CHiefs of the European NavieS


What is CHENS?

CHENS stands for CHiefs of the European NavieS. It is an informal, independent and apolitical forum whose members are the Chiefs of Staff of European nations that are members of NATO or the European Union and who have a military navy.

CHENS objectives

CHENS aims to dialogue between the naval forces of member states, to examine issues of common interest and to raise awareness of the maritime heritage of these states.

National waters and marine navies are often something "beyond the horizon", they are not the focus of public attention. The consequence, according to the common experience of the naval forces of the Member States, is that naval and maritime issues tend to be marginalized.

A promotion of the views of the navies through strategic forums, including within the wider maritime community, is therefore an important function of CHENS.

The intent of the CHENS papers is to gather the views of the heads of the European Marines and make them easy to disseminate.

CHENS 2019

The CHENS 2019 took place in Lisbon, in the period 09 - 10 May, under the Portuguese presidency and the theme of the meeting was: "Unmanned Systems role in future Naval Operations".

The annual event represent an ideal environment in which to fix the ideas on the main issues to the attention of the European Navies, as well as a concrete opportunity for a confrontation between the Navy leaders of the European area.

The Alliance's renewed focus on the maritime dimension, the use of new technologies/means (such as unmanned autonomous vehicles) and the issue of the availability of renewed fleets, in a context of increasingly limited resources.

The meeting ended with the handover of the Presidency to Malta, which will host the event in the period 07 - 08 May 2020, with the theme "Modern Law of the Sea. Navies' ever-changing roles". The descendants' work-strand will be:

- Policing the high seas – a mission impossible? (Germany);

- Shaping the future – challenges in maritime security, how ready are we? (Greece);

- Maritime crimes (Spain).

Linked projects

European Seminar for Young Officer (ESYO) 2020: organized by the present Presidency and linked to the same theme as CHENS 2019, it will be hosted at the facilities of the Portuguese Naval Academy from the 29th of June to 3rd of July 2020. The 2019 edition by the Finnish Navy, 2018 Presidency, will be held in Helsinki from the 02nd to the 05th of September.

International Naval Semester (INS): concerns the Italian proposal, which has been appreciated by the nations present, of a European semester organized in parallel between the Naval Academies with a common programme and evaluation of the type "Erasmus".


Official website – Link Working Session 2019