From NATO: NATO International Military Staff (IMS) and European Union Military Staff (EUMS) Directors convened today at NATO Headquarters for the first high-level military conference of 2013.
This informal staff-to-staff military cooperation established in 2003 is part of an ongoing initiative to develop the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU, in the framework of the 2012 Chicago Summit Declaration. The purpose of these meetings is to bring forward topics of mutual interest on a bilateral basis between NATO IMS and EUMS concerned Divisions and Directorates.
Major General Neeme Väli, Deputy Director General of NATO IMS and Director Plans & Policy Division, chaired the meeting with his EU counterpart, Rear Admiral Bruce Williams, Deputy Director General EUMS, sharing views on common military issues between the two staffs. Welcoming the audience, MGen Väli stressed the importance of strengthening IMS-EUMS complementarity, encouraging staff-to-staff talks to ensure coherence, mutual reinforcement and non duplication of effort between both organizations.
“Such staff-to-staff contacts enable both NATO and the EU to be aware of one another’s involvement in ongoing operations and all applicable areas being covered by respective Divisions, in the spirit of mutual openness, transparency, and respect for the autonomy and institutional integrity of both organizations,” MGen Väli emphasized.
Commenting on NATO-EU interaction, MGen Väli said: “Our staff to staff interaction is positive and allows appropriate exchange of information and mutual awareness on ongoing issues. In light of this, enhancing complementarity of efforts – by means of a pragmatic, step-by-step approach to issues of common interest, could improve the NATO-EU strategic partnership.”
Wrapping up the discussions, Rear Admiral Bruce Williams said: “such key players in the security and defence arena have to ensure their overlapping interests are addressed in a complimentary and mutually beneficial way. These routine informal meetings are the backbone of achieving such understanding between the respective military staffs.” (photo: NATO)