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The Athena mechanism finally strengthened (updated)

(BRUSSELS2, exclusive) The 27 (*) agreed to improve, a little, the Athena mechanism, this system for managing the financing of the common costs of European Union operations having military implications or in the field of defense. Agreement ratified yesterday Monday (December 12) at Coreper to everyone's surprise. A few days ago, people were rather pessimistic about the chances of obtaining a result. “ Against all odds, we have achieved progress », Recognizes a diplomat.

Battlegroup fees

The scope of financing common costs for the deployment of battlegroups is extended and expanded. Previously, certain costs related to air transport were covered, land or sea deployment costs can now be covered. For 2 years, the mechanism will be able to reimburse certain costs linked to battlegroups at 65% or 85% – depending on whether the Member States do not have or have capacities.

VPDs for Atalanta

Another advance, obtained there in the Athena committee: the experts agreed to cover certain costs (transport, etc.) linked to the on-board protection teams (the VPD) on the EU anti-piracy operation, “Atalanta”. But only the costs of military intervention will be covered, not the costs of private security companies.

These two measures could thus encourage countries which do not automatically have the means but have available capacities to participate in battlegroups or to send on-board protection teams for Atalanta. They will also make it possible to distribute the burden a little more equitably between the countries which provide means and those which do not provide them.

(Maj) Document to be uploaded within B2 docs

(*) stylistic formula, Denmark does not take part in these decisions in military matters.

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).