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A Review of the Military Aspects of the European Security and Defence Policy since 2004 (II)

Civil-military Coordination

The Civilian/Military Cell and EU Operation Centre

The European Council endorsed in its meeting of 16 to 17 December 2004 detailed proposals for the implementation of a document titled "European Defence: NATO/EU consultation, planning and operations"*). This paved the way for the establishment of a Civilian/Military Cell (Civ/Mil Cell) within the EUMS as well as for the creation of an EU Operation Centre in Brussels as a means for improving the EU’s capacity to plan and run autonomous EU crisis management operations.

The Civ/Mil Cell is composed of civilian and military components. The Civ/Mil Cell performs the following tasks and roles: - Carry out strategic contingency planning at the initiative of the SG/HR or PSC; - Provide assistance to crisis response strategic planning for military, civilian or joint civilian/military operations; - Contribute to the development of a body of doctrine/concepts, learning lessons from civilian/military operations and exercises; - Temporarily reinforce national HQs designated to conduct an EU autonomous operation; - Assist, upon request, in the planning and support of civilian operations carried out under the responsibility of DGE; and - Generate the capacity to plan and run an autonomous EU-led operation.

For autonomous military EU operations, the principal option will be to conduct such operations from national HQs. However, in certain circumstances, in particular where a civil/military response is required and where no national OHQ is identified, the Council may decide, upon being advised by the EU Military Committee, to draw on the collective capacity of the OPS Centre.

In such a case the Civ/Mil Cell would have the responsibility for generating the capacity to plan and run the operation. This would not be a standing OHQ. It would rather have the capacity to rapidly set up an operations centre for leading a particular operation. The OpsCen, which will remain at the political/military level, should operate under a designated operation commander independent of the EUMS. The Civ/Mil Cell will, through a small OpsCen permanent staff, provide the key nucleus of the OpsCen, which would be reinforced with ‘double hatted’ officers from the EUMS and with other CGS structures and member states as appropriate.

Recent Developments

The Civil-Military Cell has reached its full strength. It has contributed to the setting up of ESDP civilian and military operations in Aceh, Rafah and the DR Congo. In addition, it has also contributed to military support for disaster relief. In order to be operational in the coming months, work on the Operations Centre was focused on manning, infrastructure including communications, training and the development of procedures and concepts. The facilities of the OPS Centre are accommodated in the EUMS building, and are operational since 6 December last year.

ESDP Training and Exercises

In view of the expanding role of, and activity concerning, the ESDP, proper training is becoming an increasingly important element.

The European Security and Defence College (ESDC) continued its work on establishing a network between national institutes, providing the attendees with a comprehensive background on ESDP. While the first official ESDP High Level Course was concluded in March, the second one is already underway. For the first time nationals of candidate states and third states as well as representatives of international organisations were invited to participate in three ESDP Orientation Courses.

Exercises MILEX 05, 07, 08

The EU Military Exercise "MILEX 05" was the first exercise that was focussed on the military aspects of crisis management and organised and planned by the European Union through its Military Staff. The exercise was set at the highest military levels in order to facilitate the practice and verification of planning procedures for staff officers at an EU Operation Headquarters located in Paris, France, and an EU Force Headquarters based at Ulm, Germany. The fictitious scenario dealt with the deteriorating political, military and paramilitary situation on the imaginary island of Atlantia. The participants in the various headquarters were exercised in problems similar to many faced in the past - and potentially to be dealt with in the future. In addition to the EU participants, representatives from non-EU NATO members, such as Canada and Russia, Ukraine, Mediterranean partners and OSCE were invited to information briefings concerning the exercise.

This was the first time that an EU Operation Headquarters was fully activated as a part of such an exercise on behalf of the European Union. Some 450 players and supporting personnel participated in what was a major step forward in the EU Military Staff’s involvement in the planning and conduct of large-scale crisis management exercises.

MILEX 07 is being planned at present, and MILEX 08 is scheduled for the first semester of 2008.

Co-operation with Partners


A cornerstone for the ESDP in the field of crisis management is the strategic partnership between the EU and NATO. The so-called ‘Berlin Plus’ arrangement allows the EU to conduct operations with recourse to NATO common assets and capabilities. This was applied for the first time in operation CONCORDIA in 2003 and, subsequently, in operation ALTHEA in 2004.

Moreover, EU and NATO have continued to cooperate through a joint cell in Addis Ababa to ensure effective support to AMIS in the Darfur region.

Co-operation and transparency between EU and NATO have been further enhanced through the setting-up of a permanent EU cell at SHAPE and a permanent NATO liaison team at the EU Military Staff.

In the field of capability development, the EU-NATO Capability Group has continued to exchange information in accordance with the Capabilities Development Mechanism, discussing inter alia EU Battlegroups and the NATO Response Force as well as some specific capability areas of common interest such as software defined radio and unmanned aerial vehicles. Also work on compatibility between the EU HGQ and the NATO DPQ is continued.


The co-operation between the EU and the UN in the field of ESDP has been brought forward, notably through the preparation and conduct of the EU operation in the DR Congo in support of MONUC. Coordination was also focussed on the transition from AMIS to a UN operation in Sudan/Darfur as well as on ensuring a smooth transition between UNMIK and a possible civilian ESDP mission in Kosovo. Staff-to-staff meetings, supported by the EUMS liaison officer to the UN, proved helpful. Representatives of the UN participated in preparation meetings for CME 06 as well as in CIVIL 06.

In New York, on 8 and 9 June 2006, inter alia meetings between representatives of both the EU and the UN were continued through the consultative mechanism known as the EU-UN Steering Committee.

OSCE, the Mediterranean Partners, and Third Countries

This partnership, which is based on information exchange and work co-operation, keeps developing.

ESDP and Africa

The EU Strategy for Africa is a reference document for EU action. A joint implementation matrix, which arranges the commitments of the two sides in relation to the Cairo Plan of Action, the EU policy agenda and the EU Strategy for Africa, has been developed together with the African Union.

The Way Ahead

Looking into the future, our priorities will be, among others: - Preparing and ensuring the effective implementation of the decisions concerning present and future operations and missions.

- Continuing the work on military capabilities, in particular the finalisation of the Force Catalogue and the preparation of the Progress Catalogue on the basis of the agreed roadmap (Headline Goal 2010).

- Continuing the work on rapid response, in particular the EU Battlegroup initiative with a view to the full operational capability as of January 2007.

- Taking forward the work on ESDP aspects regarding the reinforcement of the EU’s emergency and crisis response capacities.

- Taking forward the work on the improvement of civil-military co-ordination in the planning and conduct of operations, including lessons learned and mission support.

- Taking forward the work on security sector reform (SSR), also through region/country-specific approaches, and developing an EU approach for the contribution to disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR).

- Continuing to develop ESDP support to peace and security in Africa, including options for strengthening EU support for the creation of an African capacity for conflict prevention, management and resolution.

- Implementing the European Union’s military aspects of the exercise programme and the training concept.

- Pursuing the dialogue and the co-operation with the UN and the OSCE in order to continue developing the EU/NATO strategic partnership in crisis management, including co-operation with the African Union and African sub-regional organisations, as well as the co-operation with partner countries, such as the European non-EU NATO members/partners Canada, Russia and Ukraine, and the Mediterranean countries engaged in the Barcelona process.

Command Options

Today the EU has two basic command options for the conduct of EU-led military operations within the field of crisis management operations (CMO). The Council makes the decision as to the command options: - An autonomous operation without recourse to NATO Common Assets and Capabilities. In order to provide the necessary Command and Control (C2) capabilities for the conduct of an EU-led CMO, the EU may have recourse to a military chain of command formed from one of the five OHQs currently offered by member states as well as other command elements listed in the Headline Force Catalogue (HFC), which has been activated and augmented for this purpose.

- An operation with recourse to NATO Common Assets and Capabilities. This option is developed within the framework of a permanent agreement between the EU and NATO known ‘Berlin Plus’. The chain of command, including the potential role of DSACEUR, will be agreed in consultations between the PSC and the NAC on a case by case basis, taking into account EUMC’s advice. DSACEUR would be the primary candidate as OpCdr with an EU OHQ established at SHAPE.

In addition, if the EU Council should so decide, in particular in the case of an operation that requires a joint civil/military response, the EU Operations Centre (EU OpsCen) located in Brussels may be activated by a Council decision at short notice. This option will be available by the end of December 2006.

By: Lt. Gen. Jean-Paul Perruche, Director General, EU Military Staff

Eigentümer und Herausgeber: Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung | Roßauer Lände 1, 1090 Wien
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