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Allied Harmony Operation

Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in implementing the common action for an EU military mission to take over from NATO's Allied Harmony operation in FYROM; which (a) European states that are not yet EU members and (b) other third countries have expressed the intention of taking part in that mission; what NATO assets the EU will use for that mission; whether the launching of this operation depends on finalising permanent arrangements for the EU's use of NATO assets; when those arrangements are expected to be finalised; and if he will make a statement. [102671]

The "Berlin Plus" arrangements for ready access by the European Union to the collective assets and capabilities of NATO are now in place.Good progress has been made on the Council's Joint Action on the EU military operation in Macedonia. For example, the EU has agreed that the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe will be appointed as the EU Operation Commander and that the Supreme Headquarters of Allied Powers in Europe will be used as the EU Operational Headquarters. Arrangements with third states have been agreed and a Committee of Contributors has been formed. The Operation Plan has been finalised, subject to approval by the Council. As envisaged, contacts and meetings between the EU and NATO have been stepped up.The non-EU European states that are expected to take part in the operation are Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Iceland, Turkey, Hungary and Norway. Canada is also expected to take part.

NATO has drawn up an indicative list of those assets that will be available for the EU-led operation in Macedonia, and the EU is expected to place a formal request for the assets that it wishes to use in the very near future.