Published on 

Government approves nomination for election of Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces to the position of Chair of the European Union Military Committee (C/EUMC)

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., today, (Tuesday, 19th September 2017) received the approval of the Government to forward a formal nomination on behalf of the Irish Government of Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, for election to the position of Chair of the European Union Military Committee (C/EUMC).

The position of C/EUMC will become vacant in November 2018 and Ireland’s nominee, Vice Admiral Mellett will be considered for election alongside candidates from other EU countries.
Commenting after today’s Government meeting, the Minister stated that "I am particularly proud that the Irish Government can nominate a candidate of Vice Admiral Mellett’s calibre with over 41 years’ service he has served as a progressive and innovative Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces since September, 2015”.
The Minister also added “Ireland is one of the strongest contributors to Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations and in particular the role CSDP can play in UN mandated peacekeeping operations. In that regard, the nomination of Vice Admiral Mellett as C/EUMC reinforces that commitment and provides a positive and valuable profile for Ireland in the area of security and defence within the EU.”

Additional Information
The EU Military Committee
· The European Union Military Committee (EUMC) is the highest military body within the EU.
· Ireland has been a member since its establishment by Council Decision 2001/79/CFSP of 22 January 2001.
· It is composed of the Chiefs of Defence (CHODs) of the 28 Member States who, on a day to day basis, are represented in Brussels by the Military Representatives from the Permanent Representations of the Member States.
· The current Chairman of the EUMC (C/EUMC) will complete his period in office in November 2018 and Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, the current Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces is being nominated as Ireland’s candidate for the post.
· Previously, other neutral countries have held the position of Chair, Finland 2001 -2004 and Sweden 2009 – 2012.
· The EUMC operates as a consensus based collective, with the Chair bringing together the views of Member States and representing these to the European External Action Service (EEAS), the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission (HRVP) and other relevant institutions, including the European Defence Agency (EDA).
· The EUMC provides the Political and Security Committee (PSC) with advice and recommendations on all military matters including on all aspects of the planning/operation of the CSDP operations. (The PSC comprises Ambassadors from all 28 member States, who deal with all issues relating to the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy).
· It also provides advice on EU military capability requirements to undertake CSDP operations and on military capability development requirements within the framework of the European Defence Agency (EDA).

Selection Process - Chair of the EUMC
· The Chair of the EUMC is selected by secret vote by the Chiefs of Defence of the EU Member States.
· On the basis of that vote, the Chair is then appointed by the European Council.
· In accordance with the Council Decision establishing the EUMC, the current term of office is three years.
· The vote for next Chair of the EUMC will take place in November, 2017 and the C/EUMC will then take up formal appointment for three years from November 2018.