Foreign Policy

European Security and Defence Policy

The European Union set itself in Helsinki in 1999 the goal of establishing a military Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) for crises management. The RRF will consist of 50 000-60 000 personnel supplemented with air and maritime forces and be operational in 2003. The RRF should be sustainable for one year and consist of voluntary force contributions from EU member states and third countries. The RRF will not be a standing “EU Army”, but consists of a database of national force contributions. The force package for a concrete operation will be tailor-made to each and every operation in question. The Helsinki Headline Goal has been met in quantitative terms, but there are several major qualitative deficiencies still to be met. Norway has offered a substantial contribution to the RRF, and participated in the first ever EU led military operation “Concordia” in Macedonia in 2003. Norway is also considering participation in a possible EU led operation in Bosnia following NATO’s SFOR operation in late 2004.

After having launched four crises management operations in 2003 (two police operations and two military operations) the EU is now establishing a new Headline Goal called HG 2010, with greater emphasis on rapid reaction forces aiming at in 2007 to have available up to ten Battle Groups (1500 combat soldiers with necessary support) ready for deployment in 10 days and ready in theatre in 15 days.

The EU is in the course of 2004 establishing an agency for defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments (“European Defence Agency”). Norway, as a founding member of “The Independent European Programme Group” and its successor organisation “The Western European Armaments Organisation/Western European Armaments Group” would like to be associated as closely as possible with the new EU Agency when established.

At the Helsinki European Council meeting in December 1999 the EU decided in the context of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) to set up a military Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) based upon voluntary, but co-ordinated national and multinational force contributions from EU member states. The goal was to be operational in 2003 with a force consisting of 50 000 – 60 000 personnel to be ready for deployment within 60 days. The RRF should be sustainable for a year and be supplemented by the necessary air and maritime force elements. The RRF will not be a standing “EU Army”, but consist of a pool of forces which can be drawn upon for EU led military operations. The aim of the EU is to be able to conduct so-called Petersberg operations, which were defined by the Western European Union in 1992, and which include humanitarian operations, evacuation missions, peacekeeping operations and peacemaking including separation of fighting forces.

For military EU led operations under ESDP, the EU will, in order not to duplicate efforts and waste resources, have recourse to NATO assets and capabilities. However, this arrangement does not preclude EU military operations without use of NATO assets and capabilities. At the NATO Summit in Washington in 1999, the EU was offered access to NATO planning and resources for EU led operations. For three years, starting in 1999, work went on in order to come to agreement on the necessary co-operative arrangements between EU and NATO. The break-through in the negotiations came before Christmas in 2002, and the modalities for implementing the arrangements was in place by March 2003. The main problem was to define the rights of the non-EU Allies in EU led operations when EU makes use of NATO assets and capabilities.

Nations which are candidates for membership in the EU and European NATO nations which are not members of the EU (5 nations altogether), but who might wish to participate in EU led operations, have been invited by the EU to contribute to the EU pool of forces. The EU has in a catalogue of forces defined what are necessary force contributions from member nations in order to be able to conduct Petersberg operations, the so-called Helsinki Headline Goal. On this basis the member nations and the 5 third countries have been asked to provide force contributions to meet this goal. The contributions from third countries are, however, not handled the same way as force contributions from member nations, but put in a supplement to the Force Catalogue and not taken into consideration when force contributions are measured against the Helsinki Headline Goal. Norway has offered a substantial military contribution to the EU. To the RRF Norway has offered 3500 troops supplemented by air and maritime force elements.

The first-ever EU military operation was launched in Macedonia in spring 2003. Norway contributed to this EU led operation. Norway, as a NATO member, had the right (if she so wished) to participate in this operation, since it was conducted with access to NATO assets and capabilities (the so-called Berlin + arrangements).

The EU has also stated its willingness to take over NATO’s military operation in Bosnia (SFOR). A possible EU operation in Bosnia will most likely commence at the end of 2004. Norway is also considering participation in this possible EU led operation.

The EU has under development a new Headline Goal called HG 2010, based on the experience of having launched four crises management operations in 2003, and on the changed security environment since 1999. Of the four operations launched in 2003, two are still on-going: The police missions EUPM in Bosnia and PROXIMA in Macedonia. The military missions in Macedonia (Concordia) and in DR Congo (Artemis) have both been successfully terminated. Concordia was conducted under Berlin +, while Artemis was an autonomous EU led operation.

Based on the experience from its operations so far and in close co-operation with NATO, the EU is establishing a military/civilian-planning cell within the EU Military Staff to plan for and conduct autonomous EU led crises management operations. In addition the EU is setting up a cell at SHAPE in Mons to plan for operations under the Berlin+ arrangements. NATO is as part of this co-operative arrangement setting up a liaison element within the EU Military Staff.

The HG 2010 will have greater emphasis on rapid reaction forces with the aim of in 2007 having available up to ten Battle Groups (1500 combat soldiers with necessary support) ready for deployment in 10 days and ready in theatre in 15 days.

The EU is in the course of 2004 establishing an agency for defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments (“European Defence Agency”). Norway, as a founding member of “The Independent European Programme Group” and its successor organisation “The Western European Armaments Organisation/Western European Armaments Group” would like to be associated as closely as possible with the new EU Agency when established.

 

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