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The flexibility of battlegroups: “an extremely limited advance”

(BRUSSELS2) Will the agreement concluded by the Ministers of Defense in November 2009 (1) aimed at improving the use of Battle groups be sufficient to resolve the problems of Battle groups? No » it seems. The rapid reaction force still seems doomed to slow deployment!, according to a formula I had used in the past.

The Council still holds the power. Apparently this opinion seems to be shared. Caroline Henrion, intern researcher at GRIP (Research and Information Group on Peace and Security), has just published a short analysis on battle groups, where it details the latest developments. His conclusion is clear. This progress is above all “ technical “, she believes. She " does not solve the essential problem of the complexity of the system of choice of operations. Indeed, even if the use of battle groups now acquires a certain flexibility, the Council still holds the power over the final decision. This is only an illusory decision, masking extremely limited progress »

Europe's credibility at stake. " The fact that they were never deployed, mainly because of the lack of coherence and political will of the Member States, underlined the contradiction between what Europe would like to be and what it is, an intergovernmental system of States which are not yet ready to share some of their national competences. The difficulties observed by the battlegroups showed that Europe was still far from possessing effective common capabilities. In the meantime, a solution must be found to the use of battle groups if this instrument is to be maintained. Europe's credibility is at stake. concludes Caroline Henrion.

Download the study

(1) Read: (Slightly) more flexible battle groups

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).