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Research Report

The Potential of the European Gendarmerie Force

Michiel de Weger
Copyright Date: Mar. 1, 2009
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 96

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [i]-[ii])
  2. (pp. [iii]-[iv])
  3. (pp. 1-2)
  4. (pp. 3-6)

    The European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) is a relatively young international organisation. In October 2007 the governments of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands signed a treaty to formally establish it. At present in the EGF the following gendarmerie forces cooperate: the Dutch Koninklijke Marechaussee (KM), the French Gendarmerie Nationale (GN), the Italian Arma dei Carabinieri (AdC), the Portuguese Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR), the Spanish Guardia Civil (GC) and the Romanian Jandarmeria Româna (JR). Although they have different names, all have a dual police-military character.¹ The EGF is intended for international policing operations.

    Its creation has received considerable attention,² but...

  5. (pp. 7-22)

    In this chapter the focus is on the EGF as it now exists. In the first section its background of increasing European security cooperation - between the police, the gendarmerie and the military - is described. The second section focuses on the process to create it. In the third section the aim and organisation of the EGF are described. The fourth section shows how the EGF’s first operation was conceived.

    Gendarmerie forces are security organisations with a mix of police and military characteristics and tasks. The six EGF participating forces are all well-established organisations, created back in the 18th or...

  6. (pp. 23-32)

    The EGF’s Treaty and Declaration of Intent state that it is meant for ‘international crisis management operations’. Stemming from the early experiences in the Balkans, the EGF was created for and is currently only preparing to undertake policing tasks in the transition from the military to the civilian phase in peacekeeping operations after the (civil) war. In this chapter it is argued that the EGF can be expected to be successful in this. If it will indeed be successful, Member States might want to use the EGF for additional tasks. In chapter five it will be considered what the EGF...

  7. (pp. 33-40)

    How the EGF could be developed in the decades ahead will be described in the following chapters. In the present chapter, however, the question is why developing the EGF along these lines is in the interest of its Member States. In the first section it is analysed what basic interests would be served therewith. In the second section what kind of security operations would be the preferable option for gendarmerie forces will be looked at. How to deal with the dilemmas that Member States will face when developing the EGF is the subject of the third section.

    There seems to...

  8. (pp. 41-60)

    This chapter focuses on the potential of expanding EGF cooperation. The first section addresses the question of what are gendarmerie forces. In the second, the prospects for including more European gendarmerie forces are analysed, while in the third we look at the rest of the world. In the fourth section it is determined what additional policing expertise the six EGF contributing forces’ tasks could be made available to broaden its scope. The final section discusses suggestions for additional tasks for the EGF, not merely policing in the transition phase of peacekeeping operations, but also to prevent crises and policing in...

  9. (pp. 61-66)

    Would long-term trends decrease or increase the potential of the EGF? This chapter’s focus is on the developments predicted for the next 10-20 years. In the first section general trends are described. The second focuses on trends that provide opportunities for an even greater broadening of EGF cooperation.

    Predicting the future is a tricky business. The analysis below is based on what are probably the best sources available: academics, Shell International and the US, British and French military.106 Trends mentioned in multiple sources can, of course, be expected to be more likely to really occur. Excluded are trends in fields...

  10. (pp. 67-70)

    What are the main conclusions of this paper? First, cooperation between European gendarmerie forces has been increasing since the early 1990s. Gendarmerie forces compete for tasks with civil police, MP and regular military forces. The EGF is meant for policing tasks in the transition from military to civilian phases of international peacekeeping operations. Only police forces with ‘military status’ and military forces with some ‘policing skills’ can join, but both concepts have not been adequately defined by the EGF. Only EU Member States or EU candidate countries can join. The EGF has not proved its value as it only recently...

  11. (pp. 71-74)

    As must have become clear from the preceding chapters: the EGF has a far greater potential than it has currently reached. How should the EGF be developed to best serve the interests of its Member States? Recommendations cover three core issues: improving the EGF´s preparation for operations, having more states join the EGF and expanding the scope of policing tasks which the EGF should be able to deliver. What should be the priorities for the next few years and what should be considered for the longer term?

    First, in order not to lose momentum it is crucial that the EGF...

  12. (pp. 85-90)