Sweden nominates the Supreme Commander

Sweden has nominated the current Supreme Commander, General Håkan Syrén, as its candidate for the chairmanship of the EU Military Committee (EUMC) after General Henri Bentégeat.

Supreme Commander Håkan Syrén and Henri Bentégeat, the current CEUMC. Photo: Andreas Karlsson / Försvarets bildbyrå

The election of the next chairman will take place at the EUMC Chief of Defence meeting in Brussels on 29 October 2008 and the new chairman will take up the office in November 2009.

The EUMC is the EU’s highest military body within the Council and consists of the Chiefs of Defence of the Member States or their permanent representatives in Brussels. The defence chiefs meet twice a year, while their permanent representatives meet at least once a week. In the Military Committee the Member States cooperate in the field of conflict prevention, crisis management and capability development. The EUMC provides military advice.

The Chairman of the EUMC (CEUMC) is a four star flag officer and the highest-ranking military officer in the EU. The appointment is for three years.

CEUMC represents the common view of the highest military representatives of the EU Member States in the political process in Brussels. CEUMC maintains close contact with the commanders of the EU military crisis management operations and with his NATO counterpart.

The main motives for the nomination of General Syrén are:

  • The European Union has a special position in Swedish foreign and security policy and Sweden takes a proactive role in developing the EU as a global actor.
  • Sweden contributes to a strong and active European Security and Defence Policy, which can complement the United Nations in promoting peace globally.
  • Thanks to his vast experience and competence, General Syrén is well prepared for assuming the role as chairman of the EU Military Committee.  He has carried out a thorough transformation of the Swedish Armed Forces and is strongly committed to the development of international defence cooperation. He also has an extensive international network.