The European Union will launch next week its 3rd comprehensive Multi-Layer Crisis Management Exercise, also known as ML16.
This exercise is organised by the European External Action Service (EEAS) and will be conducted with Member States from 13 September to 20 October 2016. ML16 will exercise the different layers of EU crisis response and management, from the political-strategic level to the operational level. The overall objective of the exercise is to ensure the ability of the EU to take action in a competent, effective and prepared manner in its role as an international security actor.
ML16 aims at improving the EU's capacity to manage crises and to rapidly implement the EU’s Comprehensive Approach in a changing environment. Based on a fictitious scenario, ML16 will test the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) decision-making and planning processes and capabilities. It will exercise the different layers of the EEAS Crisis Response System – both civilian and military – and their interaction with other EU crisis response structures. Consequently, the exercise will involve the EEAS – including an EU Delegation –, the European Commission, the relevant Council instances, a CSDP Operations Headquarter and the Force Headquarter of the EU Battlegroup, both offered by Germany.
Acting under the authority of High Representative/Vice President of the Commission Federica Mogherini, Pedro Serrano, EEAS Deputy Secretary-General for CSDP and Crisis Response, will oversee the exercise. The EU's Political and Security Committee will exercise its role to provide the political control and strategic direction during this exercise to the proposed military CSDP operation and civilian CSDP mission.
For the first time, ML16 will actively involve the United Nations to interact with EU planners during the conduct phase of the simulation. Third countries and international organisations with a valid security agreement with the EU will be invited to observe the exercise.