The European Defence Agency (EDA) 22 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden) have signed a new programme that will facilitate the granting of cross-border surface and air movement permissions. The programme is developed in the framework of EDA’s work on military mobility. It implements an important part of the ‘Action Plan on Military Mobility’ which was presented by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR) and the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council in March 2018. Military mobility is also highlighted in the EU-NATO Joint Declaration signed in Warsaw in 2016.
The purpose of the programme signed is to harmonise different national regulations of the participating Member States. It should allow Member States to reduce the administrative burden associated with different permission procedures and thus significantly shorten the timelines for granting surface and air cross border movement permissions. The programme provides the basis for important activities at technical and procedural level to develop the necessary arrangements for cross border movement per transport mode during crises, preparations for crises, training and day-to-day business. The arrangements cover surface (road, rail and inland waterways) and air movements (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, fighter aircraft or helicopters). They are expected to be finalised in 2020.
Military mobility covers the movement of military personnel and assets from one place to another, including crossing borders by using different modes of transport. The latter is of utmost importance for multinational operations. The capacity to ensure a smooth, efficient and effective movement of military personnel and assets across and beyond the European Union (EU) will enhance the EU’s preparedness and response to crises. It will enable EU Member States to act faster, in line with their defence needs and responsibilities, both in the context of Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations, and in the framework of national and multinational activities.
EDA’s role in the implementation of the Action Plan
EDA is committed to supporting its Member States. The ‘Action Plan on Military Mobility’ builds upon the ‘Roadmap on Military Mobility’ developed by an EDA expert working group which was set up on request of the EDA Member States in September 2017. In addition to the programme on cross border movement permission, the Agency support to Member States comprises another programme on harmonising of military requirements in the customs domain as well as surveys on transportation of dangerous goods and other legal aspects.
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