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Eu Defence Ministers Council

Volume 401: debated on Thursday 20 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the recent progress of plans to create a Council of EU Defence ministers; and what the functions of that Council are expected to be. [103873]

Defence Ministers currently meet twice each year in the formation of the EU Council of Ministers known as the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC). There have recently been proposals, in the framework of the Convention on the Future of Europe, for a new Council configuration bringing together Ministers of Defence, focusing on defence capability matters, including particularly the running of the proposed European Defence Capabilities Development and Acquisition Agency. Although establishment of such a new configuration would not require a change in the Treaty, it is likely that the issue will be dealt with as part of the Convention deliberations. No decisions have yet been taken.