Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Research Report

Enter the EU Battlegroups

Gustav Lindstrom
Copyright Date: Feb. 1, 2007
Pages: 94
  • Cite this Item

Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 7-8)

    This Chaillot Paper analyses the origins and evolution of the EU Battlegroups. Its objective is twofold: to give readers an overview of the EU Battlegroup (EU BG) Concept and to highlight some of the EU BGs’ main challenges and prospects. To date, surprisingly few studies have been dedicated to the EU BGs.¹ The four principal research questions are:

    1. What are the origins of the EU Battlegroups?

    2. What is the EU BG Concept?

    3. What are the main challenges and prospects facing the EU BGs?

    4. How are the EU BGs likely to evolve over the next few years?

    To answer these questions,...

  2. (pp. 9-26)

    This chapter describes the origins of the EU Battlegroups. It begins with an overview of the rapid response objectives laid down at the Council Summit held in Helsinki in 1999 and in subsequent bilateral and trilateral meetings between EU Member States. It takes into account the operational experience acquired during the EU’s first autonomous military operation (Artemis) and how it provided a reference for the EU BG Concept.² The chapter ends with a description of the EU BGs’ generic composition, the potential missions, and the decision-making process – identifying some of the challenges that are analysed in greater detail in...

  3. (pp. 27-62)

    This chapter analyses the principal challenges facing the EU Battlegroups – organising them into two categories. The first looks at the practical challenges – such as further detailing standards (if required), ensuring a strategic reserve and fulfilling deployability requirements. The second category considers challenges that are more ‘political’ in nature, including the likelihood that an EU BG be employed. In the light of these challenges, the chapter discusses potential options that may be available to address some of them, considering their respective pros and cons. Recommendations in response to these challenges are presented in Chapter 4.

    In order to reach...

  4. (pp. 63-72)

    This chapter examines how the EU BGs might evolve over the medium- to long-term after Full Operational Capability is reached. It considers some of the key drivers – such as transformation requirements – that are likely to impact on the EU BGs over the coming years. It also identifies exogenous factors, such as the growing reliance on private military companies, and their potential effects on the EU BGs.

    At least four principal drivers are likely to shape the evolution of the EU BGs over the next few years. They are: (1) military transformation requirements; (2) consideration of joint (land, sea,...

  5. (pp. 73-78)

    This chapter summarises the principal findings of the report. It also makes several recommendations for the continued development of the EU BGs. The recommendations are organised into two categories, covering political/strategic and operational aspects.

    Several observations can be made regarding the EU BGs. First, they represent one of several rapid response elements in the ESDP toolkit. Thus, they should not be perceived as the single available tool to address future challenges with a military dimension. Given its limited size and sustainability, an EU BG is more likely to be deployed in the context of ongoing operations than operate independently. Thus,...