Military operations of the European Union

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Since 2002, the European Union has intervened abroad[1] thirty times in three different continents.
EU soldiers within KTO Rosomak in Chad.

From 2002 until February 2014, the European Union (EU) has undertaken thirty overseas operations, using civilian and military instruments in several countries in three continents (Europe, Africa and Asia), as part of its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), until 2009 known as the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). Fifteen of these operations are currently ongoing, and fifteen are completed.[2][3]

The names of operations which are purely or primarily military in form, are given the prefix of either European Union Force (EUFOR), or European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), for terrestrial and naval missions, respectively. EUFOR has been used four times so far: in the Republic of Macedonia from March 2003 to December 2003 as EUFOR Concordia, in Bosnia from 2004 as EUFOR Althea, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2006, and in Chad and the Central African Republic since 2007. These rapid reaction forces are subordinate to the European Union Military Staff, and complements other EU military forces such as Eurocorps, the European Gendarmerie Force, European Maritime Force and EU Battlegroups.


Began Ended Name Abbreviation Location Continent Branch Strength Description
31 March 2003 15 December 2003  ? EUFOR Concordia Insigne incognitum.svg Republic of Macedonia Europe Army 300 soldiers
2 December 2004 Present European Union Military Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina EUFOR Althea Coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Bosnia and Herzegovina Europe Army 2,503 soldiers
Military deployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina to oversee the military implementation of the Dayton Agreement. It is the successor to SFOR and IFOR. The transition from SFOR to EUFOR was largely a change of name and commanders: 80% of the troops remained in place.[4] It replaced the NATO-led SFOR on 2 December 2004. This is an EU military operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a transition from the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) that was deployed to the region following the Bosnian war. Transfer of authority from SFOR to EUFOR happened on 2 December 2004.
25 April 2006 30 July 2006  ? EUFOR DR Congo Insigne incognitum.svg Democratic Republic of Congo Africa Army 2,500 soldiers
The acronym EUFOR was also used for a short deployment in 2006 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On 25 April 2006, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1671 (2006), authorising the temporary deployment of an EU force to support the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) during the period encompassing the elections in the DR Congo, which began on 30 July.
February 2008 15 March 2009 European Union Force Chad/CAR EUFOR Tchad/RCA Insigne Tzadiae.svg Chad, Insigne rei publicae Africae Mediae.svg Central African Republic Africa Army 4,300 soldiers
EUFOR also refers to the EU mission under the auspices and in the framework of MINURCAT in Chad and the Central African Republic, from late 2007 onwards.[5]
30 April 2014 present European Union Force RCA EUFOR RCA Insigne rei publicae Africae Mediae.svg Central African Republic Africa Army
EUFOR RCA is ongoing EU peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic.

Completed operations[edit]

Began Ended Name Abbreviation Location Continent Branch Strength Description
1 January 2003 30 June 2012 European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina EUPM/BiH Police mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
31 March 2003 15 December 2003 European Union Military Operation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia EUFOR Concordia Launched in Macedonia following the request of President Boris Trajkovski. This operation made use of NATO assets and capabilities (Operation Allied Harmony), and demonstrated the strong institutional cooperational abilities of NATO, the EU, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.[6] This was the first mission (as per the December 1999 declaration of intent by EU members). During the operation, European Union troops watched over growing civil unrest in Macedonia due to ethnic tensions between the Macedon majority and Albanian minority in the east of the country. These tensions have abated since the approval by the Macedonian Parliament of a set of legislative measures recognising the rights of the Albanian minority. In a sense the stirrings of nationalism in the Albanian community was a direct result of the 1999 Kosovo War and the subsequent quasi-independence enjoyed by Kosovar Albanians. The force was acknowledged to have completed its mission successfully and a smaller follow-up mission which comprises assisting and training Macedonian police has recently[when?] begun.
15 December 2003 14 December 2005 European Union Police Mission in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia EUPOL PROXIMA/FYROM This operation was launched on 15 December 2003 and covered an initial period of one year.
16 July 2004 14 July 2005 European Union Rule of Law Mission in Georgia EUJUST THEMIS his mission was launched on 16 July 2004 for a duration of 12 months, and was designed to support the Georgian authorities in challenges to the criminal justice system and reform process.
15 December 2005 14 June 2006 European Union Police Advisory Team in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia EUPAT Launched on 15 December 2005 as a follow-on mission to EUPOL Proxima. The EU monitors and mentors the country's police on priority issues in the field of border police, public peace and order and accountability, the fight against corruption and organised crime. It finished its mandate in May 2006.[7]
  • European Union Military Operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Operation Artemis), 12 June 2003 – 1 September 2003: A military operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, conducted in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1484 of 30 May 2003, and adopted by the EU on 5 June 2003. The mission ended on 1 September 2003. This was the first time the EU conducted a military operation without NATO assistance. France was the "framework nation" and main contributor of forces.
  • European Union Police Mission in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (EUPOL Kinshasa), 12 April 2005 – 30 June 2007: In October 2003, the Democratic Republic of Congo requested the EU for assistance in setting up an Integrated Police Unit. EUPOL Kinshasa monitored, mentored and advised the IPU once trained and operational under a Congolese chain of command, until the national elections in DRC held in 2005. The mission finished on 30 June 2007.[7]
  • EU Support to African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS EU Supporting Action), 18 July 2005 – 31 December 2007: European Union support for the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), the mission of the African Union in Darfur. NATO likewise provided support to AMIS from 2005 to 2007[8] Both EU and NATO missions ended with the handover to UNAMID on 31 December 2007. It included provision of airlift for 2,000 personnel, financial aid totalling more than EUR 500 million, the deployment of 15 military experts, 30 police officers, two military observers with AMIS, plus several military advisors sent to Addis Ababa to support the EU Special Representative.[9]
  • European Union Military Operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (EUFOR RD Congo), 12 June 2006 – 30 November 2006: An EU military operation in support of the United Nations Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) during the election process in DR Congo.
  • European Union Military Bridging Operation in Chad and the Central African Republic (EUFOR Tchad/RCA), 17 March 2008 – 15 March 2009: Deployment of 3000 troops as part of the joint EU-UN force MINURCAT in Chad and the Central African Republic to protect refugee camps; replaced by UN force.[10]
  • European Union Mission in Support of Security Sector Reform in Guinea-Bissau (EU SSR Guinea-Bissau), 12 February 2008 – 30 September 2010: A mission for security sector reform in Guinea-Bissau with an initial mandate until 31 May 2009. Ended due to concerns over cooperation by Guinea-Bissau.[11]
  • European Union Aviation Security Mission in South Sudan (EUAVSEC SOUTH SUDAN), February 2013 – January 2014: Strengthening aviation security at Juba's airport.[12]
  • European Union Military Operation in Libya (EUFOR Libya), 1 April 2011: Proposed as a complement to NATO's aerial bombing campaign and no-fly zone in the Libyan Civil War.[13]
  • European Union Monitoring Mission in Aceh (Indonesia) (Aceh Monitoring Mission, AMM), 15 September 2005 – 15 December 2006: The European Union, together with contributing countries from ASEAN, as well as with Norway and Switzerland, has deployed in September 2005 a monitoring mission in Aceh (Indonesia), monitoring the implementation of the peace agreement between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). The mission was finished in December 2006.
  • European Union Integrated Rule of Law Mission for Iraq (EUJUST LEX), 1 July 2005 – 31 December 2013: The objective of this judicial mission to Iraq was to train some 770 judges, investigating magistrates, and senior police and penitentiary officers.

Ongoing operations[edit]

  • European Union Security Sector Reform Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (EUSEC RD Congo), 8 June 2005 – Present: The European Union mission is to provide advice and assistance for security sector reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[16] Among EUSEC DR Congo's projects was the 'Modernisation de l’Administration des Forces Armées de la RDC' (Modernisation of the Administration of the FARDC) underway in December 2008, under which, amongst other projects, information technology training was being delivered.[17] It appears that in December 2009, Secretary-General/High Representative Javier Solana issued a formal invitation for the United States government to offer a contribution to EUSEC RD Congo.[18] EUSEC DR Congo was initially planned in 2005-06 to include eight EU advisors assigned to posts in the DRC's integrated military structure (Structure Militaire d'Integration (?)), the army general staff, the National Committee for Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (CONADER?), the Joint Operational Committee, and the Ministry of Defence.[19] From 2007 to 2011 EUSEC personnel grew from 8 to 46, with about 30 locally employed staff. 34 locally employed staff were listed in 2011. In 2008 with 46 staff 26 were in Kinshasa and 20 in the eastern DRC. Two personnel have died due to illness.[20]
  • European Union Congo Police Mission (EUPOL RD Congo), 1 July 2007 – 30 September 2014: Established as a successor to EUPOL Kinshasa with an initial mandate until 30 June 2008.
  • European Union Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta), in international waters[21] 5 November 2008 – Present: To combat piracy in Somalia, initial mandate of twelve months.
  • European Union Training Mission Somalia] (EUTM Somalia), in Somalia, May 2010 – Present: To strengthen the Somali Armed Forces and contribute to the local stabilisation process.[22] Since 2007, NATO has provided support to African Union peacekeepers.[23]
  • European Union Regional Maritime Capacity Building for the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean (EUCAP NESTOR), Launched on 16 July 2012 – Present: EUCAP NESTOR is a regional training mission under preparation, which will aim at strengthening the maritime capacities of eight countries in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.[24][25] Since 2003, NATO has also operated its own counter-piracy mission off of the Horn of Africa as well.[26]
  • European Union Capacity Building (EUCAP Sahel Niger) in Niger, July 2012 – Present:
  • European Union Mali Training Mission (EUTM Mali) in Mali, from 18 February 2013 – Present: Training mission for Malian armed forces, in accordance with UN Security Council Revolution 2085 (2012), to restore peace and stability in the Sahel region.[27]
  • European Union Military Operation in Libya (EUFOR Libya), from 22 May 2013 – Present: This mission supports the Libyan post-conflict reconstruction.[28]
  • European Union Border Assistance Mission for the Rafah Crossing Point (EUBAM Rafah), 25 November 2005 – Present: A border monitoring mission at the Rafah border-crossing between the Gaza and Egypt.
  • European Union Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EUPOL COPPS), 1 January 2006 – Present: EU support to the Palestinian civil police, security sector reform and criminal justice.
  • European Union Police Mission to Afghanistan (EUPOL Afghanistan), 15 June 2007 – Present: A police training mission to Afghanistan, launched on 15 June 2007 and to last at least three years. This may contribute to the NATO International Security Assistance Force's 2014 deadline to transfer full security operations to Afghan police and military personnel.[29][30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ You want know more about the mission and receive news ? and Le Club
  2. ^ European Union External Action > EU Operations [1]
  3. ^ Benjamin Pohl (2013) The logic underpinning EU crisis management operations, European Security, 22(3): 307-325, DOI:10.1080/09662839.2012.726220, p. 311.
  4. ^ EU troops prepare for Bosnia swap BBC News, 23 October 2004
  5. ^ EU council adopts military action in Chad, Central African Republic - People's Daily Online
  6. ^ NATO > Current Operations and Missions [2]
  7. ^ a b Missions & Operations Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  8. ^ NATO > Current Operations and Missions [3]
  9. ^ Brookes Tigner, JDW 9 January 2008.
  10. ^ EU troops one step closer to Chad deployment EU Observer 28 July 2007
  11. ^ "EU to end Guinea-Bissau security mission". BBC News. 2 August 2010. 
  12. ^ EU
  13. ^ European Union External Action
  14. ^ B92 News
  15. ^ NATO > Current Operations and Missions [4]
  16. ^ USEC DR Congo The Council of the European Union
  17. ^ Council of the European Union, Note Technique: Projet "Modernisation de l'Administration des FARDC" Formation en Technologies d’Information au profit des Forces Armées de la RDC, November 2008
  18. ^ U.S. Embassy Brussels, EU: Help Us Reform Congo's Army, 09BRUSSELS1606, 1 December 2009, via United States diplomatic cables leak
  19. ^ Sharon Wiharta, 'Peacebuilding: the new international focus on Africa,' SIPRI Yearbook 2006, Oxford University Press, p.154.
  20. ^ SIPRI Yearbook 2007-2011.
  21. ^ Somalia allows military ships only from France, United States and India to enter its territorial waters.
  22. ^ European Union Somalia Training Mission
  23. ^ NATO > Current Operations and Missions [5]
  24. ^ European Union External Action > EUCAP NESTOR [6]
  25. ^ Global Governance Institute > Analysis of EUCAP NESTOR [7]
  26. ^ NATO > Current Operations and Missions [8]
  27. ^ European Union External Action > EUTM Mali [9]
  28. ^ "EU military operation in support of humanitarian assistance operations in Libya". European Union. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  29. ^ Eupol Afghanistan. See also ISIS Europe, [ An Opportunity for Whom?]
  30. ^ NATO > Current Missions and Operations [10]

External links[edit]