The European Commission is an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg City, pledging to respect the treaties and to be independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. Unlike in the Council of the European Union, where members are directly and indirectly elected, the European Parliament, where members are directly elected, the Commissioners are proposed by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of suggestions made by the national governments, appointed by the European Council after the approval of the European Parliament; the Commission operates with 28 members of the Commission. There is one member per member state, but members are bound by their oath of office to represent the general interest of the EU as a whole rather than their home state. One of the 28 is the Commission President proposed by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament.
The Council of the European Union nominates the other 27 members of the Commission in agreement with the nominated President, the 28 members as a single body are subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament. The current Commission is the Juncker Commission, which took office in late 2014, following the European Parliament elections in May of the same year; the term Commission is variously used, either in the narrow sense of the 28-member College of Commissioners or to include the administrative body of about 32,000 European civil servants who are split into departments called directorates-general and services. The procedural languages of the Commission are English and German; the Members of the Commission and their "cabinets" are based in the Berlaymont building in Brussels. The European Commission derives from one of the five key institutions created in the supranational European Community system, following the proposal of Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, on 9 May 1950.
Originating in 1951 as the High Authority in the European Coal and Steel Community, the Commission has undergone numerous changes in power and composition under various presidents, involving three Communities. The first Commission originated in 1951 as the nine-member "High Authority" under President Jean Monnet; the High Authority was the supranational administrative executive of the new European Coal and Steel Community. It took office first on 10 August 1952 in Luxembourg City. In 1958, the Treaties of Rome had established two new communities alongside the ECSC: the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community; however their executives were called "Commissions" rather than "High Authorities". The reason for the change in name was the new relationship between the Council; some states, such as France, expressed reservations over the power of the High Authority, wished to limit it by giving more power to the Council rather than the new executives. Louis Armand led the first Commission of Euratom.
Walter Hallstein led the first Commission of the EEC, holding the first formal meeting on 16 January 1958 at the Château of Val-Duchesse. It achieved agreement on a contentious cereal price accord, as well as making a positive impression upon third countries when it made its international debut at the Kennedy Round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations. Hallstein notably began the consolidation of European law and started to have a notable impact on national legislation. Little heed was taken of his administration at first but, with help from the European Court of Justice, his Commission stamped its authority solidly enough to allow future Commissions to be taken more seriously. In 1965, accumulating differences between the French government of Charles de Gaulle and the other member states on various subjects triggered the "empty chair" crisis, ostensibly over proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy. Although the institutional crisis was solved the following year, it cost Etienne Hirsch his presidency of Euratom and Walter Hallstein the EEC presidency, despite his otherwise being viewed as the most'dynamic' leader until Jacques Delors.
The three bodies, collectively named the European Executives, co-existed until 1 July 1967 when, under the Merger Treaty, they were combined into a single administration under President Jean Rey. Owing to the merger, the Rey Commission saw a temporary increase to 14 members—although subsequent Commissions were reduced back to nine, following the formula of one member for small states and two for larger states; the Rey Commission completed the Community's customs union in 1968, campaigned for a more powerful, European Parliament. Despite Rey being the first President of the combined communities, Hallstein is seen as the first President of the modern Commission; the Malfatti and Mansholt Commissions followed with work on monetary co-operation and the first enlargement to the north in 1973. With that enlargement, the Commission's membership increased to thirteen under the Ortoli Commission, which dealt with the enlarged community during economic and international instability at that time; the external representation of the Community took a step forward when President Roy Jenkins, recruited to the presidency in January 1977 from his role as Home Secretary of the United Kingdom's Labour government, became the first President to att
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe is the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Allied Command Operations. Since 1967 it has been located at Casteau, north of the Belgian city of Mons, but it had been located, from 1953, at Rocquencourt, next to Versailles, France. From 1951 to 2003, SHAPE was the headquarters of Allied Command Europe. Since 2003 it has been the headquarters of Allied Command Operations, controlling all NATO operations worldwide. SHAPE retained its traditional name with reference to Europe for legal reasons although the geographical scope of its activities was extended in 2003. At that time, NATO's command in Lisbon part of Allied Command Atlantic, was reassigned to ACO; the commander of Allied Command Operations has retained the title "Supreme Allied Commander Europe", continues to be a U. S. four-star general officer or flag officer who serves as Commander, U. S. European Command. An integrated military structure for NATO was first established after the Korean War raised questions over the strength of Europe's defences against a Soviet attack.
The first choice for commander in Europe was American General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, as he had directed the Allied landings in Normandy and subsequent march into Germany during World War II, amid many inter-Allied controversies over the proper conduct of the campaign on the Western Front. On December 19, 1950, the North Atlantic Council announced the appointment of General Eisenhower as the first SACEUR. British Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery moved over from the predecessor Western Union Defence Organization to become the first Deputy SACEUR, who would serve until 1958. Volume 3 of Nigel Hamilton's Life of Montgomery of Alamein gives a good account of Montgomery's exacting, tireless approach to improving the command's readiness, which caused a good deal of bruised feelings in doing so. In establishing the command, the first NATO planners drew extensively on WUDO personnel. General Eisenhower arrived in Paris on January 1, 1951, set to work with a small group of planners to devise a structure for the new European command.
The Planning Group worked in the Hotel Astoria in central Paris while construction of a permanent facility began at Rocquencourt, just west of the city, at Camp Voluceau. Devising command arrangements in the Central Region, which contained the bulk of NATO's forces, proved to be much more complicated. General Eisenhower considered naming an overall Commander-in-Chief there as well but soon realized it would be difficult to find an arrangement that would satisfy all three major powers with forces in the Center—the United States, United Kingdom and France—as they had differing views on the proper relationship of air and ground power. Drawing upon his World War II experience, General Eisenhower decided to retain overall control himself and did not appoint a C-in-C for the Central Region. Instead there would be three separate C-in-C's. In December 1950 it was announced that the forces to come under General Eisenhower's command were to be the U. S. Seventh Army in Germany, the British Army of the Rhine, with the 2nd Infantry and 7th Armoured Divisions, to be bolstered by the 11th Armoured Division and a further infantry division, three French divisions in Germany and Austria, the Danish and the Independent Norwegian Brigades in Western Germany, the American and British garrisons in Austria and Berlin.
Four days after Eisenhower's arrival in Paris, on 5 January 1951, the Italian defence minister, Randolfo Pacciardi, announced that three Italian divisions were to be formed as Italy's'initial contribution to the Atlantic army', that these divisions would come under Eisenhower's control. On April 2, 1951, General Eisenhower signed the activation order for Allied Command Europe and its headquarters at SHAPE. Headquarters, Allied Forces Central Europe was activated in Fontainebleau, France in 1953. On the same day, ACE's subordinate headquarters in Northern and Central Europe were activated, with the Southern Region following in June. By 1954 ACE's forces consisted of Allied Forces Northern Europe, at Oslo, Allied Forces Central Europe, Allied Forces Southern Europe and Allied Forces Mediterranean at Malta; the commanders and commands in 1957 were: Supreme Allied Commander Europe – General Lauris Norstad, United States Air Force Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe – Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, British Army Chief of Staff – General Courtlandt Van R. Schuyler, United States Army Allied Forces Northern Europe – Lieutenant General Sir Cecil Sugden, British Army Allied Forces Central Europe – Général d'Armée Jean-Étienne Valluy, French Army Allied Air Forces Central Europe – Air Chief Marshal Sir George Mills, Royal Air Force Northern Army Group – General Sir Richard Gale, British Army Central Army Group – General Henry I.
Hodes, United States Army Allied Forces Southern Europe – Admiral R. P. M. Bristol, United States Navy Naval Striking and Support Forces Southern Europe – Vice Admiral Charles R. Brown, United States Navy Allied Forces Mediterranean – Admiral Sir Ralph Edwards, Royal Navy Four exercises were conducted in the ACE area during autumn 1952. Blue Alliance was a major allied air force exercise for the Allied Air Forces Central Europe to achieve air supremacy over the Central European front and provide close air support to NORTHAG ground forces under the overall command of Lt. General Lauris Norstad, USAF. Two 1952 central region exercises involved air-ground combined forces. Equinox was a major air-ground
European Union Military Committee
The Military Committee of the European Union is the body of the European Union's Common Security and Defence Policy, composed of member states' Chiefs of Defence. These national CHODs are represented in the EUMC in Brussels by their permanent Military Representatives, who are two- or three-star flag officers; the EUMC is under the under authority of the EU's High Representative and the Political and Security Committee. The EUMC was formally established in December 2000 by the European Council of Nice, is one of several defence and security-related bodies established as a result of the Helsinki Headline Goal, decided in December 1999; the EUMC gives military advice to Political and Security Committee. The EUMC oversees the European Union Military Staff; the CSDP command structure involving the High Representative, the Military Staff and Military Committee as of 1 November 2017: Colour key: High Representative Military Committee Military Staff The EUMC is chaired by a General Officer, Admiral, or Air Officer of four-star level, selected by the Chiefs of Defence and appointed by the Council of the European Union.
For a term of three years the Chairman is the spokesperson for the EUMC, he participates in PSC meetings as appropriate, he is the military adviser to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy who heads the EEAS European External Action Service, he represents the primary point of contact with the Operation Commanders of the EU's military operations and he attends Council meetings with defence and security implications. Common Security and Defence Policy European External Action Service Military of the European Union Political and Security Committee European Union Military StaffA similar committee exists within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, those countries which are members of both EU and NATO have in most cases chosen to use the same MilRep in both organisations. CSDP structure and agencies, EEAS website Mai'a K. Davis Cross: "The Military Dimension of European Security: An Epistemic Community Approach." Millennium Journal of International Studies, 42: 45-64
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
Finland the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, Russia to the east. Finland is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia; the capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere and Turku. Finland's population is 5.52 million, the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union; the sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP. Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended 9000 BCE.
The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers; the first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture; the Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewellery. From the late 13th century, Finland became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.
In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Kuusamo and some islands, but retaining their independence. Finland established an official policy of neutrality; the Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but in material, such as ships and machinery; this forced Finland to industrialise. It developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, second in the Global Gender Gap Report, it ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018 and 2019. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.
The earliest written appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three runestones. Two have the inscription finlonti; the third was found in Gotland. It dates back to the 13th century; the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, mentioned at first known time AD 98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, meaning "land". In addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian. Alternatively, the Indo-European word * gʰm-on "man" has been suggested; the word referred only to the province of Finland Proper, to the northern coast of Gulf of Finland, with northern regions such as Ostrobothnia still sometimes being excluded until later. Earlier theories suggested derivation from suomaa or suoniemi, but these are now considered outdated; some have suggested common etymology with saame and Häme, but that theory is uncertain
An officer of three-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-8. The term is used by some armed forces which are not NATO members. Three-star officers hold the rank of vice admiral, lieutenant general, or in the case of those air forces with a separate rank structure, air marshal. In the Australian Defence Force the following ranks of commissioned officers are awarded three-star ranks: Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal Official rank insignia for Australian'three-star' officers do not use stars in the same fashion as the United States; the RAN does incorporate stars into the hardboard rank insignia for flag-rank officers but this is in conjunction with other devices. Unofficial star rank insignia are sometimes worn when serving with or visiting other military organisations in order to facilitate equivalent rank recognition; the Chiefs of all three services within the Australian Defence Force hold three-star rank as well as three joint positions: Vice Chief of Defence Force, Chief of Joint Operations and Chief Capability Development Group.
Inspector general of Police Lieutenant general Vice admiral Air marshal Vice Almirante General de Divisão Major Brigadeiro The three-star rank in Brazil is the second rank in a general career. The officers in this position are divisional commanders. Vice admiral / vice-amiral Lieutenant-general / lieutenant-général Three maple leaves appear with St. Edward's crown and crossed sabre and baton. Prince Charles holds the rank of vice-admiral in an honorary capacity. Before unification, the rank of air marshal was the three-star equivalent for the RCAF; the equivalent modern German three-star ranks of the Bundeswehr are as follows: Generalleutnant and Vizeadmiral Generaloberstabsarzt and AdmiraloberstabsarztNot to be confused with the Generalleutnant and Vizeadmiral of the Wehrmacht until 1945 or the National People's Army until 1990. Air marshal Lieutenant general Vice admiral Director general Letnan Jendral - Indonesian Army and Indonesian Marine Corps three-star rank Laksamana Madya - Indonesian Navy and Indonesian Maritime Security Agency three-star rank Marsekal Madya - Indonesian Air Force three-star rank Komisaris Jenderal - Indonesian National Police three-star rank Inspector-General of the Police Lieutenant-General Air-Marshal Vice-Admiral Lieutenant general Lieutenant general Vice admiral Vice admiral Deputy Commissioner Police Deputy Director General Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal Vice admiral Lieutenant general A vice admiral commands a numbered fleet, responsible for all naval ships within its area of responsibility.
An Army or Marine Corps lieutenant general commands a corps-sized unit, while an Air Force lieutenant general commands a large Numbered Air Force consisting of several wings. Additionally, lieutenant generals and vice admirals of all services serve as high-level staff officers at various major command headquarters and the Pentagon as the heads of their departments. In the Russian and Soviet armies, the three-star rank is full admiral; this is a title. Most Warsaw Pact and Soviet-aligned countries adopted this rank; the rank is held by commanders of the ground forces, chiefs of military academies and commanders of military districts. Colonel general is considered a stepping stone to the rank of general of the army, itself essential to achieving the high rank of marshal of the Russian Federation; this title applies to three star officers of the air force, MVD, police and militia, internal troops, FSB/KGB, border guards and some others. In the navy, the three star rank is admiral. Corps general Ranks and insignia of NATO Four-star rank Two-star rank
An EU Battlegroup is a military unit adhering to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union. Based on contributions from a coalition of member states, each of the eighteen Battlegroups consists of a battalion-sized force reinforced with combat support elements; the groups rotate so that two are ready for deployment at all times. The forces are under the direct control of the Council of the European Union; the Battlegroups reached full operational capacity on 1 January 2007, although, as of January 2018 they are yet to see any military action. They are based on existing ad hoc missions that the European Union has undertaken and have been described by some as a new "standing army" for Europe; the troops and equipment are drawn from the EU member states under a "lead nation". In 2004, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the plans and emphasised the value and importance of the Battlegroups in helping the UN deal with troublespots. Battlegroups as a combined arms military unit, based around an infantry battalion or armoured regiment, are not a new concept.
However, the initial ideas for specific EU Battlegroups began at the European Council summit on 10–11 December 1999 in Helsinki. The Council produced the Headline Goal 2003 and specified the need for a rapid response capability that members should provide in small forces at high readiness; the idea was reiterated at a Franco-British summit on 4 February 2003 in Le Touquet which highlighted as a priority the need to improve rapid response capabilities, "including initial deployment of land and air forces within 5–10 days." This was again described as essential in the "Headline Goal 2010". Operation Artemis in 2003 showed an EU rapid reaction and deployment of forces in a short time scale – with the EU going from Crisis Management Concept to operation launch in just three weeks taking a further 20 days for substantial deployment, its success provided a template for the future rapid response deployments allowing the idea to be considered more practically. The following Franco-British summit in November of that year stated that, building on the experience of the operation, the EU should be able and willing to deploy forces within 15 days in response to a UN request.
It called for "Battlegroup sized forces of around 1500 land forces, offered by a single nation or through a multinational or framework nation force package. On 10 February 2004, France and the United Kingdom released a paper outlining the "Battlegroup concept"; the document proposed a number of groups based on Artemis that would be autonomous, consisting of about 1500 personnel and deployable within 15 days. These would be principally in response to UN requests at short notice and can be tailored to specific missions, they would concentrate on bridging operations, preparing the group before a larger force relieved them, for example UN or regional peacekeepers under UN mandate. The plan was approved by all groups in 2004 and in November that year the first thirteen Battlegroups were pledged with associated niche capabilities. From 1 January 2005 the Battlegroups reached initial operational capacity. Although EU member states were highly motivated to volunteer to fill up the roster, the fact that participating member states have to cover their own costs, which burdened the smaller states, has made them more reluctant.
Besides, many EU member states had simultaneous obligations to fulfill for ISAF and the NATO Response Force, amongst others. This combined with the fact that EU Battlegroups have never been deployed, despite several occasions in which they according to various experts could or should have been, has led to increasing gaps in the standby roster. Joint funding and actual usage may resolve these issues. On 23 June 2016, the Brexit Referendum resulted in a vote in favour of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Since the UK and France were the largest military powers within the EU, this would mean a serious reduction in forces available for common European defence. On 28 June, High Representative Federica Mogherini presented a new plan, the Global EU Strategy on Security and Foreign Policy, for rigorous further European military integration between the EU member states; these included more cooperation when planning missions and exercising soldiers, the development of a European defence industry.
For the EU Battlegroups the plan aims to remove the obstacles preventing their rapid deployment, such as the lack of a European military headquarters. Although stressing that NATO will remain the most important defence organisation for many EU countries, Mogherini stated that the Union should be able to operate'autonomously if necessary' on security matters. Referring to the EU's diplomacy and development record, she said that'Soft power is not enough', that in a less secure world after Brexit, common action was needed more than ever. On 14 November 2016, the 56 European Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence agreed to the Global EU Strategy on Security and Foreign Policy; this included new possibilities for the rapid deployment of EU Battlegroups with aerial support for civil and military operations in conflict zones outside Europe, for example, before a UN peacekeeping force can arrive. Although Mogherini said the Strategy was'not a European army' or a'NATO duplicate', the recent U. S. presidential election of Donald Trump, who had implicitly threatened to abandon NATO if its European member states continued to fail in meeting their funding obligations, influenced the European Ministers' decision as we