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Video conference of EU defence ministers on responses to COVID-19
The EU defence ministers held a video conference on 6 April. They discussed the latest developments and national responses to COVID-19. Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist took part in the video conference from Stockholm.
The defence ministers held informal discussions on the defence implications of COVID-19, including the assistance provided by the armed forces in managing COVID-19 and the impact of the pandemic on EU missions and operations.
The ministers informed about the assistance provided by respective member state’s armed forces in their national response to COVID-19, such as providing field hospitals, support from military medical staff, transport of COVID-19 infected patients, and logistical support. They also exchanged views on how the European External Action Service and the EU Military Staff could assist the Member States, for example by supporting exchange of information and sharing best practices among Member States.
Furthermore, the defence ministers discussed the impact of COVID-19 on EU missions and operations. In this context, the need for continued presence in areas of deployment was highlighted, and the ministers emphasised the importance of ensuring the health and security of deployed personnel.
The defence ministers highlighted the importance of countering other actors seeking to promote their agendas through disinformation, propaganda, and other hybrid threats. The defence ministers emphasised the importance of long-term resilience and coordinated strategic communication.