EU Council conclusions on pooling and sharing of military capabilities

3091st FOREIGN AFFAIRS Coun­cil meet­ing
Brus­sels, 23 May 2011
The Coun­cil adopt­ed the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions:
“1. Fol­low­ing its Decem­ber 2010 Con­clu­sions, the Coun­cil reit­er­ates the need to turn the finan­cial cri­sis and its impact on nation­al defence bud­gets into an oppor­tu­ni­ty for greater coop­er­a­tion in the area of capa­bil­i­ty devel­op­ment. It wel­comes the High Representative’s inter­im report on CSDP/“Military Ele­ments” as an impor­tant con­tri­bu­tion to this end.

2. The Coun­cil calls for a struc­tured and long-term approach to pool­ing and shar­ing, based on a high lev­el of ambi­tion, in a wide array of capa­bil­i­ty areas, and lead­ing to con­crete results. While short­er-term quick-win ini­tia­tives can have a use­ful stim­u­lat­ing effect, the Coun­cil encour­ages Mem­ber States to apply pool­ing and shar­ing on a sys­tem­at­ic and sus­tain­able basis, pro­mot­ing multi­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion, includ­ing on a region­al basis, as a key method to pre­serve and devel­op mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ties in Europe for sus­tain­ing and enhanc­ing CSDP.

3. In this con­text, the Coun­cil wel­comes the ini­tial inputs and find­ings from Mem­ber States’ nation­al analy­ses as a first step towards enhanced trans­paren­cy among Mem­ber States and more pool­ing and shar­ing ini­tia­tives. These ini­tial find­ings, col­lect­ed and com­piled by the EU Mil­i­tary Com­mit­tee sup­port­ed by the Mil­i­tary Staff, have shown oppor­tu­ni­ties in a vari­ety of areas, includ­ing research and tech­nol­o­gy, pro­cure­ment, main­te­nance, logis­tics, edu­ca­tion and train­ing. As part of this effort, the Coun­cil stress­es the need to fur­ther explore role specialization.

4. The Coun­cil, while reit­er­at­ing the Mem­ber States’ dri­ving role in defin­ing and com­mit­ting vol­un­tar­i­ly to con­crete pool­ing and shar­ing projects, stress­es the added val­ue of work at the EU lev­el to sup­port and fos­ter this, tak­ing advan­tage of the polit­i­cal momen­tum, notably by map­ping ongo­ing and forth­com­ing coop­er­a­tion, iden­ti­fy­ing best prac­tices, mod­els for coop­er­a­tion and cri­te­ria for suc­cess, and devel­op­ing oth­er sup­port­ing tools and pro­vid­ing exper­tise in oth­er areas such as inter­op­er­abil­i­ty and stan­dard­i­s­a­tion as part of the work under­tak­en by var­i­ous EU bodies. 

The Coun­cil also encour­ages the Euro­pean Defence Agency to con­tin­ue to con­tribute to this work by fur­ther sup­port­ing par­tic­i­pat­ing Mem­ber States in iden­ti­fy­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for pool­ing and shar­ing, includ­ing through senior-lev­el exter­nal sup­port offered by par­tic­i­pat­ing Mem­ber States on a vol­un­tary basis, and analysing its poten­tial indus­tri­al impli­ca­tions. It wel­comes the inten­tion of the Agency to sub­mit pro­pos­als to that end.

5. The Coun­cil wel­comes close con­tacts with NATO on pool­ing and shar­ing, includ­ing staff-tostaff con­tacts. It under­lines the need to pur­sue such con­tacts in order to ensure coherence.

6. The Coun­cil wel­comes the engage­ment of indi­vid­ual Mem­ber States to devel­op, on the basis of the pro­pos­als and ideas put for­ward, fur­ther pool­ing and shar­ing ini­tia­tives by extend­ing exist­ing projects to oth­er part­ners and/or by set­ting up new coop­er­a­tive projects, also build­ing on the com­mit­ment by the nation­al Chiefs of Defence to estab­lish mul­ti­lat­er­al con­tacts to that end.

7. The Coun­cil will exam­ine progress and achieve­ments on a reg­u­lar basis, first in the autumn of 2011, includ­ing on the basis of the High Representative’s forth­com­ing report on CSDP and of inputs by Mem­ber States. As part of this, the Coun­cil will con­sid­er an extra­or­di­nary ses­sion at min­is­te­r­i­al lev­el where Mem­ber States could declare their inten­tions with regard to new coop­er­a­tive initiatives.” 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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