On Tuesday the 28 May 2013, in the courtyard of the European External Action Service (EEAS) building in Brussels, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton presided over a ceremony to mark the change of command of the European Union Military Staff (EUMS) from Lt. General Ton van Osch to Lt. General Wolfgang Wosolsobe.
Paying a tribute to the Dutch General Ton van Osch and his team, Baroness Ashton recalled the major role of EUMS in peacekeeping missions mainly in Africa and the Balkans.
“The EUMS plays a vital role in the EU’s contribution to global security. Without these dedicated men and women in uniform, who are an integral part of the EEAS, the EU would not be able to work for peace and security in the Balkans, Mali or Somalia. I want to pay tribute to Ton van Osch for the leadership and vision he has shown, in the first years of the EEAS, in tirelessly promoting the coherence of our action, and in ensuring the availability of high quality military expertise at all stages of decision-making.”
Lt. General Wolfgang WOSOLSOBE who assumed the responsibilities of Director General of the EUMS is Austrian and has served previously as Dean of the EU Military Committee in 2009 and 2010 and was elected Director General of the EU Military Staff in 2012.
Established in June 2001, the EUMS is part of the EEAS since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. It works under the direction of the EU Military Committee and under the authority of the High Representative. It is the source of collective military expertise within the EEAS and focuses on operations and the development of military capabilities.
The EUMS mainly deals with early warning, situation assessment, strategic planning, Communications and Information Systems, concept development, training and education, and support for partnerships through military-military relationships.