Viewing cable 04THEHAGUE2326

04THEHAGUE23262004-09-15 11:13:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy The Hague
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

151113Z Sep 04
E.O. 12958: N/A 
¶1. Summary:  In a September 9 letter to the Dutch 
parliament, Defense Minister Kamp previewed the September 16- 
17 EU Defense Ministers Informal Ministerial at Noordwijk, 
Netherlands.  This meeting will be preceded by the first 
meeting of the Steering Board of the new European Defense 
Agency under the chairmanship of HC Solana.  The main items 
on the agenda are preparing for the Military Capabilities 
Conference in November, the planned transition from the end 
of SFOR to EU-led Operation Althea in Bosnia, and possible 
ESDP contributions to the fight against terrorism.  Kamp 
stressed the need to coordinate EU and NATO initiatives to 
strengthen capabilities so that they are complementary and 
reinforce each other.  End summary. 
¶2. Dutch Defense Minister Henk Kamp previewed the agenda for 
the September 16-17 EU Informal Defense Ministerial meeting 
in Noordwijk, Netherlands in a September 9 letter to the 
Dutch parliament.  In his letter, Kamp noted that the Dutch 
Presidency aims to set up decisions for the next GAERC and 
for the Military Capabilities Conference in November.  Key 
points of the letter dealt with Bosnia-Herzegovina, 
strengthening EU military capabilities, EU Battlegroups, 
Global Deployability Approach, European Gendarmerie Force, 
European Defense Agency, and Presidency Priorities, and are 
summarized below. 
¶3.  Begin text of Embassy summary/translation of key points 
of Kamp's September 9 letter to parliament: 
The Presidency will brief the ministers on progress that has 
been made with operation Althea.  It will be checked whether 
the military EU HQ in Sarajevo will be ready in early 
October, as planned.   That is necessary to secure a smooth 
transition from SFOR to the new EU mission.   The actual 
transfer of command is planned for mid-December.  As soon as 
decisionmaking on offering Dutch units is under discussion, 
parliament will be informed accordingly. 
Strengthening Military Capabilities 
The Presidency will seek to achieve consensus on the 
agreements that should be made at the Military Capabilities 
Conference in November.  Those include: 
-- Tackling the remaining military deficiencies of the 1999 
Helsinki Headline Goal.  Using the evaluation of the 
European Capability Action Plan (ECAP,) the remaining 
military deficiencies should be identified, and if 
necessary, the ECAP should be revised to deal with them. 
Thus, a clear point of departure is created for the new EU 
Headline Goal 2010. 
-- Commitment to qualitative targets in Headline Goal 2010, 
and consensus on the military elaboration, as well as the 
development of standards and criteria to measure quality 
-- Registration of military units for initial operational 
capability of EU Battlegroups in the period 2005-2007, and 
if possible, registration of such units for the fully 
operational battle group capability as of 2007.  Although 
the Dutch mandate is restricted to the initial operational 
capability, the Presidency intends to provide clarity about 
the complete battle group capability.  That is necessary in 
order to be able to make timely preparations. 
-- Intensification of international military cooperation. 
The Netherlands organizes in this context a conference on 
October 11-12 that should yield conclusions and 
The luncheon on September 17 will be used to discuss a 
possible ESDP contribution to the combat against terrorism. 
Although the emphasis of the EU combat against terrorism is 
on police and legal cooperation, and NATO has the lead in 
the military combat of terrorism, supplementary options via 
ESDP are imaginable, for instance in the area of consequence 
management.  The debate also intends to give an impulse to 
ESDP activities in the area of combating terrorism. 
EU Battlegroups 
As for the EU Battlegroups, there should be no 
misunderstanding over the high demands that are made to such 
military units.  The EU has no need for paper tigers. 
Ample attention will therefore be paid at the meeting to the 
concrete EU requirement for coherent and effective military 
formations - including logistical support and strategic 
transport.  The modalities of multinational Battlegroups 
will also be discussed because many member states, including 
the Netherlands, will offer such a military formation 
together with others and not on their own.  Finally, the 
Netherlands has asked the member states whether they were 
planning to contribute with (part of) a EU battle group to 
the initial operational capability (2005-2007) and, if 
possible, to the full operational capability (as of 2007). 
In the latter case it will be an indication and not a 
commitment of a specific unit.  Thus, the Presidency hopes 
to create conditions so that concrete offers can be expected 
during the Military Capabilities Conference in November. 
Global Deployability Approach 
The initiative of rapid reaction EU Battlegroups focuses 
attention on the importance of strategic transport in 
relation to rapid deployment.  The Global Deployability 
Approach, a French initiative, offers the opportunity to 
combine existing initiatives and mechanisms that aim to 
coordinate strategic means of transport, such as the 
European Airlift Cell at Eindhoven.  That should make it 
possible to provide for transport capabilities for the EU 
Battlegroups as of 2007 and could help to improve the 
efficient deployment of means of transport.  The Presidency 
aims to achieve agreement at Noordwijk on an action plan. 
European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) 
The EU Defense Ministers will be informed on the state of 
affairs with respect to the establishment of a European 
Gendarmerie Force.  This robust military police force, in 
which France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain 
will participate, should be deployable at short notice 
during or immediately after a military action.   This 
initiative was taken in 2003. 
European Defense Agency (EDA) 
This agency is to become operational under the Dutch 
Presidency.  This requires a number of practical matters, 
such as hiring personnel, as well as drafting an initial 
work plan for 2005.  Prior to the informal ministerial, HC 
Solana will chair the initial meeting of the agency's 
steering board. 
Presidency Priorities 
Kamp's letter stressed that the Dutch Presidency will pay 
particular attention to the ECAP evaluation and the 
development of standards and criteria.  ECAP evaluation is 
in line with the Dutch view that it should be made clear how 
the remaining military deficiencies from the Helsinki 
Headline Goal are tackled.  The development of EU 
Battlegroups will give an important impulse to rapid 
deployability of European military capabilities.  The 
Netherlands is of the opinion, however, that the improvement 
in quality of European military capabilities should be 
The Netherlands will also emphasize the need to coordinate 
the EU and NATO initiatives to strengthen capabilities so 
that they are complementary and reinforce each other. 
Especially use of the EU NATO Capability Group is important 
in this context.  Thus, ESDP can contribute to improved 
achievements of European nations in NATO.  In this context, 
good coordination between the activities of the European 
Defense Agency and NATO is also important. 
Finally, the Netherlands seeks to promote international 
military cooperation, which is an important instrument to 
increase the effectiveness and efficiency of European 
military capabilities.  It does so not just at the cited 
conference but also through the EU Battlegroups initiative 
that provides new opportunities for cooperation among 
European armed forces.  In this context, the Netherlands is 
currently investigating the options of cooperation with the 
UK and Germany. 
End text of summary/translation.