The last meeting of the EU Military Committee (EUMC) in 2021 marked the end of the Presidency of the EU Military Council. On this occasion, Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces, Major General Robert Glavaš, addressed the EUMC in a video message.
In his address, he thanked the Chairman of the EUMC Claudio Graziani and all those working with the EUMC for their cooperation and support. He pointed out the important achievements of the Slovenian presidency in the military field and wished much success to the future presiding country. He emphasized the need to use the “window of opportunity” to promote the voice of the military, the military profession and military action at EU level, and promised to provide support in this respect. General Graziani expressed appreciation for the well-accomplished work of the Slovenian presidency and for the successful promotion of the topics important for our common future. Among the presidency events he highlighted the Military Defence Seminar and the EUMC Mini Away Day, as well as the promotion of sustainable and resilient military activities in the 21st century, the EUMC Away Day with the topical subject of response forces and related EU operations, and the military exercise DRM2EX working on the support of the military instrument of power in strengthening the resilience.
The Slovenian presidency coincides with the period of many discussions on the future of the EU’s actions in the field of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The first part of the presidency incorporated a strategic dialogue, which included a number of discussions and debates on the future of the EU, while the second part dealt with the first draft of the Strategic Compass, which will guide future joint action.
During the Slovenian Presidency, two substantive areas of priority were highlighted and supported with numerous events organized both in Slovenia and Brussels. Most of the military topics and a part of the presidency events have been included in the discussions and debates organised in the light of the preparations for the Strategic Compass. Important achievements of the presidency include the start of discussions and the establishment of awareness of the need for a timely and systematic approach to adapting the equipment of the armed forces to operate in the changed settings determined by climate change and adaptation measures. The subjects were very topical, since in the period of debates, policy-making and long-term solutions they were properly incorporated in the draft of the Strategic Compass and the first military advice on it. The set path will benefit the ability of military action and military efficiency in the future as well. It is also included in the set of topics covered by the forthcoming EU-NATO Declaration and in the set of important topics concerning future research and development activities and EU research and technologies (in addition to disruptive technologies, artificial intelligence, digitalisation and cyberspace). These topics will also be discussed during the French Presidency, thus ensuring continuity and further development. With the DRM2EX exercise, which was included in the EU Exercise Catalogue, we trained procedures and tested solutions to use the military instrument of power to support civilian authorities in dealing with the consequences of natural and other disasters while testing solutions and the instrument of military mobility in Europe. In addition to EU member states, exercise participants also included Western Balkans countries and partners. The exercise strengthened mutual knowledge, interoperability, civil-military cooperation and resilience of the EU and our immediate neighbourhood. This and other types of military exercises are becoming part of the emerging Strategic Compass, and are expected to become a regular component of the EU’s military environment. As part of the regular EUMC topics, Slovenian presidency devoted special attention to the topics related to the emerging Strategic Compass and the EU rapid reaction force, entry operations, strengthening the military command and control structure, improving military planning procedures and strengthening the capabilities of the EU response forces.
SAF members act as national representatives in the EU Military Committee (EUMC) and its working groups, namely the EUMC Working Group (EUMC WG) and the EUMC Working Group/Headline Goal Task Force (EUMC WG / HTF).