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EU Rapid Reaction Force

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK (a) military personnel and (b) civilian staff were attached to (i) the European Union Military Staff, (ii) the European Defence Agency, (iii) the European Union Military Committee and (iv) other EU institutions in each month since May 2008. (253369)

The staffing numbers for each month between May 2008 and January 2009 are as follows:

Date period

(a) Military personnel

(b) Civilian staff

(i) EU Military Staff

May 2008 to January 2009

18

0

(ii) European Defence Agency

May 2008 to September 2008

2

4

October 2008 to January 2009

3

4

(iii) EU Military Committee

May 2008 to January 2009

1

0

(iv) Other EU institutions

May 2008 to January 2009

0

3

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the Answer of 1 July 2008, Official Report, column 754W, on the EU Rapid Reaction Force, what the UK contribution is to the 50,000 to 60,000 person military force. (253386)

There is no EU Rapid Reaction Force.

However, the UK continues to support the Helsinki Headline Goal that all EU member states agreed to in 1999, which calls for EU member states to be able to:

“deploy within 60 days and sustain for at least one year military forces of up to 50,000 to 60,000 persons capable of the full range of Petersberg tasks.”

This represents an overarching target for member states’ collective level of capability, from which the EU’s capability development framework takes its lead. It does not imply the creation of a standing EU force of any kind. Any commitment to an EU-led operation is voluntary and is a decision for national Governments to make on a case by case basis.