The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

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Press Release
Military capabilities and speed of intervention of European forces on the agenda of the GAERC "defence" component

Date of release : 23-05-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : General Affairs and External Relations Council

Luc Frieden, Minister for Defence, chaired the part of the "General Affairs and External Relations" Council on 23 May dedicated to the European security and defence policy. He stated in particular:

"This morning we took stock of the capabilities and interoperability of our military forces. I think I can say that we made significant progress, because in Council we approved a catalogue of requirements with an initial list of the capabilities the European Union must have for the different crisis scenarios in which the European Union may be required to intervene.

Europe does not wish to become a Europe with a military dimension; Europe wants to have a foreign policy in which the "defence" dimension has an important role to play. To this end, we need military capabilities with which the European Union is able to act quickly. Therefore, we discussed rapid response, especially tactical battle groups, and our decision-making process within the European Union. In a matter of days, we must be able to take a European decision and several days later launch an operation in the field. We have prepared a number of recommendations that we will soon test as part of an exercise to ascertain if we are capable of launching an operation five days after a political decision. The procedure we approved this morning should enable us to move in that direction."

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Last update of this page on : 24-05-2005