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Strengthening european co

Strengthening European Co-operation in Security and Defence

Joint Declaration after the London Summit. November 24, 2003. Source: Elysée Palace, Paris.

The United Kingdom and France have together been in the forefront of the development of the European Security and Defence Policy. Our two countries remain committed to the continued development of the EU's capacity to take decisions and act in crisis management. We welcome the considerable progress that has been made since our last Summit at Le Touquet in February:

- In 2003 the European Union has concluded the full set of NATO/EU agreements laying the groundwork for the strategic partnership in crisis management between the two organisations. We intend to make full use of these arrangements, so furthering the relationship established in this framework.

- The EU has launched its first civilian ESDP mission, the EU Police Mission in Bosnia, and taken the decision to launch a second, the EU Police Mission Proxima in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

- The EU has launched its first military mission with recourse to NATO assets and capabilities, Operation Concordia in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, due to be completed on 15 December.

- The EU has successfully completed its first autonomous military mission, Operation Artemis in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In all these operations both our countries have committed personnel and capabilities; and for the two military missions, France was the framework nation.

Through such action ESDP is now making a vital contribution to meeting the objectives of the Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy. In this context, our two countries reaffirm our support for the EU organising and leading a co-ordinated mission in Bosnia, following the termination of SFOR.  It is understood that a military component would be established under Berlin Plus.  We look forward to discussions on this in the coming weeks.

Our two countries now wish to build on these first steps in crisis management operations in two areas: the relationship between the EU and the UN in the field of crisis management; and further work on capability development.  To that end:

- we propose a new initiative, in which the EU would focus on the development of its rapid reaction capabilities to enhance its ability to support the UN in short-term crisis management situations;

- we shall continue to work together on strengthening the EU's effective military capability, including the development of further capability goals,  the establishment of the EU Agency in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments, and continuing our bilateral work on naval co-operation.

Our two countries recall the commitment we made at the Saint Malo Summit to combine our efforts to promote peace and stability in Africa. We recall our proposal to EU Partners at our last bilateral Summit that the Union should examine how it can contribute to conflict prevention and peacekeeping in Africa, including through EU autonomous operations, in close co-operation with the United Nations.  In this context, we welcome the success of Operation Artemis.  The EU was able to respond quickly to a request from the Secretary-General of the UN and to launch an operation within two weeks of the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1484 calling for a multinational interim emergency force in Bunia. It proved its ability to promote peace and stability beyond its immediate neighbourhood. 

In respect of the ongoing discussions in the EU about the appropriate response to the request from the UN to take on a role in the training of the Integrated Police Unit in Kinshasa, the UK and France consider that a police training mission would demonstrate the EU's continued commitment to the DRC.

Together we now propose that the EU should aim to build on this precedent so that it is able to respond through ESDP to future similar requests from the United Nations, whether in Africa or elsewhere.  The EU should be capable and willing to deploy in an autonomous operation within 15 days to respond to a crisis. The aim should be coherent and credible battle-group sized forces, each around 1500 troops, offered by a single nation or through a multinational or framework nation force package, with appropriate transport and sustainability.  These forces should have the capacity to operate under a Chapter VII mandate.  They would be deployed in response to a UN request to stabilise a situation or otherwise meet a short-term need until peace-keepers from the United Nations, or regional organisations acting under a UN mandate, could arrive or be reinforced.  This idea will need to be developed across the EU and hand in hand with the UN and relevant regional partners. This initiative would contribute to the implementation of the joint declaration on EU/UN co-operation in crisis management.

The development of such a capability would have wider benefits for the rapid reaction capability of the EU and the Member States.  We welcome the progress already made in establishing the NATO Response Force, noting that forces are offered to both the EU and NATO on a voluntary case by case basis. We will work together to improve the links between the two organisations and to enhance their rapid reaction capabilities in a compatible manner. 

The UK and France will continue our co-operation in the field of capability development. The ultimate test of the success of the EU's crisis management capacity is that it is able to prepare for, launch and conduct effective and coherent operations. We want to go on improving this capability in terms of both force projection and concurrency.  

  • The UK and France will continue to co-operate on:

(a) developing as soon as possible the European Union's new Headline Goal, to be implemented by the end of 2010. In order to improve its ability to undertake the full range of missions envisaged under the draft Union Treaty, to conduct concurrent operations and to develop further its rapid reaction capacity, France and the UK consider that the Union should refine its quantitative targets and set demanding new qualitative objectives. In addition to preparedness, military effectiveness, deployability, and sustainability of forces, a key objective to that effect will be to improve significantly the interoperability of Member States' forces, equipment and command and control available to the Union, consistent with their need to operate both with each other and with their partners; 

(b) the early establishment of the EU Agency in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments to drive forward, under the Council, the work of improving European defence capabilities and of defining a European capabilities and armaments policy. Together we welcome the Council Decision to create such an Agency, for the establishment of which our two countries called at Le Touquet. We look forward to the early setting up of an implementation team to bring the Agency into its operational phase in the course of 2004. Early tasks for the Agency should include contributing to the development of the EU's next Headline Goal;  

(c) The UK and France welcome the recent decisions to acquire the strategic airlift Aircraft A400 M and the missile "Meteor."  These decisions, while helping to strengthen the European industrial base, allow us to make best use of our financial resources and to strengthen the capability and interoperability of our forces.

(d) We remain committed to continuing our bilateral co-operation in the naval field.

In this respect, our national programmes to procure aircraft carriers represent a major commitment to the overall development of European military capabilities. Mutual exchanges of information are ongoing. Forthcoming French and British decisions on their national programmes could provide further scope for areas of industry-to-industry co-operation in the future.

Furthermore, as agreed at Le Touquet, exchanges are now taking place covering operational cycles, aviation, sustainability, personnel and training. They continue with the aim of improving interoperability and harmonising activity cycles.

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).