II Hispano-German Strategic Seminar

Madrid, 27 de september de 2004

One year after the first seminar in Madrid, the 2nd Spanish-German Strategic Seminar took place in Berlin. The meeting was organized by the Instituto de Cuestiones Internacionales y Política Exterior (INCIPE) and the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP).

More than 20 participants attended the gathering. On the German side participants included representatives from the Auswärtiges Amt, the MoD, the Center for the Transformation of the Bundeswehr and SWP. The Spanish side was represented by delegates from the Spanish MoD, Defence News, the Spanish Embassy and INCIPE.

After the opening of the seminar by the directors of SWP (Dr. Christoph Bertram) and INCIPE (Prof. Dr. Vicente Garrido Rebolledo) the seminar addressed four broad topics:
– the European Armament Agency;
– the issue of (non)proliferation;
– NATO´s and the EU´s approach to the Middle East and
– the European Security Strategy.

At lunch break, the Deputy Inspector General of the German Armed Forces, General Dirk Böcker, addressed the participants on the topic of the transformation of German Armed forces. The conference ended with a reception at the Spanish Embassy in Berlin, hosted by the Spanish Ambassador H. E. Gabriel Busquets.

Joachin Rohde and Jesús Lúgaro, who both were involved in the setting up of the Agency, introduced the first session. Questions addressed especially the relationship with NATO and the transatlantic cooperation, the political will behind the Agency in terms of readiness to run all major armament projects under the Agency´s rule, Article 296 of the Nice Treaty (dual use products), the link with OCCAR and the role of the European Commission. Dr. Félix Arteaga (INCIPE) made the comments of this session.

Martin Agüera and Oliver Thränert lead into the second session on (non)proliferation. The debate focused on the difficulties and need for a common European-US approach, the different roles of the partners, and the ongoing urgency to concentrate on the Iranian and North Korean puzzles. Prof. Vicente Garrido was in charge of the comments of this session.

In the third session Natash Mihajlovic and Christoph Bertram addressed the problems related to EU/NATO and the Middle East. Rather sceptical views were raised during the discussion regarding the impact of both organizations on the burning issues in the region. Especially the separation between the Barcelona and the Middle East peace process and the weak link between the EU´s Barcelona approach and NATO´s dialogue in the region was discussed. Andreas Reinicke (Auswärtiges Amt) acted as commentator of this session.

Col. Eckart Klink and Liet. Colonel Pedro Méndez Vigo, presented to the participants in the fourth session their ideas on the European Security Strategy (ESS). The emphasis of the discussion was on the concrete developments in military capabilities within the broad framework of the ESS and the necessity for multinational approaches (battle groups). Questions addressed the missing definition of European interests, the unclear role of NATO, the missing nuclear dimension and the fact, that nobody in Brussels
wanted to underpin the ESS with a military concept. Comments to this session were made by Volker Heise (SWP).

Finally, Christoph Bertram and Vicente Garrido presented the final conclusions and at the same time, the Director of INCIPE invited to the SWP Director to hold the third Spanish-German Seminar in Madrid in September 2005.


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