Recent news from a friend inside….
– European Council of December 2013 dedication on Defence
A very important EC as it will be focused on Defence issues (not only CSDP but also the Industrial Base etc – Check out the EC Conclusions of December 2012, where 3 clusters of work are identified). There will be a NATO angle and NATO is very interested in this EC (im not sure whether SG Rassmussen will be invited, it’s a rather sensitive issue I imagine!)
– CY Partnership for Peace application intention
This has been a declared intention of the new government of President Anastasiades once he came to power in March 2013. The intention is to only apply , though, once it is certain that this will not lead to a Turkish veto (the USA+UK are trying to informally work towards this). Note that the CY FM has alluded that a compromise package could include the EDA-Turkey Adm.Arrangement+EU-TR Security Agreement. The signs thus far are not +ve, Turkey seems to want concessions on its EU accession course and/or CY Problem
In May, NATO informed that it will not be accepting EUMS officers (EU Military Staff) in its training courses in Oberamergau (it’s a Turkish thing, but we are all puzzled why)
In April, the EU transmitted to NATO a package proposal to hold a PSC-NAC meeting + an informal PSC-NAC meeting (Afghanistan,Libya,Syria) . We are still awaiting for a response yet it seems that there is an unwillingness from the NATO side (due to internal objections)
– Deputy Secgen Vershbow participated at an informal PSC meeting, early June
A rather important development, he is the highest NATO official ever to attend a PSC meeting (informal meeting). Fruitful exchange of views on Libya, Afghansitan, capability development
The EU has launched the border assistance mission in Libya. NATO has received a request from the Libyan side to provide assistance in the formation of its armed forces (a rather vague demand presented to NATO last week by the Libyan PM).
There are prospects of cooperation between the 2 organizations in Libya , having in mind that the NATO involvement will be civilian in nature , and it will be a “first” civilian-civilian coordination between the 2 . On Friday, the first staff to staff meeting took place in order to exchange perspectives / experiences