EU approves creation of military training HQ

Indo Asian News Service

Brussels, March 6 (IANS) The foreign and defence ministers of the European Union on Monday approved the creation of a planning and conduct centre for non-executive military missions along with other measures to improve the EU's defence capacities.

During a press conference in Brussels, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said that this move was part of the implementation of the bloc's global strategy in the area of security and defence, Efe news reported.

"EU foreign and defence ministers meeting jointly today all gave a very clear message: we are progressing steadily towards strengthened defence cooperation and we will continue to do more," Mogherini said.

"This is about protecting our citizens," she added.

The ministers voted to establish a Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) within the existing EU military staff of the European External Action Service for the planning and conduct of non-executive military missions.

Mogherini said that the EU has "unique tools to help Europeans to take more responsibility for their own security, and to do so more effectively."

The MPCC is set to work under the political control and strategic guidance of the Political and Security Committee (PSC), which is based in Brussels and made up of member states' ambassadors to the EU.

Mogherini said that the MPCC is to work closely with its existing civilian counterpart, the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) through a joint support coordination cell.

"This cell will be able to share expertise, knowledge and best practices on issues relevant to both military and civilian missions, as well as capabilities when civilian and military missions are simultaneously deployed in the same area, including medical support or protective measures," she said.