Dendias: A common European defence an important ‘third step’ after common market, currency

National Defence Minister Nikos Dendias stressed the importance of a common European defence in statements as he arrived for an EU defence ministers’ council in Brussels on Tuesday, saying it constituted the “third major step” in Europe’s integration after the common market and the common currency.

“Today is the 45th anniversary of Greece’s accession to the European family, the then EEC, with the signature of Constantine Karamanlis. We honour this anniversary in the most appropriate way, I think, because it concides with the Council of defence ministers that will discuss something extremely important: a third major European step. First the common market, then a common currency and now, a common defence,” the minister said.

In order for this very big step to happen, he noted, two parameters had to be satisfied:

“To begin with, a single European defence arm. In this context I want to stress the excellent initiative of Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis and Polish Prime Minister Tusk for the creation of a European anti-aircraft dome. Greece can contribute to this and we are already proceeding to create our own anti-drone and anti-aircraft dome.

“The second is a European framework for the development of our production of defence products and defence technology. In this context Greece can help since, just last week, the Greek Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority for the creation of a unified and new ELKAK, the Hellenic Centre for Defence Innovation.”

Dendias said the EU defence ministers will also be discussing the “Aspides” operation led by Greece, for which it has the operational responsibility, in order to reinforce it.
He announced bilateral meetings with his Dutch counterpart and the defence ministers of Mozambique, Rwanda and the Republic of Cabo Verde, saying it was important that Greece, which had a notable military, should provide knowhow and capabilities to countries with which it can develop cordial relations.