The Director General EU Military Staff formally changed and handed over to his successor on Thursday 26 May.
After three years of dedicated service to the European Union, Lt General Wolfgang Wosolsobe from Austria handed over to Finland's Lt General Esa Pulkkinen during a handover ceremony at the EEAS building in Brussels.
The Secretary General (SG) of the European External Action Service Alain Le Roy and the Chairman EU Military Committee (CEUMC), General Mikhail Kostarakos also took part in the handover.
Established in 2001, the EU Military Staff is a part of the. European External Action Service It is the only permanent integrated military structure of the European Union. The Military Staff are the source of military expertise within the EEAS. The role is to provide early warning, situation assessment, strategic planning, Communications and Information Systems, concept development, training & education, and support of partnerships.
The Military Staff works under the direct authority of the EU High Representative / Vice President, (HRVP) Federica Mogherini , who leads the EEAS and chairs the Foreign Affairs Council and Defence.
Lt Gen Wolfgang Wosolsobe said: 'It has been a great honour for me to work at the level of Director General EU Military Staff for the last three years, during which many new crises presented, to which the EU required an action. The EU Military Staff played its part by providing military expertise to the planning system within EEAS and indeed across EU Institutions'.
The EEAS coordinates the external actions of the EU. As the EU's diplomatic service, it is also responsible for the development and execution of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) working closely with the 28 EU Member States. The EU Military Staff work closely with the Chairman of the EU Military Committee and the EU Military Committee who represent their Member States Chiefs of Defence, who provide the various military assets for CSDP Operations & Missions.
Lt General Esa Pulkkinen said: 'I take over the appointment of Director General EU Military Staff at a challenging time for the EU in the area of Security & Defence. I wish to further advance the great work of the EU Military Staff, in contributing to the planning system across EU Institutions.
Secretary General European External Action Service, Ambassador Alain Le Roy said: 'I wish to congratulate the great impact of the essential work which the EU Military Staff provides to the planning process within the EEAS and thank Lt General Wolfgang Wosolsobe for his excellent contribution to this work over the last three years'.