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The Spanish Chief of Defence inaugurates the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU in the military sphere

Brussels, Belgium
July 6, 2023
  • The Admiral Teodoro E. López Calderón has highlighted in his speech that one of Europe’s priorities during this semester is to maintain its commitment to assist Ukraine

The CHOD has inaugurated, in a ceremony taking place in Brussels, the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the military sphere. Attendees to this ceremony are General Robert Brieger, Chairman of the EU Military Committee (CEUMC), Lieutenant General Michiel Van Der Laan, Director General of the European Union Military Staff (DGEUMS), the Military Representatives of Member States and ambassadors, among other civilian and military authorities. The ceremony has been held in the Official Residence of the Spanish Ambassador in Belgium, Elena Gómez de Castro.

The Admiral López Calderón began his speech by pointing out recent world events such as the return to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan or the Russian invasion of Ukraine have enabled that ‘the European Union recognises its role as a provider of global security and evidence of this renewed interest has been the promotion of the EU Strategic Compass. The European Security and Defence Agenda has been revitalised and has captivated greater attention under the successive presidencies of the Council of the EU. Each rotating presidency represents an opportunity to renew the momentum, commitment and further progress in the pursuit of a credible strategic capacity. Europe has demonstrated unity in its response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine, and must continue to show this unity in the development of the necessary security and defence capacities. This will also be our responsibility over the upcoming months.’

The CHOD next put emphasis on the three lines of action to be undertaken in the military sphere over the next six months. ‘The first of these lines will be focused on the full implementation of military aspects in the Strategic Compass. The second will seek to ensure the access to global commons, guaranteeing open, free and stable use to the EU. Last but not least, the strengthening of relations with Latin America, Africa and Indo-Pacific countries will be promoted.’

The Admiral López Calderón concluded by reiterating that ‘this is my goal for the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU in the military sphere, ambitious but feasible with the cooperation and support of all the Member States. I hope we can achieve a positive overall balance by the end of the year.’

In mid-October, Seville will host a meeting of the Chiefs of Defence of the EU Member States in which the development of these three lines of action in the military sphere of the EU Presidency of Spain will be addressed, among other issues.