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PES Defence Ministers confirm their solidarity with France

PES Defence Ministers, Federica Mogherini

PES Defence ministers gathered this morning ahead of the meeting of EU Ministers of Defence taking place today. At the meeting, Ministers discussed the application of the mutual defence clause (article 42,7) of the Treaty of the European Union. They also talked about the European Defence Action Plan, capacity building and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations.

All Ministers confirmed their solidarity with France after the horrendous attacks that took place in Paris last Friday. In these challenging times, it is imperative that we stand united as one Europe to deal with the common threats we are facing. A strong European response is needed to tackle ISIS and find a solution for the multiple wars in the Middle East that give leeway to extremist forces.

"The attacks targeted not only France but the European values of democracy, freedom of speech and humanity. We must stand united in order to fight effectively against extremism and terrorism both in Europe and outside Europe", said Austrian Defence Minister Gerald Klug who is the Chairman of the PES Defence Ministers network.

"The unanimity of the Defense Council backing the French request of activating article 42,7 of the EU Treaty for the very first time is an important result," says PES Deputy Secretary General Giacomo Filibeck, "as it steers the EU in the direction of more cooperation in the spirit of mutual support and solidarity. We shall keep supporting the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini in her efforts in this direction"

The meeting was attended by EU High Representative and European Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Austrian Minister of Defence Gerald Klug, Swedish Minister of Defence Peter Hultqvist, Slovenian Minister of Defence Andreja Katic, Vice Chair of the S&D Group Knut Fleckenstein and PES Deputy Secretary General Giacomo Filibeck.

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