Slovenia has joined the call for the creation of an EU rapid reaction force

Slovenia and four other EU countries have drafted a proposal to transform existing EU battle groups into a rapid reaction force in an initiative driven by the experience of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, where the EU was to to rely on the US, the German press agency DPA reported.

The report says the concept proposed by Slovenia, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and Portugal is to create effective forces capable of responding to crises in the short term. Along with special forces and air transport, they would also include space and cyber capabilities.

“Recent events in Afghanistan have shown once again that the EU must be in a position … to act vigorously and swiftly,” reads the document compiled by the five countries and taken from the DA.

To provide greater flexibility, the five countries are proposing to invoke Article 44 of the EU Treaty, which calls for intervention by a “coalition of volunteers” and which has never been activated. Countries also propose using regional co-operation agreements already in place for greater effect.

While not specifying what size the reaction force should be, the document says ground forces should be brigade strength, meaning about 5,000 troops.

The current battle group concept envisions two units of 1,500 being on standby, but currently, only one such unit is available and the force has never actually been deployed.

The five countries hope the document will be included in the strategic compass – a key European defense and security process aimed at increasing the EU’s strategic autonomy.

Responding to a question from the STA, the Slovenian Ministry of Defense confirmed that the Slovenian had participated in drafting the proposal in the field of crisis management.

“It is just another segment in the mosaic of letters of opinion and discussions with which EU members make efforts for the Strategic Compass to provide concrete political guidance for the further development of the common security and defense policy in the next five to ten years. , “she said in a written statement.

The efforts of the EU members are directed towards the use and improvement of the existing structures and elements of the EU to make them more functional, the ministry said, adding that the proposal received wide support in the discussion of the EU defense ministers – in Brussels with more countries announcing to join it.

Source: STA

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