Excerpt [GENERAL AFFAIRS COUNCIL]

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13/ 05/ 2002

EUROPEAN SECURITY AND DEFENCE POLICY ? 

 


MILITARY CAPABILITIES - Council Conclusions

"1. The Council welcomed the participation of the Ministers of Defence, meeting, as agreed at its meeting of 18 February, for the first time, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Defence of the Presidency, to discuss certain agenda items covering military capabilities. The Council
examined all relevant aspects of the development of EU military capabilities as set out at Laeken: the Capability Development Mechanism; progress within the framework of the European Capability Action Plan; Rapid Response Elements of the Helsinki Headline Goal;
Command and Control arrangements for Operational Headquarters; and co-operation in the field of Armaments.

2. Welcoming the progress towards establishing the Capability Development Mechanism (CDM), the Council decided to undertake every effort in order to further monitor and evaluate progress and address shortfalls in the development of EU military capabilities and to develop
the principles and framework for coherent and mutually reinforcing capabilities requirements with NATO within the CDM.

3. In accordance with the Laeken mandate, the Council was informed of progress in the building of European military capabilities and in remedying the remaining shortfalls with a view to the completion of the Headline Goal. It welcomed the PSC progress report, on the basis of the
opinion of the EUMC, on the implementation of the European Capability Action Plan (ECAP). It welcomed the co-operation between Member States in the framework of this Plan.

The Council noted with satisfaction that many of the shortfalls remediable by the ECAP, including most of the significant ones, are already under scrutiny by active panels. However, as expected as this early stage, significant shortfalls will remain until results have been
produced, while others still need to be addressed.

4. The Council expected continuing progress in strengthening military capabilities through the implementation of the ECAP. It requested a further progress report to be submitted during the Danish Presidency.

5. The Council examined the PSC progress report, on the basis of the opinion of the EUMC, on the development of the procedures and concepts required for the deployment of the rapid response elements of the Headline Goal, in particular progress in identifying the relevant shortfalls and continuation of work on the operational concepts relevant to operations requiring a rapid response. The Council confirmed the need further to develop concepts and procedures in accordance with the Presidency Workplan on Rapid Response.

6. In this context, the Council welcomed the progress on Command and Control arrangements for national and multinational Headquarters. It requested the competent Council bodies to continue work in the various areas related to the improvement of operationality of Headquarters.

7. In line with the Mandate to the Spanish Presidency agreed in the European Council at Laeken, the Council discussed how to enhance co-operation in the Armament field in support of the ESDP, as Member States consider appropriate. In this regard, it welcomed the initiative of the Presidency to hold an informal meeting of the EU National Armaments Directors in Madrid, on 29 April 2002 and took note of the valuable exchange of views that took place on this occasion. The Council agreed on the need for further work on these issues taking into account
the orientations by the Presidency set out in a separate document attached to these conclusions. The Council invited the PSC to report on the work carried out in this field within the framework of ECAP.

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Orientations by the Presidency on the re-inforcement of co-operation in the field of armaments:

• Co-operation on armaments issues should be seen as a part of the EU’s efforts to meet capability shortfalls under the European Capability Action Plan (ECAP). As such, any co-operation would respect the principles of ECAP, in particular voluntary compliance, transparency and avoidance of duplication.

• The collective experience of the national armaments directors (NADs) is highly valuable and should be drawn upon in a practical way to advance progress under ECAP. As a first step, NADs should be kept fully briefed on progress of those ECAP working groups where a procurement solution looks likely.

• NADs should offer advice, including participation where appropriate, to the ECAP working groups on how best to achieve a procurement solution. To do this effectively, NADs should continue to share views on a range of innovative approaches to procurement, for example leasing or involvement of private finance in partnership with public funds.

• Defence industry in Europe plays an important role in achieving procurement solutions to ECAP shortfalls. The industry should continue to be briefed on the objectives and progress of ECAP.

• In order to facilitate the improvement of the technological base of defence in Europe, it is necessary to encourage a suitable level of research and technology investments and cooperation which will narrow the gaps with other countries."