As an International Military Organisation, the COE CSW is operated by a number of nations. They execute their control through a steering board , which is comprised of a representative from each participating nation. The COE CSW Steering Committee regularly convenes twice a year: In spring, on a ‘virtual’ basis (for making decisions by electronic means) and in fall for a ‘live’ meeting for noting the progress during the past year and providing fundamental guidance for the future. During the fall meeting, the Steering Committee also approves the Programme of Work and the Budget for next year.
On 08 November 2017 the Chairman, RADM (DEU Navy) Ulrich Reineke, welcomed attendees from 12 Nations to the 10th Fall Steering Committee Meeting, the largest one ever. Aside from the Framework Nation (Germany), the Sponsoring Nations (Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey) and the Contributing Partner (Finland), also the Voluntary Contributors on their way to accession (Denmark, Lithuania) convened in Kiel for working through a comprehensive two-day schedule. Observers from Estonia, Singapore and Sweden also joined the meeting.
The presentations of the projects and activities, especially their impressive progress and results, were well received by the participants, recognising once again the remarkable achievements of COE CSW. However, consensus on the upcoming Programme of Work was not achieved yet due to a general reservation articulated by one Sponsoring Nation that could not be resolved during the meeting. Such as in NATO, the COE CSW Steering Committee takes decisions unanimously; therefore, the approval has been postponed for some weeks in order to grant that nation the required period of time and opportunity for reconsideration.
A positive complement was a statement by Chief of the Estonian Navy, CAPT Juri Saaska, who informed the participants about the decision by the Estonian Minister of Defence to join COE CSW as a Contributing Partner.