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The International Society for Military Ethics in Europe
Leadership. Ethics. Service.

In Brussels, Executive Director Ted van Baarda attended a workshop organised by EUROMIL. This is the European Organisation of Military Associations and Trade Unions; it is also one of EuroISME’s institutional members. The workshop took place on March 20th, in anticipation of the elections for the European Parliament, which are due to be held on 6-9 June 2024. Ted van Baarda met EUROMIL’s President Mr. Emmanual Jacobs and EUROMIL’s Greek BoD member Mr. George Zgardanas, both of whom had attended EuroISME’s annual conference in Athens and who hope to attend EuroISME’s conference in Tallinn.

In his welcoming speech, Mr. Jacobs noted the need of an increased European defence – a development which should not be seen in competition of NATO but as a complement to NATO. Mr. Jacobs referred to the EU’s “Strategic Compass,” a document which is, as a defence white paper, the first of its kind under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The Strategic Compass had been adopted a month after the Russian attack on Ukraine – an attack which was described in Brussels as a wake-up call for the EU. An aspect of the Strategic Compass which Mr. Jacobs underlined was the establishment of an EU Rapid Deployment Capacity for 5000 soldiers – a unit which has already exercised in Spain and will hold further exercises in other European countries in the foreseeable future. Mr. Jacobs also noted the importance of developing a common European military culture, in order to overcome the national, linguistic and cultural barriers of the many European states, such as the promotion of a military Erasmus.

A number of members of the European Parliament also took the floor, whereby a fair consensus emerged on the need to move forward with the Strategic Compass. Nonetheless, the Strategic Compass represents an issue which was still virtually invisible during the current run-up to the European elections.

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