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​​​History of CHENS​​​​

  • On 6.6. 1990 Admiral Oswald, First Sea Lord invited the CNS of northern European navies including an observer of USNEU for an informal meeting. In the same year, on 2.11. 1990 encouraged by the success of the June meeting, the CNS of Southern European navies came together on invitation of CNS Italy in Rome, Admiral Oswald was also present. 
  • In June 1991 Admiral Coatanéa, CNS France invites all WEU naval chiefs for a meeting. 
  • In 1992 in Den Haag the meeting of Europe’s naval chiefs takes place in two steps. In the first half of the meeting the chiefs of navies members of WEU come together which are in the second part completed by all European NATO navies not member of WEU plus an observer of US N. (12 CNS + US N) 
  • In 1993 this same 12 navy chiefs and the observer of US N meet in Lisbon. 
  • ​At the 1994 CHEN meeting in Portsmouth the organisation and meeting cycle is formalised. It is decided to meet once a year. Only CNS personally are admitted to attend the meeting. They should normally be accompanied by an officer as point of contact. The possibility to be represented by another flag officer should not be granted. 
  • 1995, Bruges, Belgium, main issue was “European Maritime Cooperation” 
  • 1996 Paris – New Threats, new Responses – Attitude towards new European partners 
  • New Perspectives for European Navies 
  • ​In 1997 Sweden and Finland enter EU which brings CHENS to 14 members + US N as observer. 
  • ​At the 1998 meeting in Athens the dispositions decided in 1994 in Portsmouth where amended: 
    1. ​CHENS is an informal meeting of the Chiefs of the European Navies, it depends of no organisation 
    2. ​Members are all European NATO and EU navies, US N Europe is permanently invited as observer 
    3. ​Other CNS may be invited on a case by case basis as observer for parts of a meeting or the whole meeting. The acting chairman takes the initiative but has to obtain agreement of all members. 
    4. ​The meeting takes place once a year on a rotary basis in a member country who assumes the chairmanship 
    5. ​The chairmanship rotates alternately between northern navies and southern navies in order to maintain balance between items predominantly interesting northern and southern navies 
    6. ​The POC meet roughly three month before the meeting to determine the agenda items. 
  • 1999 Berlin – Change and re-orientation in European Navies 
  • 2000 Rome – Cooperation and training – Operations – Naval reviews 
  • 2001 Cork – main issue “Generation of European Multi National Maritime Force” 
  • 2002 Bergen – main issue “Asymmetric Warfare” 
  • 2003 Helsinki – Generic Maritime Concept of Operations GEMCO 
  • 2004 Madrid – Naval Utility Countering Asymmetric Threat NUCAT 
  • 2005 Gdynia – European Naval Vision 2025 – ENV 2025
  • 2006 Antalya – Maritime Security Operations – V-RMTC 
  • 2007 Stockholm – Endorsement Interagency Strategy for MSO, CYP and SVN first participation 
  • 2008 Varna – Commencement of Maritime cooperation with Africa 
  • 2009 Limassol –THEMES: Maritime Security – Maritime Visibility Draft Working Paper – Last update July 2009 
    • ​ENDORSEMENT: ‘’MSO Best Practice Guidelines’’ (MSO BPG)  and ‘‘CHENS Activities Guidelines’’ (CAG) 
    • NEW MEMBERS: Croatian Navy (HRV) accepted as a CHENS full member.