EU Takes Strides in Military Mobility and Environmental Conservation

he European Union (EU) marked significant progress in both military mobility and environmental conservation, showcasing its commitment to security and sustainability.

Military Mobility:

In a joint annual report, the EU Commission and the High Representative highlighted substantial achievements in the implementation of the Military Mobility Action Plan 2.0. Over the past 12 months, collaborative efforts among the European External Action Service, EU Military Staff, European Defence Agency, and the Commission have yielded tangible outcomes:

  • A third call for proposals, under the European Mechanism for Interoperable Transport Networks, was launched in May 2023 with a €790 million budget for dual-use transport infrastructure projects. The Commission is currently evaluating over 100 applications, with decisions on fund allocation expected early next year.
  • Revised military requirements, informed by lessons from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, now include new needs for logistical platforms and fuel supply chain infrastructure. These enhancements aim to ensure the capability to efficiently support large-scale military operations and activities, with specific criteria for evaluating dual-use infrastructure project proposals.
  • The European External Action Service organized the first annual experts’ workshop on military mobility in Sweden, fostering collaboration among EU member states, EU institutions, and NATO. Denmark signed two technical agreements with the European Defence Agency. The Netherlands, as project coordinator, invited the UK to participate in the PESCO military mobility project alongside the US, Canada, and Norway. Additionally, Germany, as the project coordinator, invited Canada to join the PESCO Network Logistical Hubs project following a positive Council decision in February 2023.

Environmental Conservation:

Simultaneously, the EU Commission, through its Technical Support Instrument, advanced environmental monitoring initiatives, particularly focusing on migratory birds and their habitats. In Wilhelmshaven, Germany, international experts convened to discuss innovative methods for tracking migratory bird flights in the Wadden Sea, providing crucial insights into air pollution and coastal environmental quality.

Three EU member states – Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands – sought assistance under the Technical Support Instrument to explore digital methods and technologies, including drones, acoustic monitoring, radars, and DNA analysis, to monitor waterfowl movements and populations in the Wadden Sea. Aligned with the EU’s biodiversity strategy, this project enhances understanding of threats faced by migratory birds, contributing to better protection and climate change mitigation.

This effort is particularly significant for the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage site, acknowledged by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her recent State of the Union address. The Wadden Sea, home to rare flora and fauna, serves as a vital habitat for millions of migratory birds.

Humanitarian Aid and Trade Development:

In a parallel initiative, the EU conducted a Humanitarian Air Bridge operation to deliver aid to Sudan, grappling with a severe humanitarian crisis due to conflict-induced displacements. Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič emphasized the alarming situation, urging respect for International Humanitarian Law to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian work.

Furthermore, the EU launched the ‘EU One Stop Shop Supporting Green Line Trade and Businesses’ service in Cyprus, demonstrating its commitment to fostering trade and economic opportunities across the Green Line between the government-controlled and non-government-controlled areas.