the future,” the Parliamentary Secretary pointed out.
It is important, said Zanda Kalniņa–Lukaševica, that joint efforts lead to better military and civilian capabilities for the EU to be able to respond to external crisis and internal issues, and play a greater role globally.
The Parliamentary Secretary also stressed that the transatlantic bond and NATO as a collective defence guarantor continue to be the cornerstone of European security and of that of Latvia. Developing military capabilities of EU Member States will complement NATO’s efforts and foster practical cooperation between the EU and NATO.
The discussion was organised with support from the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in Latvia, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Latvia, the Embassy of the French Republic in Latvia, as well as the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the French Institute Riga and Milrem Robotics.
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