The Finnish Presidency
Helsinki 24 November 1999

Draft Presidency Report on Non-Military Crisis Management of the European Union

  1. The Presidency was mandated by the European Council in Cologne to continue the work on all aspects of security including the enhancement and better coordination of the Union's and the Member States' non-military crisis response tools. Developments i.a. in Kosovo have for their part underlined the importance of this task. To this end, a thorough discussion has been carried out within the Council instances.
  2. Work listing all available resources of the Member States and the Union has been initiated and has led to inventories of the tools available to the Union and to Member States, which are contained respectively in Annex 1 (for the Union) and II (for the Member States).
  3. The inventories which have been drawn up clearly show that Member States, the Union, or both have accumulated considerable experience or have considerable resources in a number of areas such as civilian police, humanitarian assistance, administrative and legal rehabilitation, search and rescue, electoral and human rights monitoring, etc. This inventory should be pursued further. Regular updating will be necessary to better identify lacunae as well as strongpoints.
  4. In order to be able to respond more rapidly and more effectively to emerging crisis situations, the Union needs to strengthen the responsiveness and efficiency of its resources and tools, as well as their synergy.
  5. It is therefore appropriate to draw up an Action Plan which would show the way ahead and indicate the steps the Union has to undertake to develop a rapid reaction capability in the field of crisis management using non-military instruments.


A. The Union should aim at:

  • strengthening the synergy and responsiveness of national, collective and NGO resources in order to avoid duplication and improve performance, while maintaining the flexibility of each contributor to decide on the deployment of assets and capabilities in a particular crisis, or via a particular channel;
  • enhancing and facilitating the EU's contributions to, and activities within, other organisations, such as the UN and the OSCE whenever one of them is the lead organisation in a particular crisis, as well as EU autonomous actions.
  • ensuring inter-pillar coherence.

B. To that end:

  1. Member States and the Union should develop a rapid reaction capability by defining a framework and modalities, as well as by pre-identifying personnel, material and financial resources that could be used in response to a request of a lead agency like the UN or the OSCE, or, where appropriate, in autonomous EU actions. 
  2. An inventory of national and collective resources should be pursued to give an overview of resources that could be marshalled within such a rapid reaction framework. In this process Member States and the EU institutions could, if they wish, highlight sectors in which they find that they have acknowledged expertise.
  3. A database should be set up to maintain and share information on the preidentified assets, capabilities and expertise within all areas relevant to non-military crisis management. The availability and quality of these assets would need to be clearly defined.
  4. A study should be carried out, taking into account lessons learned, to define concrete targets for EU Member States' collective non-military response to international crises (e.g.: the ability to deploy at short notice and sustain for a defined period a set number of civilian police as a contribution to civpol missions; to deploy a combined search and rescue capability of up to 200 people within twenty-four hours). To that end, and in the light of the Tampere European Council Conclusions, developing a CIVPOL rapid reaction capability should be considered as an urgent task.
  5. The inventory, the database project and the study should help identify areas of relative strength and weakness and could promote improved training standards, sharing of experience and best practice, as well as bilateral or multilateral projects between Member States (e.g. 'pairing' one member state's helicopter lift with a specialist medical team from another).
  6. A coordinating mechanism, with the full association of the Commission, should be set up at the Council Secretariat. It would run the database project and the different capabilities initiatives. In particular crises, depending on the EU's role, it may set up an ad hoc centre to coordinate the effectiveness of EU Member States' contributions. This should be a lean, efficient, non-bureaucratic structure permitting close interaction with the Commission (ECHO in particular).
  7. As a first step towards establishing a rapid reaction capability, the co-ordinating mechanism will initially focus on the field of civilian police with the task of setting up the inventory and the database, and establishing common training standards based upon existing UN standards for CIVPOL, in close co-operation with the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations. (Danish proposal)
  8. Rapid financing mechanisms such as the creation by the Commission of a Rapid reaction Fund (RRF) should be set up to allow the acceleration of the provision of finance to support EU activities, to contribute to operations run by other international organisations and to fund NGO activities, as appropriate.


  1. The Union should develop a comprehensive approach with a view to marshalling national and collective non-military instruments within the time limits called for by the situation on the ground.
  2. The new decision-making arrangements to be established within the Union Treaty framework should be able to take into account both the non-military and military aspects of crisis management (1).
    (1) This paragraph could be redrafted in light of deliberations on decision-making.
  3. If appropriate, specific Union instruments could be envisaged to lay down general guidelines, to ensure inter-pillar coherence, and to set out the means (including financial) which should be made available. Arrangements for rapid financing mechanisms for a prompt response to crisis situations could he devised in this context.
  4. Implementation of the various decisions would be for the competent authorities in accordance with the procedures specific to each area of activity. Cooperation and coherence should be enhanced between relevant instruments of the Union.