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Crisis Management

Volume 401: debated on Friday 14 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what medium-term plans there are to give the EU military staff a planning capability for crisis-management operations; and if he will make a statement. [102677]

European Union member states agreed at Nice in 2000 that the EU Military staff would carry out strategic planning tasks, including

"military aspects of strategic advance planning"
for crisis management operations. This covers high-level consideration of options to support political/military decision-making, including particularly planning activities up to the point when the EU approves a military option. As part of the assured access to NATO planning capabilities agreed last year, the EU may call on NATO planning support for these activities.More detailed operational planning is not in the terms of reference of the EU Military staff. It was agreed at Nice that NATO's planning bodies will carry out operational planning for EU-led operations with recourse to NATO assets and capabilities. Operational planning for other operations would be carried out in existing European national and multinational headquarters, such as our own Permanent Joint Headquarters.There are no plans to change these arrangements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether geographic limits will be set to politico-military action by the EU for crisis-management purposes; and if he will make a statement. [102788]

Currently there are no geographical limits set for crisis management operations which the European Union might conduct as part of the European Security and Defence Policy, although in practice distance would be one of a large number of factors which would determine whether or not an operation could be undertaken. I do not expect this to change.