CFSP, CSDP, NATO… The European Glossary

(credit: Army Staff / DICOD)
(credit: Army Staff / DICOD)

(BRUSSELS2) To find your way around the jungle of signs used for Defense Europe, here is a short glossary. In a few words, discovery of some “barbaric” acronyms…

NB: This glossary can be improved. Do not hesitate to indicate in comment the acronyms on which you would like information.

I. Political structures

DAC = European Defense Community. A project, aborted, born in the aftermath of the 2nd World War, in the 1950s alongside the Economic Community of Coal and Steel (ECSC) to allow the pooling of armed forces in Europe.

WEU (WEU) = Union for Western Europe. Created on March 17, 1948 (under the name of Western Union), modified on October 23, 1954 (by the Brussels Treaty), by 7 founding countries (including France, Germany, United Kingdom), reactivated in 1984 with the aim of develop a common European Defense Identity within the Alliance, then in the early 1990s, with the Maastricht Treaty, to become the military function of the European Union, it did not succeed in this change and disappeared as part of the European Union, 30 June 2011 (read: The end of the WEU is effective, last tasks to be carried out).

UE = European Union or “28”. This is the name given to the countries of the European Union. This number changes according to membership. On the European side, they were “6” at the origin of the EEC (Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands) then “9” from 1973 (with Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom). Kingdom) and “10” (with Greece in 1981), the “12” from 1986 (Spain and Portugal), then the “15” from 1995 (Austria, Finland and Sweden), “25” with the arrival of 8 Eastern European countries on May 1, 2004 (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia) + Malta and Cyprus; “27″ since 2007 (Romania and Bulgaria) and “28” (Croatia). In military matters, this number hides a peculiarity: Denmark does not take part in the decisions in terms of military operations or missions of the CSDP, as of the European Defense Agency, the decision is taken at “27”. Denmark, on the other hand, participates in the civil operations of the CFSP and in the defense market (rules of public procurement, research & development, etc.).

NATO (NATO) = North Atlantic Treaty Organization / “28” (29). Created in 1949, the Atlantic Alliance originally had 12 founding members: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, United States, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal and United Kingdom. Greece and Turkey joined in 1952, Germany in 1955, Spain in 1982. A first wave following the fall of the Berlin Wall joined in 1999 (Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland). And a second wave in 2004 (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia). Albania and Croatia were integrated in 2009. NATO member states today have roughly (2016) the same number of members as the European Union. But they differ significantly. 6(7) States are members of NATO but not members of the EU (USA, Canada, Turkey, Iceland, Norway, Albania + Montenegro); 6 States are members of the EU but not members of NATO, either because they are neutral or because they are “non-aligned” (Ireland, Austria, Cyprus, Malta, Sweden and Finland). NB: Montenegro received the green light for membership in May 2016.

Political bodies (EU)

HR (Where) HRUE (Where) HR / VP = EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This function was created by the Treaty of Amsterdam under the title of High Representative of the EU for Foreign and Security Policy town. It was combined with the function of Secretary General (SG) of the Council of the European Union. She was transformed by the Treaty of Lisbon, giving her the function of Vice President of the Commission (hence the name HR/VP) and President of the Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs, but detaching her from the function of SG of the Advice. Commonly referred to as “High Representative of the EU”. This post was held successively by Javier Solana (1999-2009), Catherine Ashton (2009-2014), Federica Mogherini (2014-2019). Since the last two appointments, it has been customary to feminize this term = High Representative. Read our fact sheet: The High Representative, according to the Lisbon Treaty? (12.2009)

FAC or CAE = Council of Foreign Ministers. This is the decision-making format for foreign and security policy. It meets in “Foreign Affairs” format or in “Defence” format, or in “Jumbo” format (both together). The meeting is chaired by the High Representative of the EU who defines the agenda, the organization of the meeting and signs the legislative documents (and no longer by the rotating presidency of the EU as before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon). Read our fact sheet: The EU Council of Ministers

COREPER= PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE, bringing together the ambassadors of the Member States to the Union (“RPs” in everyday language, as permanent representatives). He prepares the work of the Board. The “COREPER II” course is responsible for preparing “sovereign” subjects (External Relations, Justice and Home Affairs, Economy and Finance) resulting from the Maastricht Treaty on the EU, while the “COREPER I” course is responsible for classic subjects from the origins of the EEC (Agriculture and Fisheries, Employment and Social, Industry and Competitiveness, Telecoms or Information Society, Transport). Read our fact sheet: Coreper, instance of all compromises

COPS / PSC = Political and Security Committee. Created in 2001 (by the Treaty of Nice), it brings together the ambassadors of the Member States of the European Union, specializing in foreign affairs and defense policy issues. It is the body that defines common positions before Foreign Affairs Councils, bilateral summits or CFSP missions/operations. It is chaired by a delegate from the High Representative of the EU. Meeting normally on Tuesday and Friday, as well as the morning preceding each Foreign Affairs Council. Read our fact sheet: The Political and Security Committee (PSC), crucible of EU foreign policy

Permanent representation (RP / PR or PermRep for the close friends). It is the embassy of each Member State to the European Union. In fact, very often it is a small ministry bringing together all the specialties useful for a government in order to follow all European policies: from foreign or defense policy to agriculture, including economy and finance, justice, home affairs, industry, telecoms, etc. The permanent representative (who has the rank of ambassador) sits on Coreper II, his deputy on Coreper I. A third ambassador sits on the COPS. The military representative sits on the EU Military Committee.

EUMC / EUMC = European Union Military Committee. It brings together EU military representatives on an ordinary basis. It meets at least once every six months at the level of the Chiefs of Staff of each of the Member States (CHOD). Located on avenue Cortenbergh in Brussels, within the grounds of the Royal Military School (Belgium). Read our fact sheet: The EU Military Committee (EUMC)

CFSP/CSDP structures (EU)

EEAS / EEAS = European External Action Service. It has nothing to do with a “service action”. It is quite simply the European Diplomatic Service. Its headquarters are in Brussels, on the Schuman roundabout. It has delegations (actual embassies) located in nearly 140 countries around the world. It is one of the newest organs of the EU and one of the main (and most effective) innovations of the Lisbon Treaty.

EUMS / EMUE = European Union Staff. It advises the Military Committee on EU military missions and capabilities. It produces military concepts and prepares exercises. Read our fact sheet: The European Union Military Staff (EUMS): the heart of EU military expertise.

OpsCenter = Operations Center. Activated on March 23, 2012 for the first time, for a period of two years. Its objective is to coordinate the European missions in the Horn of Africa (RMCB, EUTM Somalia, EUNAVFOR Atalanta) and in particular to create synergies between the civilian and military aspects. The center is based within the military headquarters. Read our sheet: Operations Center (OpsCenter)

CMPD = Crisis Management and Planning Directorate. The directorate in charge of the European Diplomatic Service to anticipate and plan civilian and military CSDP missions. Read our fact sheet: The CMPD, the planning of future missions and operations

CPCC = Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability. The directorate in charge of the European Diplomatic Service to prepare and manage civilian CSDP missions. Read our fact sheet: The CPCC, the civil missions command

IntCen (formerly SitCen) = Intelligence Center. The directorate responsible within the European Diplomatic Service for the analysis of external and internal intelligence. Read also: file No. 21. In the heart of the IntCen (formerly SitCen)

HQ – OHQ = Headquarter. The European Union does not have a permanent military headquarters. It can activate, when an operation is set up, one of the six headquarters listed: Paris-Mont Valérien (France), London-Northwood (United Kingdom), Potsdam (Germany), Rome (Italy), Larissa (Greece) as well as Shape – Mons (NATO). Read our fact sheet: The different HQs of European operations

US XXX the code name of the missions/operations of the European Union is generally composed of the prefix EU (European Union)

  • EUFOR (forced military operation)
  • EUNAVFOR (military maritime operation)
  • EUAM (consulting mission)
  • EUMAM (Military Advisory Mission)
  • EUBAM (Border Assistance Mission)
  • EUCAP (capacity building mission)
  • EUJUST (mission to strengthen justice)
  • EULEX (mission to strengthen the rule of law)
  • EUMM (observation mission)
  • EUPOL (police assistance mission)
  • EUTM (Military Training Mission)
  • EUSEC (Security Structure Reform Mission)
Agencies dependent on the High Representative (EU)

European Defense Agency (AED/EDA). Based in Brussels. The agency aims to develop European defense capabilities and acts as a catalyst for the promotion of capability collaboration between Member States. Read our fact sheet: The European Defense Agency (EDA)

EU Institute for Security Studies (IESUE / EUISS). Based in Paris. It aims to be the think tank for European Union security issues. Read our fact sheet: The European Union Institute for Security Studies (IEUSS)

EU satellite center (CSUE OR SATCEN). Based in Torrejon (Spain). Its mission is to exploit and produce information resulting from the analysis of terrestrial images, in support of EU decision-making in terms of CSDP. Read our fact sheet: The European Union Satellite Center (Satcen)

Council of the EU working groups

CivCom (Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management). Working group in charge of civilian crisis management (police missions, rule of law, civil administration and civil protection). It assesses the various strategic options (crisis response, conduct of operations and crisis resolution) and makes recommendations to the COPS.

GPM (politico-military group). He is in charge of the politico-military aspects of CSDP. Usually made up of soldiers, it technically monitors the various files that will be examined at the COPS. Among its areas of expertise: military operations, security sector reform (SSR) missions or military capacity building.

RELEX (External Relations group). Composed of diplomats, it draws up foreign policy decisions, particularly in terms of sanctions. On the Defense side, it focuses in particular on agreements signed with third countries (participation in operations, transfer of pirates, SOFA/SOMA, etc.) and on budgetary aspects. It is chaired by a national diplomat belonging to the rotating presidency.

The other groups are organized by geographical area — COWEB (Balkans), Mummy (Maghreb/Mashreq), COEST (Eastern Europe), COAFR (Africa) etc — or by theme: CONOP (Non proliferation), COHOM (Human rights), CODUN (Arms Control and Global Disarmament), COARM (Export of conventional arms), etc. They prepare decisions in their respective areas which then go up to the other groups (COPS / COREPER). They are generally chaired by a European diplomat appointed by the High Representative.

Allied structures (NATO / USA)

NAC = North Atlantic Council. The Atlantic Alliance's consultation and political decision-making body. It brings together, as usual, the ambassadors of the Member States to the Alliance, generally on Wednesdays. Meetings can also be held at ministerial level (Defence or Foreign Affairs format).

SHAPE= Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. NATO operations headquarters, based in Mons (Belgium). It can also serve as HQ for European Union operations under the “Berlin Plus” agreements.

SACEUR = Supreme Allied Commander Europe. The Commander-in-Chief (military) of NATO. It is always an American who has a double hat because he also commands the forces of the United States in Europe (EUCOM). the D-SACEUR – his deputy (D = deputy) – is always a European, usually a Briton.

JFC. Joint Forces Command. Within NATO, there are three permanent commands: in Naples, Lisbon and Brunssum.

ACT. Force Transformation Command. Based in Norfolk (USA), it is responsible for education, training and exercises, conducting experiments to evaluate new concepts, and interoperability.

US Africom. US Army Africa Command. Based in Stuttgart (Germany).

II. The operations

CSDP Mission or Operation? We also speak of “missions” for civil actions or military actions without an executive mandate, generally with a training or advisory function (eg EUTM Somalia or EUTM Mali which aim to train and restructure the Somali or Malian armies) and operations for military actions with executive mandate or similar.

Military planning documents (EU)

Options. Any CSDP operation/mission, civil or military, starts with options, defined more or less formally. Then follow a series of increasingly precise planning documents. Read our fact sheet: Planning a mission / operation

PFCA= Political Framework for Crisis Approach. This political framework document is prior to the planning of a CSDP operation/mission. It indicates the possible options for response by the European Union, whether CSDP instruments or other instruments (financial, diplomatic, development, etc.).

CMC = “Concept of crisis management”. It is the conceptual framework document describing the general approach of the EU in the management of a particular crisis. This is the prerequisite for any operation carried out under the PESDC. When it is passed, it equates to an official green light for the rest of the planning.

Decision (frame). This decision adopted by the Council of Ministers of the EU establishes the framework of the operation/mission, specifies the objectives of the mission, the duration, the chain of command. Normally, it designates the head of operation/mission as well as the minimum budget. Note: Before Lisbon Treaty, we were talking about Joint Action

CONOPS = “Concept of Operation”. This document describes the objectives set, the forces required, the way to use them, the chosen chronology, and the increase in power of the chosen system.

CONOPS+. A more detailed Concept of Operation which also encompasses the Operation Plan (OpPlan). This makes it possible to go faster or is easier to develop in missions with a less complex profile.

OpPlan = “Operation plan”. It details all the necessary forces, their organization and their distribution on the ground, the command structure, any reliefs.

MisPlan = “Mission plan”. Same purpose as OpPlan for civilian or military missions (without executive function)

ROE = “Rules of engagement" (rules of engagement). These directives establish the use of armed force by the military in the theater of operations. They define the circumstances and limits relating to the use of this force such as the degree and type of force to which the soldiers can resort, as well as their hierarchy (warning or warning, immobilization or neutralization fire).

Launch decision. A final political decision, taken by the Council of Ministers (generally at point A = without debate) formalizes the launch of the operation. This is usually the starting point of the mission duration, which coincides (most often) with the Initial Operational Capability (IOC).

see memo sheet: How does strategic “planning” work? (and) How does the “generation of forces” take place?

Diplomatic documents (EU)

COREU = EUropean CORrespondence. It is the equivalent of the diplomatic telegram at European level. It originally designated the communication network of the European Union between the Member States and the Commission for cooperation in the fields of foreign policy. It facilitates rapid decision-making in the event of a crisis.

No Paper / Thinking for Food, etc. Document drafted by one or more Member States, or a European structure, intended to fuel discussion. By nature, unofficial, it is also used to express ideas, a little out of the ordinary, in order to stimulate or redirect the debate.

Acronyms in operation (NATO/EU)

C2 = Command and control. Basically the command device.

CIS = Communications and Information Systems. Secure information systems in operation.

CoO / HoM = Chief of Operation / Head of Mission : operation commander or head of mission.

Chief of Staff (COS) : a senior officer who commands the headquarters on a daily basis and often acts as number 2 in command.

FHQ/OHQ. A distinction is generally made between the Operation Headquarters (OHQ) – which directs the military operation from a strategic point of view (= politico – military) and the Force Headquarters (FHQ) – which directs the military operation from a strategic point of view. a tactical point of view (daily management of forces and definition of the various actions (patrols, observation, arrest, etc.) and reaction in the event of an incident). The first is generally located outside the area of ​​operation, the second is generally located in the area of ​​operations or in the immediate vicinity. In some operations/missions, a single headquarters is established serving as both OHQ and FHQ, especially for education and training missions.

ForceCommander : the force commander (military) at the tactical level, in the area (land, sea).

MisCommander : the head of a mission (military)

OPsCommander : the commander of the operation (military) at the strategic and political level.

Medevac or Evasan: Medical evacuation or Medical evacuation. Sanitary or medicalized repatriation of an injured or sick person from the area of ​​action to the first emergency hospital (on site) or full treatment (on European territory).

Role 1, 2, 3. Medical device in operation. Role 1 corresponds to the reinforced infirmary position. Role 2 at a field hospital (with operating room(s) and small analysis lab). Role 3 has a complete (city) hospital, with the full range of care. Example: KAIA French Hospital (in Kabul) is role 3.

= Search and Rescue. The ability to recover a soldier lost in operation. Mandatory device for any operation. Also used in civil protection, rescue at sea, in the mountains, in the desert...

Exercise color codes (NATO) : Blue (Blue) = friends. Green (green) = neutral. Red Level (red) = hostile. Yellow (yellow) = unknown. For example, a “blue on blue” attack = fratricidal fire, “green on blue” often used for attacks suffered by police elements in Afghanistan on ISAF forces.

Functions in a General Staff (NATO / EU). A nomenclature common to NATO/EU operations is used, with a letter (designating the type of operation) and a number (designating the function). Nomenclature also used in several national armies (United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, etc.) for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

  • "J" for Joint Operation (other signs may be used: "G" Ground, "N" = for Navy)
    J1 = Personal
    J2 = Intelligence (Intelligence)
    J3 = Operations (current operations)
    J4 = Logistics (logistics)
    J5 = Strategic Plans and Policy
    J6 = Information and communication systems (Sic) (communication and information systems)
    D7 = Exercises and feedback (Retex)
    J8 = Budget and financing (Finance and human resources)
    J9 = civil-military actions (Cimic)
Industrial acronyms (NATO/EU)

EDIB = European defense industrial and technological base. A beautiful acronym which designates the defense industry but very vague in its consequences.

CDP = Capability Development Plan (capacity development plan). This document lists the (defence) capabilities needed by the European Union. It was drafted from the 2010 Objectives (Headline Goal 2010) and the Catalog of Progress 2007 (Progress Catalog 2007). NB: its role remains fairly theoretical.

LOI = letter of intent (Letter of Intent). A term that designates an agreement between several member states to undertake certain tasks in common. May precede a formal international agreement. By default, it indicates the will of the six most important Member States in terms of the defense industry (Germany, Spain, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden) to coordinate their defense industries.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

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).