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Eurocorps
— XXX —
Active 1993 – present
Country  European Union
Branch Army
Type Rapid reaction force
Size 60,000 troops[1][2] (although the number may change in relation to the concrete missions)
Garrison/HQ HQ Strasbourg
Multinational Command Support Brigade – Strasbourg
Multiple earmarked units of framework nations
Commanders
Commanding General Lieutenant General Olivier de Bavinchove
Ceremonial chief Major General Walter Spindler
Chief of Staff Major General Guy Buchsenschmidt

Eurocorps (also as European Corps, Corps of European Union) is an intergovernmental, standing army corps headquartered in Strasbourg, France. The force was created in May 1992, activated in October 1993 and declared operational in 1995.

Five countries participate in Eurocorps as framework nations: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain. Additionally, Greece (since 2002), Poland (2003), Italy (2009) and also Turkey (2002) (non-member of the EU) have pledged to contribute personnel to the staff.[3] 25 February 2003, the EU nations Austria and Finland signed in a ceremony in Strasbourg, a treaty on the basis of which they now seconded staff in the Strasbourg headquarters of the Eurocorps. Finland remained at Eurocorps until 2005, Austria until 2011.[4]

Eurocorps comprises approximately 1,000 soldiers stationed in the headquarters in Strasbourg.

The French-German Brigade with 5000 troops, (under operational command) stationed at Müllheim, Donaueschingen, Immendingen, Sigmaringen, Meßstetten, Stetten am kalten Markt, Villingen-Schwenningen in Germany and Illkirch-Grafenstaden in France.[5]

The force consist of 60,000 troops pledged for deployment in EU or NATO rapid-response missions.[1] The nucleus of the force is the Franco-German Brigade established in 1987.

Organization[edit | edit source]

The Eurocorps is designed to "serve as a model for closer military cooperation in general between EU member-states."[6]

The Eurocorps is not subordinate to any other military organization.[7] It is deployed on the authority of the Common Committee representing the framework nations [8] Chief of Defense and Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This committee considers requests for support from multinational organizations such as the UN, NATO, OSCE or EU. The Corps can also be deployed at the behest of the framework nations. In 2008 and 2009 the European Parliament voted with a large resolution proposing that Eurocorps should become the standing army of the EU, under EU command.[9]

Headquarters[edit | edit source]

The Eurocorps headquarters is based in Strasbourg near the Franco-German border, the seat of several European institutions. The headquarters contains the following units:[10]

  • A Command Group, based in Quartier Aubert de Vincelles, consisting of the Commanding General, the Deputy Commanding General, the Chief of Staff, the Deputies Chief of Staff, the Air and Navy representatives, the legal advisers, a public affairs office, a medical adviser and a political adviser (only during engagement).
  • A staff of approximately 350 providing support to the command group. The staff includes also officers from Poland, Greece, Italy and Turkey.
  • A multi-national Command Support Brigade is co-located in Strasbourg (Quartier Aubert de Vincelles). This brigade is separate and subordinate to the Corps headquarters and provides additional support when the Corps is deployed. The brigade is formed from units provided by the nations on a case-by-case basis but has a permanent headquarters of 80 personnel.
  • A Headquarters Support Battalion (subordinated to the multi-national Command Support Brigade), based in Strasbourg (Quartier Lizé), providing protection, transport, food, etc. to the headquarters. This battalion consists of approximately 500 soldiers but can be significantly reinforced in case of commitments.

German and French are the official languages at the Eurocorps. English is the operational language.[11]

Subordinate units[edit | edit source]

The five framework countries have earmarked the following units to the Eurocorps:

  • The French-German Brigade (under operational command) (Müllheim)
  • French Contribution
    • A „Etat-Major de Force" (EMF) (equivalent to a divisional HQ)
  • German Contribution
  • Belgian Contribution
  • Spanish Contribution
    • The „Cuartel General del Mando de Fuerzas Pesadas" (Heavy Forces Command) in Burgos where the 1st Mechanized Division is stationed.
  • Luxembourg Contribution
    • A reconnaissance company (180 soldiers) based in Diekirch, composed of two reconnaissance platoons, an anti-tank platoon and a logistics support element. This unit will probably be integrated into the Belgian contribution during operations.

Except for the Franco-German Brigade and the staff of the Multinational Command Support Brigade (MNCS Bde) that are permanently under operational command of HQ Eurocorps, the national contributions remain under national command in peacetime. They become fully subordinated after Transfer of Authority has been decided by member states.

The size and type of Eurocorps units required in operations will depend on the nature and scope of assigned missions, likely employment, and the expected operational outcome. In the case that all earmarked national contributions are committed, the corps would number approximately 60,000.

Eurocorps' beret badge

Deployments[edit | edit source]

The Eurocorps participated in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and led KFOR III in Kosovo from 18 April 2000 to October 2000 and led the ISAF6 Force in Afghanistan from 9 August 2004 to 11 February 2005.[12] From 1 July 2006, to 10 January 2007, HQ Eurocorps was the land component stand by element of the NATO Response Force 7. From 1 July 2010 to 10 January 2011, HQ Eurocorps was the land component stand by element of the NATO Response Force 15 (NRF 15). Currently (since 2012) HQ Eurocorps has a deployment to ISAF in Afghanistan.

Participating countries[edit | edit source]

Framework nations:

  •  Belgium – since 1993
  •  France – since 1992
  •  Germany – since 1992
  •  Luxembourg – since 1996
  •  Spain – since 1994

Other contributors:

  •  Austria - since 2002
  •  Greece – since 2003
  •  Italy – since 2009
  •  Poland – since 2003

Non-EU contributor:

  •  Turkey – since 2003

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 www.info-france-usa.org.
  2. Eurocorps: future European army or missed attempt? - thenewfederalist.eu, 2008
  3. Comp. Domröse, Hans-Lothar 2011: „Zwei Jahre Kommandierender General des Eurokorps. Eine persönliche Bilanz." In: Europäische Sicherheit Nr. 10/2011, p. 13–16.
  4. ww.bmlv.gv.at.
  5. "History of the Franco-German Brigade (in German)". Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071212214138/http://www.df-brigade.de/site_de/gesch.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  6. http://www.thenewfederalist.eu/Eurocorps-future-European-army-or-missed-attempt Banfi, Florent: Eurocorps: future European army or missed attempt?, www.thenewfederalist.eu, Sunday 13 July 2008.
  7. "History of the Eurocorps on Eurocorps' official website". Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080112052739/http://www.eurocorps.net/history/eurocorps_history/. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  8. "The Common Committee on Eurocorps' official website". Archived from the original on 5 February 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080205082511/http://www.eurocorps.net/organisation/headquarters/the_common_committee/. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  9. "Eurocorps executed its most ambitious exercise under EU command". http://www.eurocorps.org/media_library/press_releases/press_release_detail/article/eurocorps-executed-its-most-ambitious-exercise-under-eu-command//backpid/65/. Retrieved 19 December 2008. [dead link]
  10. p. 894, Kleine, Maxim, Integrated Bi- and Multinational Military Units in Europe, in: Georg Nolte (Editor), European Military Law Systems, Walter de Gruyter, 2003.
  11. Directive No. 2 pour le Général commandant le Corps européen from 14 November 1994: Langues au Corps européen.
  12. "International Security Assistance Force - ISAF VI on Eurocorps' official website". Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080112052845/http://www.eurocorps.net/mission/isaf_vi_20042005/. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 

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