Where: Justus Lipsius building, Brussels, Belgium
Topic: External relations and foreign affairs
Organiser: Council of the EU
Ministers for defence will first meet in the composition of the European Defence Agency (EDA) steering board, under the chairmanship of Catherine Ashton as the Head of the Agency. The steering board will discuss pooling and sharing initiatives.
As part of the Foreign Affairs Council session, also chaired by High Representative Catherine Ashton, defence ministers will review developments in the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). They will be invited to give guidance for further work on the operations in the Horn of Africa (Operation Atalanta, EU training mission in Somalia) and the Western Balkans (Operation Althea). In addition, the Council will discuss the work of the Commission's taskforce on the defence
Over lunch, EU foreign and defence ministers will debate the situation in Mali and preparations for a possible EU military operation for the training of the Malian army. They will also look ahead at the European Council dedicated to defence, tentatively scheduled for December 2013
A presidency briefing, agenda and background note will be published on the Council website closer to the date of the meeting.