Note:Your browser doesn't correctly display this page because of a bad stylesheets interpretation. This is probably due to an old browser version.

[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
 Version française        

You are here : Home > News > Working Documents > March 2005 > Working document relating to point 2 of the agenda: EU Operations
Print this page Send this page

Working Document
Working document relating to point 2 of the agenda: EU Operations

Date of release : 11-03-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : Informal Meeting of Defence Ministers

Current operations

Preparations for operation ALTHEA, the European Union military operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, were completed successfully. The operation was launched on 2 December 2004, following adoption of UNSCR 1575. ALTHEA is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The objectives of the largest European Union military operation so far are to fulfill the missions specified in Annexes 1A and 2 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to contribute to the safe and secure environment in line with its mandate to support the OHR’s Mission Implementation Plan and the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP). The EU will thus have the main peace stabilisation role under the military aspects of the GFAP.

Operation ALTHEA is an EU-led operation making use of NATO common assets and capabilities in line with the Berlin Plus arrangements. The EU and NATO have agreed on the respective tasks of the EUFOR ALTHEA and the NATO HQ in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European Union maintained close consultations with the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A Committee of Contributors was also set up, including the participation of all eleven contributing third States.

The EU Police Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUPM) continued to fulfil its mandate to monitor, mentor and inspect the local police, thereby assisting the BiH police in their efforts to attain European standards of policing. Particular importance has been attached to EUPM's support to the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA). Considerable progress has been achieved in the implementation of the Action Plan on EUPM Lessons Learned.

The European Union Police Mission to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, EUPOL PROXIMA continued to fulfil its mandate supporting the development of an efficient and professional police service in FYROM based on European standards of policing. At the invitation of the FYROM government, it was decided to extend EUPOL Proxima for another twelve months after the expiry of the mandate on 15 December 2004. The extended mission will focus its work on three priority areas: law and order, the fight against organised crime and border policing in complementarity with EC-funded activities.

EUJUST THEMIS to Georgia, the first Rule of Law mission in the context of ESDP, was launched on 16 July 2004. THEMIS assists in the development of a horizontal governmental strategy guiding the reform process for all relevant stakeholders within the criminal justice sector, including the establishment of an efficient mechanism for co-ordination and priority setting for the reform of the criminal justice-system. By the end of October the first phase of operations had been concluded successfully.

As part of the EU's commitment to learn from the experience of ESDP operations, lessons learned processes were conducted following the start-up phase of operation EUJUST THEMIS. A lessons learned process was also completed with regard to civilian aspects of fact finding missions.

Future Operations

In order to support further the transitional government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, (DRC) and in the framework of the EU-UN cooperation on crisis management, the Council decided that a police mission in the framework of ESDP should be deployed to monitor, mentor and advise an Integrated Police Unit in Kinshasa, DRC, EUPOL KINSHASA. This mission is a follow up to the police training project currently being conducted under the European Development Fund (EDF). The launch of the ESDP mission is planned for early 2005 to ensure a seamless transition.

A Presidency exploratory mission was sent to Iraq in August, followed by an EU fact finding mission in October, to explore the possibilities for civilian crisis management activities for Iraq.

On the basis of the reports of these missions, the European Council agreed that the EU could usefully contribute to the reconstruction and the emergence of a stable, secure and democratic Iraq through an integrated police, rule of law and civilian administration mission. This mission could inter alia promote closer collaboration between the different actors across the criminal justice system and strengthen the management capacity of senior and high-potential officials from the police, judiciary and penitentiary, and improve skills and procedures in criminal investigation in full respect for the rule of law and human rights. The European Council judged that activities outside Iraq with a presence of liaison elements in Iraq would be feasible at this point in time but that with regard to a mission inside Iraq all security concerns needed to be appropriately addressed before any decision could be taken. An expert team was deployed at the end of November to continue the dialogue with the Iraqi authorities, and to start the initial planning for a possible integrated police, rule of law and civilian administration mission which is expected to start after the January 2005 elections and in particular assess the urgent security needs for such a mission.

The EU sent an EU Fact-Finding Mission to DRC to examine different options for an EU response, including through ESDP, in the field of Security Sector Reform, including army integration and training.

Development of European Military Capabilities

In the Declaration on European Military Capabilities (Annex I) made by the Ministers of Defence at the Military Capabilities Commitment Conference and endorsed by the Council on 22 November 2004, Member States have committed themselves to the further improvement of military capabilities and offered contributions to the EU Battlegroups (as part of Rapid Response elements), thereby contributing to the implementation of the European Security Strategy.

Member States made initial commitments to the formation of thirteen EU Battlegroups. They also committed niche capabilities, providing specific elements with added value to the EU Battlegroups. At any time during the Initial Operational Capability in 2005 and 2006, the EU will be able to provide at least one coherent Battlegroup package to undertake one Battlegroupsized operation. During the Full Operational Capability from 2007 onwards, the Union will have the capacity to undertake two concurrent single Battlegroup-sized rapid response operations, including the ability to launch both such operations nearly simultaneously. To qualify as an EU Battlegroup, force packages will meet commonly defined and agreed standards and undergo a Battlegroup generation process. EU and NATO, respecting the autonomy of decision-making in the two organisations, have started to address overall coherence and complementarity between EU Battlegroups and the NATO Response Force, including compatibility of standards, practical methods and procedures, wherever possible and applicable, while keeping all EU Member States informed. These will apply to all EU Member States and other states participating in the EU Battlegroups.

Work has started on the definition of the military requirements necessary to implement the Headline Goal 2010, leading to the finalisation of the Requirements Catalogue in the spring of 2005. The Member States have also declared their determination to develop further criteria and standards to evaluate the Member States’ capability commitments, building on the overarching standards and criteria of the EU Battlegroups.

The European Capability Action Plan (ECAP), as an important instrument of the Member States to improve European military capabilities, has been evaluated in the light of the elaboration of the Headline Goal 2010, drawing lessons learned from the ECAP experience so far, including its guiding principles, and taking into account the role of the European Defence Agency to coordinate the implementation of ECAP, reinvigorating the ECAP-process within the guidelines set by the Council. Through the evaluation of the European Capability Action Plan (ECAP), the Member States also committed themselves to remedying the remaining military shortfalls to the Helsinki Headline Goal. In this regard, the Single Progress Report on military capabilities, noted by the Council on 22 November 2004, assessed the progress made with capability development and identified the work that remains to be done. The ECAP Roadmap has been updated to include progress in the work of the ECAP Project Groups and an updated public Capability Improvement Chart has been produced.

The ‘Global Approach on Deployability’ was approved, an approach aimed at improving the ability of the EU to deploy forces, in particular with respect to strategic transport - a key enabler for rapid response - by primarily focussing on more effective use of all available means for transport co-ordination by developing effective links between the Co-ordination Centres/Cells.

Finally, Member States committed themselves to intensifying military co-operation, making use of ECAP, the EDA and the EU Battlegroups and building on existing multinational frameworks for co-operation to improve European military capabilities.

Related links

This page was last modified on : 11-03-2005

Top Top