Defence Strategic Plan: Next Steps
Today Minister Steven Vandeput presented an interim report to the inner cabinet on the Defence strategic plan.
An iterative decision-making process:
As provided for in the coalition agreement, the minister has presented a strategic vision to the coalition partners within six months after the government formation. On 8 May 2015 the inner cabinet has taken note of this vision and approved the first chapter of this strategic vision – the Belgian security environment until 2030. It was then also decided to have further discussions on the Defence plan in a ‘groupe de travail de politique générale’ (GTPG – working group on general policy). Meanwhile 8 GTPGs have been organized in which information has been shared and discussed extensively.
Inner cabinet of 24 July 2015:
Today the inner cabinet has given Minister Vandeput a mandate to develop after the summer recess, and through the GTPG, different budget scenarios for the future of Defence, in accordance with the coalition agreement.
The latter means, among other things, that the Defence strategic plan (2015-2030) should ensure:
- a solidary and well-balanced Defence that fulfils the Belgian security environment already approved by the inner cabinet (available on www.vandeput.fgov.be);
- that a healthy balance is reached between personnel, operating and investment costs;
- that different budget scenarios are drafted that reflect the solidarity of the Belgian Defence in an international context (NATO, EU, UN, bilateral and multinational) and allow a full execution of the decisions in the coalition agreement;
- a master plan with implementation and rationalization measures for this term.
Quote by Minister Steven Vandeput:
“Today I reported in a constructive and positive atmosphere to the coalition partners on the progress made to establish a strategic plan for the future of Defence supported by the government. From a budgetary and technical point of view this is a complicated matter in which this coalition does not want to skate on thin ice, and I absolutely agree.
Peace and security are basic conditions for a democracy in order to offer its population prosperity and well-being. And security is never free. Thus, today the inner cabinet has given me a clear mandate to continue my work after the summer recess on the development of a plan that will allow Defence to be a solidary international partner within NATO, EU and UN in the future, but also to pursue and further explore the chosen path of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. In Europe security is a matter of common interest, and everyone, including Belgium, has to make a fair contribution.
Therefore, I am confident that after the summer recess we will be able, together with the coalition partners, to develop a strong and ambitious long-term strategic plan as well as a master plan for the measures that will be executed during this term.”