After launching officially the European Intervention Initiative (EI2) by signing the Letter of Intent on 25 June 2018, the Ministers of Defence of Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, or their representatives, met today in Paris as part of the first EI2 Defence Ministerial meeting.
On this occasion, they welcomed a new member within EI2. The Defence Minister of Finland took part in the meeting and signed the Letter of Intent, formalizing the country's commitment to EI2.
In addition, policy directives were issued to direct work for 2018-2019. Work will start as of 9 November, with the first meeting of the Military European Strategic Talks (MEST), which will gather high-level representatives of the military staffs from all EI2 Participating States.
It was decided that the EI2 participating states will share security and situational awareness analyses and identify convergences that will enable better links and closer cooperation at political and military level in each of the four agreed areas of work:
1/ strategic foresight,
2/ scenario development and planning,
3/ support to operations, and
4/ lessons learned and doctrine.
As part of this work, EI2 Participating States will encourage the development of a shared strategic culture as a central part. EI2 will contribute to EU, including PESCO, and to NATO. Military staffs will study ways to better coordinate their efforts at all levels, building on recent operational experiences as in the Sahel.
We will also consider how to develop a common EI2 approach to crisis, in particular in response to regional climatic challenges, and to enhance our contributions to maritime security. Other challenges will also be considered, to cover wider potential security concerns.
The European Intervention Initiative (EI2) aims at supporting the development of a European strategic culture as well as of pragmatic operational and strategic cooperation. The ultimate objective of EI2 is to enhance our ability, as European states, to carry out military missions and operations under the framework of the EU, NATO, the UN and/or ad hoc coalition. EI2 is an independent, non-binding forum, outside other institutional frameworks. Yet, it contributes directly to the work of European Union and NATO and their shared objective of a strong European defence.
The Netherlands will host the next EI2 Defence Ministerial Meeting in The Hague in 2019.