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European Union Military 2004

Military - note: In October 2004, the European Union heads of government signed a "constitutional treaty" that offers possibilities - with some limits - for increased defense and security cooperation. If ratified, in a process that may take some two years, this treaty will in effect make operational the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) approved in the 2000 Nice Treaty. Despite limits of cooperation for some EU members, development of a European military planning unit is likely to continue. So is creation of a rapid-reaction military force and a humanitarian aid system, which the planning unit will support. France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Italy continue to press for wider coordination. The five-nation Eurocorps - created in 1992 by France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Luxembourg - has already deployed troops and police on peacekeeping missions to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and assumed command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in August 2004. Eurocorps directly commands the 5,000-man Franco-German Brigade and the Multinational Command Support Brigade and will command EUFOR, which will take over from SFOR in Bosnia in December 2004. Other troop contributions are under national command - committments to provide 67,100 troops were made at the Helsinki EU session in 2000. Some 56,000 EU troops were actually deployed in 2003. In August 2004, the new European Defense Agency, tasked with promoting cooperative European defense capabilities, began operations. As of November 2004, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France had proposed creation of three 1,500-man rapid-reaction "battle groups."

NOTE: The military information regarding European Union on this page is re-published from the 2004 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of European Union Military 2004 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about European Union Military 2004 should be addressed to the CIA.