European Gendarmerie Force
|European Gendarmerie Force|
European Gendarmerie Force logo
|Size||~900 - a permanent personnel
2,300 - available on standby
|Part of||European Union Military Staff|
|Motto||Lex paciferat (Latin for "the law will bring peace")|
The European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR or EGF) was launched by an agreement in 2006 between five states of the European Union (EU): France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Romania subsequently joined in 2009. Its purpose is the creation of a European intervention force with militarised police functions and specialise in crisis management, designed after the French Gendarmerie, the Spanish Guardia Civil, and the Italian Unità Specializzata Multinazionale (M.S.U.) of the Carabinieri. Its status is enshrined in the Treaty of Velsen of 18 October 2007.
The EGF is based in Vicenza, in northeastern Italy, and has a core of 800 to 900 members ready to deploy within 30 days. This includes elements from the;
- French Gendarmerie
- Italian Carabinieri
- Dutch Royal Marechaussee
- Portuguese National Republican Guard
- Romanian Gendarmerie
- Spanish Guardia Civil
An additional 2,300 reinforcements will be available on standby. The Polish Military Gendarmerie are also a partner force, and on 10 October 2006, Poland indicated it would like to join the EGF. Lithuania is also an official Partner in the organization's activities. In December 2011 Poland applied for full membership in EGF. More countries will be allowed to join in the future.
Germany does not take part, as their constitution does not permit the use of military forces for police services. The minister of defense, Peter Struck, clarified in 2004 that the legal foundation of militarised police forces is different from expectations underlying the EGF. The paramilitary Bereitschaftspolizei units of the Länder states have no standing patrol order like the German Federal Police for example. Neither did Germany sign the Treaty of Velsen on the EGF or any later proposal. Instead there is a tight integration of police forces based on the Prüm Treaty. Originally the Prüm Treaty regulated access to police databases of neighboring countries but it was used multiple times as the legal foundation to exchange riot police equipment and personnel with the participating countries (Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, and Belgium). In 2008 the Prüm Treaty was naturalized as EU law allowing them access to police forces regulated under EU law (based on the Schengen agreement). While the European Police Forces Training of 2009 (EUPFT 2009) was run in Vicenza (home to EGF headquarters) the EUPFT 2010 on anti-riot tactics was run in Lehnin in Germany.
The French Defence Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie first proposed this force on September 2003; she and the Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino presented it at the Meeting of European Union Defense Ministers, on October 2003. The implentation agreement was finally signed by defence ministers of the five countries on September 17, 2004 in Noordwijk, Netherlands. On 23 January 2006, the EGF was officially inaugurated during a military ceremony in the Gen. Chinotto barracks in Vicenza.
The EGF was declared fully operational on 20 July 2006, following the High Level Interministerial meeting in Madrid, Spain, and its second successful Command Post exercise (CPX), which took place between 19–28 April 2006. The first CPX was held at the National Gendarmerie Training Center in Saint Astier, France, in June 2005.
After Romania's accession to the European Union, the Romanian Gendarmerie sought to be accepted as permanent observer to the European Gendarmerie Force, as a first step towards full membership. On March 3, 2009, the Romanian Gendarmerie became a full member of the European Gendarmerie Force.
Since December 2009, the EGF is taking part in the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) training operation of the Afghan National Police (ANP) in the War in Afghanistan. As of June 2010, 276 members of the EGF (among which 124 French gendarmes), from France, Spain, Netherlands, Poland and Portugal are training the Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP) officers and non-commissioned officers, while the initial mission was planned to be around 400 to 500 men. They are training them in ANCOP training centers but are also accompanying, advising and helping them during their missions in P-OMLT (Police Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams), where their military experience (even if the mission is stricly speaking civilian since it is "formation") will be useful. As of May 2010, it had already formed 50 officers and 250 non-commissioned officers of the ANCOP, and it was announced by the French Minister of Defense Brice Hortefeux that 40 more French gendarmes would be sent to help carrying this mission.
- Association of the European and Mediterranean Police Forces and Gendarmeries with Military Status
- European Maritime Force
- EU Battlegroup
- "Poland expresses readiness to join European Gendarmerie Force", October 10, 2006
- Parnters detail list
- "News" section, March 25, 2012
- "Des gendarmes européens en renfort", 17/09/2004
- "Von Vicenza nach Lehnin", Bundespolizei kompakt (German federal police journal), February 2010
- (Romanian) Politica europeană - Forţa de Jandarmerie Europeană (European Policy - European Gendarmerie Force), Romanian Gendarmerie website, accessed on January 22, 2009
- Eurogendfor.eu, EGF News, accessed on March 23, 2009
- (French) Des gendarmes picards bientôt en Afghanistan, Nord Éclair, 12 June 2009
- http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/13/cr-cafe/09-10/c0910077.asp (French) report from the commission on Foreign matters of the French Parliament
- http://www.interieur.gouv.fr/sections/a_la_une/toute_l_actualite/affaires-europeennes/gendarmes-en-afghanistan/view (French), "Gendarmes in Afhganistan", French Internals affairs Ministry website
- http://www.interieur.gouv.fr/sections/a_la_une/toute_l_actualite/affaires-europeennes/deplacement-afghanistan/view (French) "Brice Hortefeux honours the contribution of French policemen and gendarmes to the Afghan police training", French Internals affairs Ministry website
- "European gendarmes to beef up Haiti security". euronews. Retrieved 3 September 2010.