maritime piracy

Slovenia ceases its participation in Atalanta. Is it serious Commander?

(BRUSSELS2) The Slovenian government has decided not to renew, after the end of June, the mandate of the officer of the Slovenian Armed Forces, present at the HQ of the European anti-piracy operation (EUNAVFOR Atalanta). The Ministry of Defense had actually decided, in May, to take this decision to close “ his participation in Operation Atalanta », justifying financial necessity. For the Ministry of Defense, it is, in fact, “ redefine the priorities of Slovenia's participation in international operations and missions "taking into account" financially limited resources”. Slovenia having decided to participate in the European mission in Mali, it was necessary to choose. And " the improvement of the security situation in the region, due (even) to the success of Atalanta ”, did not argue in favor of maintaining this participation, he explains in Ljubljana. Slovenia had sent an officer to the General Staff since 2009.

Two remarks

1° However symbolic it may be, this decision does not cause any operational problems. The main resources – in ships – are in fact provided by other countries: firstly, Germany, France and Spain (which have systematically provided a ship); secondly, Belgium and the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland, Italy, Portugal, etc. (which send a ship in turn).

2° This is not the first time (nor the last!) that a State has ceased its participation in an operation for financial reasons. Greece had interrupted its participation and repatriated its ship early (there was no more money to pay for diesel). Similarly, Romania limited its participation in the EUNAVFOR Atalanta operation to a few weeks. In other formations or multinational missions, several countries have stopped sending their nationals. This is the case for Cyprus, for Bulgaria… For other operations, we know well that the reluctance to send. The crisis is hitting all countries and will force draconian choices...

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).