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Sunday, January 29, 2006

EU Uruk-hai on its way!

"Hmm", thought Aragorn, "Who said the European Union couldn't get its act together?"

This from Spectre:

European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) ready to roll, Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

On 19 January the EU Gendarmerie Force (EGF) involving para-military police forces from Italy, Spain, France, Holland and Portugal will be launched in Vicenza, Italy, where, in an interesting coincidence, a major US military base can also be found. Vicenza is the seat of Camp Ederle - the third largest US base in Italy.

The idea of creating an para-military police force in the EU capable of acting within and outside has been part of the planning for its military role. It was the EU Council at Santa Maria da Feira on 19-20 June 2000, when considering the creation of the mechanisms for “non-military crises management”, which agreed that EU states would “cooperate voluntarily” in order “to provide up to 5,000 police officers for international missions across the range of conflict prevention and crisis management operations. Member States have also undertaken to be able to identify and deploy up to 1,000 police officers within 30 days.” However, a follow-up report showed only five member states (France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Finland) were prepared to make commitments. A paramilitary style force on the Italian model was favoured because, in the words of a police officer speaking at a meeting on the subject in Paris in January, 2000 “Paramilitary police forces offer, above all else, the capability for the restoration of public order where the absence of any state legitimacy reigns. They have the required expertise and capability to engage in deteriorated situations as a component of armed forces.”

Six years and numerous meetings and reports (some of them secret) later, the newly-established EGF will be authorised and equipped to operate both inside and outside the EU. Its HQ in Vicenza will have a staff of thirty with around 800 troops available within thirty days. The para-military force will work under a High Level Inter-Ministry Committee (HLIMC) drawn from Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Defence. This will provide “political and military coordination” including the appointment of the Commander and agreement on guidelines.

Under the heading of “Security and public order” the roles of the EGF include: public surveillance, border control, general intelligence, criminal investigation, and the “maintenance of public order in the event of disturbances”.

A further initiative is being discussed in the EU’s Police Cooperation Working Party to establish a system in which the “competent authorities” of one state could request the “competent authorities” of another to send its national “Special Task Force” to enter and act in support of the “Special Task Force” of requesting member state in “crisis situations”. The European Commission is to compile a list of the “competent authorities”.

In a week in which the European Parliament’s Strasbourg HQ has seen vigorous protests by dockers whose livelihoods are threatened by the EU’s extremist plans to privatise, deregulate and liberalise everything and anything, spectrezine is offering no prizes for guessing what will be the EGF’s primary purpose.

For more detail and links to background documents, go to


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