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EC Defence Policy

Volume 457: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what facilities are available to the EU in the Operations Centre for European Security and Defence Policy; what the budgeted cost is of those facilities for the 2007-08 financial year; and what proportion of the resources and budget are provided by the UK. (124328)

The civil/military cell in the EU Military Staff has the capacity rapidly to set up an operations centre for a particular operation. The decision to do so would be taken by the Council, upon the advice of the Military Committee, in particular where a joint civil/military response is required and where no national HQ is identified.

The facilities for an operations centre contain the desks, IT and communications to support up to 89 civilian and military staff. They are part of the premises occupied by the EU Military Staff at the Kortenberg building in Brussels. The cost of maintaining the Kortenberg building in the 2007 calendar year is €5.15 million. This cost is met from central EU funds. It is not possible to isolate the cost of the operations centre.

Member states make contributions to the EC Budget as a whole and it is not possible to separate individual member states' contributions to specific areas within the budget. After taking account of the abatement, the UK’s financing share of the 2007 EC Budget is estimated to be 12.49 per cent.