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5/18/17

EU Military Developments: New HQ to take charge of EU military missions - by Andrew Rettman

EU Combined Military Forces Get HQ In Brussels
EU states have cleared the way for a new HQ to take charge of three military missions in a “couple of days”, as well as broader plans for joint defense.

The HQ will, in the words of 28 defence ministers adopted on Thursday (18 May), “assume responsibilities at the strategic level for the operational planning and conduct of the EU’s non-executive military missions” including “the three EU Training Missions deployed in Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia”.

Missions of a “non-executive” nature, in EU jargon, do not involve combat and cannot take decisions independently of their host nations.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said “the political decision is finalised” and that it would take “a couple of days” to have the new HQ “officially in place”.

An EU source said it was a matter of circulating and rubber-stamping the legal documents that would underpin the new entity.

They said the UK had, as of Monday, still objected to describing it in language that made it sound as though it was a military command structure or the start of a future EU army, but that compromise wording, which will be published shortly, had now been agreed.

The HQ will be located in a building that already houses Mogherini's military staff in Brussels, and will take over command tasks previously handled out separate locations in member states.

The EU defence ministers decided additionally on Thursday that deployment of EU “battlegroups” in the field would in future be paid for out of the EU budget and not by participating member states.

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