Chiefs of European Navies (CHENS) have held their annual meeting in Ostend from May 10 to 11, 2012. This event serves as an opportunity for maritime leaders to discuss common interests, define the major themes of research for work and trade, and set forth their findings from the studies undertaken during the past year, Belgium Defense Ministry announced.
It is an informal, independent and non-political forum whose membership includes the Chief of Navy of each European maritime nation that is either a member of NATO or the European Union and has naval armed forces.
The forum has existed for over 20 years and focuses on the same subject: the maritime question in the Member States. CHENS seeks to promote understanding between navies of the member countries, to examine issues of common interest and to increase awareness of the maritime domain in member countries.
Each year, one country member presides the meeting. This year the forum was led by Belgium. An annual meeting is not enough, unfortunately, therefore CHENS also organizes different seminars and working groups for young officers , thus enabling them to deal with contemporary issues and research.
Currently 24 European navies of EU and/or NATO countries are members of CHENS: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and United Kingdom. The US Navy and NATO as well as the European Union are invited to attend as observers.
Naval Today Staff , May 15, 2012; Image: NNC