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Creating a fully-fledged European Defence Union by 2025 is imperative to Europe's security and to build a Union that protects. A smooth, efficient and effective movement of military personnel and assets across and beyond the EU will enhance the EU's preparedness and response to crises. It will enable EU Member States to act faster, in line with their defence needs and responsibilities, both in the context of the Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations, and in the framework of national and multinational activities. Currently, cross-border mobility is still hampered by a number of barriers that can lead to delays, disruption, higher costs or increased vulnerability.
European initiative to improve the mobility of military personnel, material and assets within and beyond the EU by addressing existing legal, infrastructural and procedural barriers between the EU Member States.
Infrastructure not suitable for the weight or size of military assets
Insufficient height of road tunnels or load capacity of bridges, different gauges or insufficient load capacity of railways
Regulatory and procedural issues
Lengthy and complex procedures for cross-border and movement in national territory, including customs formalities related to military operations, diverging national rules on the transport of dangerous goods in the military domain
Shortcomings in the military domain:
Lack of coordination structures, movement plans and training and exercises; the need to foster resilience in countering hybrid threats and to ensure access to transport assets, as well as preparedness regarding environmental challenges.
With the Action Plan on Military Mobility, the EU aims to help the EU Member States to tackle these and other analogous barriers and facilitate military mobility through concrete measures in a number of areas, in coherence with other defence initiatives, notably the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and in full complementarity with relevant international actors, notably NATO.
Working closely with EU Member States, including all relevant authorities at national level, is crucial for the successful implementation of the Action Plan. All actions will be carried out in full respect of the sovereignty of the Member States over their national territory and decision-making processes related to military movements. Steps will also be taken to enhance cooperation between EU institutions, agencies and bodies and the relevant national EU Member State authorities. Close coordination with Member States' efforts under the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the separate PESCO project on military mobility will also be ensured to reach complementarity of results.
Further cooperation with NATO on military mobility, in the framework of the implementation of the Joint Declaration is key and will be taken forward in full openness and transparency.