The meeting was an opportunity for both sides to express their satisfaction with cooperation so far and to discuss expectations for the future. Commenting on the meeting, Klaus Heeger said “Having had observer status is CESI for the past two years, working with DBwV is nothing new. However, I am glad we can finally deepen this cooperation and work more concretely together to promote the rights and working conditions of the armed forces.”
The rights and interests of armed forces were a focus of the discussions, with participants emphasising the importance of representing them not only on a national, but also on a European level. Lieutenant Colonel Wüstner underlined that CESI’s role in representing these interests is key.
In times of crisis and national reforms, when national defence budgets are cut and military forces are undergoing severe changes, such as the professionalisation of the armed forces, standing up for the interests of officers has never been more important.
These changes are against the background of national defence being increasingly exercised in the framework of European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and common European missions. Member States find themselves having to pool and share their resources more and more, in order to give a coordinated response to budget cuts and the reduction of military staff.
Member States military are not only affected by developments in ESDP. EU legislative developments such as working time and gender equality legislation also impact heavily on officers.
To address these issues, CESI in cooperation with the DBwV will promote the rights of military staff and organise common seminars on EU issues together with the Karl Theodor Molinari Foundation, the educational institution of the DBwV. This will help achieve the goals of improved working conditions and fully recognised rights.