Informal meeting of defence ministers
From 29 to 30 August the informal meeting of EU defence ministers took place in Vienna. 38 high‑ranking delegations, including 21 defence ministers and representatives from NATO, the UN and various EU institutions and agencies, attended the meeting, where they discussed topical security and defence policy issues.
Following 2 days of intensive talks, Federal Minister of Defence Mario Kunasek drew a positive conclusion: “In the last 2 days, we have held constructive talks on the main security challenges. A Europe that protects – in line with the motto of our presidency – requires military capabilities, structures and financial mechanisms in order to also provide the necessary funding for our security ambitions and initiatives. And that is what we have been working on intensively in the last few hours”.
The Austrian defence minister also availed of the opportunity to present Austrian initiatives, in particular the Austrian non‑paper on the use of military capabilities to support civilian institutions. Mr Kunasek clarified however that “it is not a matter of soldiers taking over police duties. The military, though, have capabilities that could be used to support civilian organisations in overcoming security challenges outside the framework of military missions. Clear synergies have emerged in this area. We are talking here about logistics, aerial and terrestrial reconnaissance and surveillance, putting in place infrastructure or supporting civil authorities in carrying out executive tasks. We have had good experience in Austria with this assistance model and want to see it transposed to the European level.”