Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas together with other representatives from EU member states attended the seminar on European Burden Sharing and the Role of EU Battlegoups on 15 October in London (UK), Defence Ministry has informed.
“I believe the European Council in December will express its position on the future of EU Battlegroups. I expect strong political message that will echo the current level of ambition in committing to use EU Battlegroups,” the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence said.
As the presiding EU country, Lithuania seeks to increase the flexibility of EU Battlegroups, facilitate conditions for their deployment and enhance training of the Battlegroups.
“By increasing the modularity of the Battlegroups we could be able to tailor them to a specific crisis,” said the Minister while dwelling upon the usability if the Battlegroupos. “In practice this could mean employing only a part of the Battlegroup or reinforce it with additional elements.”
“I would like to finish on a positive note by saying that the Battlegroups have already proved themselves. It is a good tool for transformation. As it is a good tool to increase interoperability of forces. First of all, between Member States, but not less important with Partners. I believe Partnership dimension within the Battlegroups has not been fully explored yet,” Olekas noted.
The usability of EU Battlegroups is one of the top issues in the run up to the European Council in December, where defence issues will be on the agenda after a long break. It is also a one of priorities of Lithuanian’s EU Presidency in the second half of 2013.
The EU Battlegroup is a high-readiness, rapidly deployable and multinational force capable of carrying out operations individually or acting as a part of the initial stage of a larger operation. A group is composed of military units assigned by EU member states for six-month standby periods on a voluntary rotational basis.
In case of activation, the EU Battlegroups can be deployed on the ground within 5–10 days and sustain for between 30 to 120 days.
Full article: The future of EU Battlegroups addressed in London (The Lithuania Tribune)