EU defense ministers will meet in Göteborg on Monday to discuss European security and defense policies and coordinate stances so that the EU can be a global actor.
The informal ministerial meeting will focus on continued capacity development and increased functionality of existing capabilities with the objective of increasing EU preparedness for crisis management.
As the EU presidency, Sweden will spread its integrated maritime surveillance techniques in dealing with shipping safety.
Minister for Defence Sten Tolgfors said integrated maritime surveillance is a good example of civilian-military cooperation in the EU Member States.
Integrated maritime surveillance for safer shipping is a Swedish system of maritime surveillance, whereby the Armed Forces and the Coast Guard both monitor activities at sea via their own surveillance systems and exchange information with each other. This can help avoid accidents and intervene against threats in the maritime environment.
The discussion will touch on how the Battlegroups could become more functional and whether they could be used in a more flexible way.
The current operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Somalia will also be discussed. The final working session will deal with topics such as defense industry issues, with a focus on transparency and harmonisation.
In addition to defense ministers, participants will include the European High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, and representatives from the European Commission and the Office of the NATO Secretary-General. The Swedish Crown Princess Victoria will also attend the meeting.
The year 2009 marks the tenth anniversary of the European Security and Defence Policy. Over the past ten years, the EU has conducted 22 missions on four continents while demand for support from the EU has increased.
By Xuefei Chen, People's Daily Online, Stockholm.