Structure, Instruments and Agencies

In order to enable the European Union fully to assume its responsabilities for crisis management, the European Council (Nice, December 2000) decided to establish permanent political and military structures.

These structures are:

The Political and Security Committee (PSC) meets at the ambassadorial level as a preparatory body for the Council of the EU. Its main functions are keeping track of the international situation, and helping to define policies within the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) including the CSDP. It prepares a coherent EU response to a crisis and exercises its political control and strategic direction.

The European Union Military Committee(EUMC) is the highest military body set up within the Council. It is composed of the Chiefs of Defence of the Member States, who are regularly represented by their permanent military representatives. The EUMC provides the PSC with advice and recommendations on all military matters within the EU.

In parallel with the EUMC, the PSC is advised by a Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CIVCOM). This committee provides information, drafts recommendations, and gives its opinion to the PSC on civilian aspects of crisis management.

The Politico-Military Group (PMG) carries out preparatory work in the field of CSDP for the Political and Security Committee. It covers the political aspects of EU military and civil-military issues, including concepts, capabilities and operations and missions. It prepares Council Conclusions, provides Recommendations for PSC, and monitors their effective implementation. It contributes to the development of (horizontal) policy and facilitates exchanges of information. It has a particular responsibility regarding partnerships with third states and other organisations, including EU-NATO relations, as well as exercises. The PMG is chaired by a representative of the High Representative.

The Crisis Management and Planning Directorate(CMPD) contributes to the objectives of the European External Action Service, the EU Common Security and Defence Policy and a more secure international environment by the political-strategic planning of CSDP civilian missions and military operations, ensuring coherence and effectiveness of those actions as part of the EU comprehensive approach to crisis management and developing CSDP partnerships, policies, concepts and capabilities.

The European Union Military Staff (EUMS) - working under the direction of the EU Military Committee (EUMC) and under the authority of the High Representative/Vice President (HR/VP) - is the source of collective (multi-disciplinary) military expertise within the European External Action Service (EEAS). As an integral component of the EEAS’s Comprehensive Approach, the EUMS coordinates the military instrument, with particular focus on operations/missions (both military and those requiring military support) and the creation of military capability. Enabling activity in support of this output includes: early warning (via the Single Intelligence Analysis Capacity - SIAC), situation assessment, strategic planning, Communications and Information Systems, concept development, training and education, and support of partnerships through military-military relationships. Concurrently, the EUMS is charged with sustaining the EU OPSCEN and providing its core staff when activated.

The Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability(CPCC), which is part of the EEAS, is the permanent structure responsible for an autonomous operational conduct of civilian CSDP operations. Under the political control and strategic direction of the Political and Security Committee and the overall authority of the High Representative, the CPCC ensures the effective planning and conduct of civilian CSDP crisis management operations, as well as the proper implementation of all mission-related tasks.

Key documents:

COUNCIL DECISION of 22 January 2001
setting up the Political and Security Committee

COUNCIL DECISION of 22 January 2001
setting up the Military Committee of the European Union

on the establishment of the Military Staff of the European Union