Observatory on European defence, November 2005
21 November 2005
EU Defence Ministers - Military and Civil Capabilities, Exercise MILEX 05
The EU Ministers of Defence, meeting alongside the General Affairs and External Relation Council (CagRe), examined the developments in EU military and civil capabilities.
The Council analysed the “Capability Improvement Chart II/2005”, a detailed document on progress and shortcomings of the development process of EU capabilities as set down by the 2010 Headline Goal. No new substantial advancements were recorded with respect to the previous six-monthly review.
Ministers approved the “2005 Requirements Catalogue”, focused on rapidly deployable forces with a high level of interoperability and sustainability and took note of the conclusions of the special Battlegroups Coordination Conference concerning the six-monthly rotation in the 2006-2010 period; from 1 January 2007 enough means to conduct two military operations simultaneously will be available.
Ministers set out a 2006 development plan for civil capabilities in crisis management in the framework of the 2008 Civilian Headline Goal, focused on improving coordination among European national structures, mobilising civilian resources and rapidly deploying police units.
Moreover, from 22 November to 1 December the MILEX 05 military exercise took place; an autonomous operational EU Headquarter was activated for the first time. This is the last of a series of annual exercises started in 2002, in the ESDP framework, aimed at validating the decision-making and planning process for EU-led crisis management operations.
In addition to the common progress, initiatives promoted by several member States were recorded: on 9 November the Ministers of Defence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania signed an agreement to create a single unified Command and Information Centre in Lithuania to make the air defence systems of the three Baltic States and the NATO air surveillance mission more efficient; on 10 November France and Spain decided to establish a bilateral Council on security and defence to develop their reciprocal cooperation in research and high technology, modelled upon existing agreements between France and Germany and France and the United Kingdom.
21 November 2005
European Defence Agency - Code of Conduct for the European Defence Market
The Steering Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA) took note of the report on the Agency's activities in 2005 and adopted the work programme and budget (22.3 million euros) for 2006.
Moreover, EDA adopted a voluntary, not legally binding, Code of Conduct aimed at introducing some competition in the European military acquisitions market, normally exempt from common market rules by means of the exception provided by art.296 ECT.
The Code, which calls for partners to systematically inform each other of national invitations to tender, will enter into force on 1 July 2006, following the adhesion of member States by 30 April 2006, and is set in the framework of the consultations launched by the publication, in September 2004, of the European Commission's Green Paper on defence procurement.
28 November 2005
EU-ESA - Space Council, GMES and Galileo
The Space Council, chaired by the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA), discussed the progress of the European space policy.
In particular, Ministers defined the orientation of the future Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme, the pilot phase of which was launched by the European Commission on 14 November with an operational phase foreseen for 2008.
The GMES is the second key project of the European space policy together with the satellite navigation system Galileo (of which the first satellite should be put into orbit in mid-December). Both programmes constitute important elements in the development of a EU common security policy.
EU - ESDP Missions
November saw an increase in the Eu's international commitments in the ESDP field. The most important new missions from a political point of view concern the Middle East.
On 14 November, a Council Joint Action established a civilian police mission (EUPOL COPPS) supporting the Palestinian police from 1 January 2006 and initially lasting for 3 years. The budget for 2006 amounts to more than 6 million euros for about 30 experts and police officers without executive powers, mainly seconded by member States.
On 25 November a Council Joint Action launched the operational phase of the EU Border Assistance Mission on the occasion of the reopening of the Rafah Crossing Point (EU BAM Rafah) in the Palestinian Territories, on the border between Gaza and Egypt. The civil observation mission gives the EU a third party role in compliance with the Agreement on Movement and Access reached on 15 November between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The mission supporting border operations will last 12 months and the presence of European observers will be granted not only by the Council and the member States, but also by the European Commission, directly involved in customs control and in consulting and training to develop the administrative capabilities of Palestinian customs. The mission includes about 70 police officers (15 of which Carabinieri) and customs experts under the command of the Italian General of the Carabinieri Pistolese.
The commitment in the Balkans and Eastern Europe continues with some changes.
The General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) of 21 November approved the recommendation made by High Representative Solana to maintain the level of European forces in the Balkans unaltered for 2006 (about 6,000 men). The military mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Eufor/Althea), launched on 2 December 2004, will keep its mandate unchanged for the next 6 months and the new Commander will be Italian General Chiarini as of 5 December.
The police mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Eupm), started on 1 January 2003, will finish at the end of 2005. A Council Joint Action of 24 November established a follow-up mission until 2007to support the fight against organised crime and the process of reform of the local police forces. From 1 January 2006, the Command of about 400 men (to be reduced to less than 200 in the coming months), will be entrusted to Italian General Coppola.
On 24 November, the Council adopted a Joint Action establishing an EU Police Advisory Team (EUPAT) for the police forces in Macedonia-FYROM for 6 months (from 15 December 2005 to 14 June 2006). The mission takes over the EUPOL PROXIMA mission, the mandate of which will expire next 14 December.
On 30 November, a EU border assistance mission to Moldova and Ukraine started, in particular in the Transnistrian region The mission, established with a Council Joint Action of 7 November upon request of the concerned governments, will last 2 years and involve about 65 observers and trainers of the local authorities (budget about 7 million euros).
The European commitments in Africa were also confirmed.
On 7 November the GAERC extended operations in Darfur (Sudan) supporting the Amis II mission of the African Union for another 6 months, and prolonged the police mission in Congo (Eupol Kinshasa) to assist reforms in the security sector until end 2006.
Outside of the ESDP framework, the commitments of several European countries continue in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the EU is also present with the integrated Rule of Law mission (EUJUST LEX). On 8 November the UN Security Council unanimously approved the extension by one year (until 31 December 2006) of the mandate of the US-led multinational coalition present in Iraq, unless the local government decides otherwise or a new government is constitutionally elected by the end of 2005.
EU, US - Countering the International Terrorism
During the month the EU launched several international and internal initiatives aimed at countering terrorism.
On 24 November, the European Commission adopted a Green Paper on critical infrastructure protection (completing the process started with a Communication in October 2004), aimed at defining measures for prevention, preparedness and reaction in case of terrorist attack.
Previously, on 7 November, the United States Secret Services (USSS) and the European Police Office (EUROPOL) signed a cooperation agreement aimed at intensifying data exchange in the fight against transnational financial and information crimes. The initiative is based on the global agreement on cooperation between EUROPOL and the US Ministry of Justice signed in December 2002 thanks to which there are liaison officers between the two structures.
In spite of this atmosphere of cooperation, there was some controversy about the methods used for countering terrorism because of the alleged existence of secret US prisons in Eastern Europe, established after 11 September expressly for suspected terrorists.
Finally, on 28 November, at the first Euro-Mediterranean summit in Barcelona, the EU and the EUROMED partners adopted a Code of Conduct for the fight against terrorism and a related five-year work programme.
DetailsRoma, Istituto affari internazionali, 2005