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European Rapid Reaction Force

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role he envisages for (a) the Royal Navy and (b) the Royal Marines in an EU rapid reaction force. [112263]

There is no standing European Rapid Reaction Force. Under the Helsinki Headline Goal, EU member states have identified relevant forces and capabilities that might be contributed to EU-led crisis-management operations.As regards Naval and Royal Marines forces, the United Kingdom offer includes 18 warships, as well as amphibious infantry. Committing forces to EU-led operations is a matter for national governments to decide in the light of the circumstances of each operation.