|Operation "Concordia" Launched in Macedonia|
Operation "Concordia" Launched in Macedonia
Source: Office of the Secretary General, Council of the European Union. Brussels, March 31, 2003.
The European Union is launching a military operation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 31 March, 2003. This decision follows a request by President Trajkovski and is based on UN Security Council Resolution 1371. This operation follows the NATO operation, which ends on 31 March. The anticipated duration of the EU-led operation is six months.
The operation makes use of NATO assets and capabilities, which was made possible by the completion of work on EU-NATO arrangements. The Operation Commander is Admiral Rainer Feist (Germany), and the Force Commander is General Pierre Maral (France). A total of 350 military personnel are engaged in this operation. Fourteen non-EU countries (1) participate in this operation alongside thirteen EU Member States (2). A Committee of Contributors has been set up for the operation. The budget for the common costs related to the operation amounts to € 6.2 million and is managed through a specific financial mechanism. Non-common costs are met directly by participating countries on a "costs lie where they fall" basis.
The core aim of the operation is, at the explicit request of the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to contribute further to a stable secure environment to allow the FYROM government to implement the August 2001 Ohrid Framework Agreement. The operation is a contribution to the efforts to achieve a peaceful, democratic and prosperous country, as part of a region of stable countries, where an international security presence is no longer needed.
This operation is part of the larger commitment of the EU to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and to its rapprochement with the EU within the Stabilisation and Association Process.
(1) Fourteen non-EU countries: Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey.
(2) Thirteen EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.