The European Gendarmerie Force
The European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR) is a Multinational Police Force, born to participate to the stabilization of crisis and conflict areas outside the European Union, where it contributes to the protection of population, the upgrade of the Human Rights, and the reestablishment of the Rule of Law. Doing so, the EUROGENDFOR’s objective is also to contribute to the European Union's area of freedom, security and justice by mitigating threats and risks such as international terrorism and organized crime. The European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) is a multinational initiative made up of seven Member States - France, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain established by Treaty. It’s aim is to strengthen international crisis management capacities and to contribute to the development of the Common Security and Defense Policy in accordance with Article 42.3 of the Treaty on the European Union (Treaty of Lisbon) which states that “Those Member States which together establish multinational forces may also make them available to the common security and defence policy.”.
EUROGENDFOR can be considered as an integrated police tool designed to carry out police missions in different theatres, including destabilized ones, in support of the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), or possible ad hoc coalitions.
According to the Declaration of Intent and the Treaty of Velsen, EUROGENDFOR is featured as an "Operational, pre-organized, robust and rapidly deployable" force contributing to the Common Security and Defense Policy, even when deployed under non European Union structures. The European Gendarmerie Force was founded on the 17th of September 2004, in Noordwijk (The Netherlands), where the Declaration of Intent was signed by the Ministers in charge, and declared operational on the 20th of July 2006, by the High Level Interdepartmental Committee (CIMIN).
Ever since then EUROGENDFOR’s main goal has been to strengthen its operational capabilities to be ready to properly respond to eventual requests.
This path has led, at the end of 2007, to EUROGENDFOR’s first participation in a crisis management operation, the European Union EUFOR operation “ALTHEA” in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This first operational contribution was followed, in 2009, by an EUROGENDFOR participation in the challenging NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. From February till December 2010 EUROGENDFOR provided support to the United Nations Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) after the devastating earthquake that shook the Haitian Republic. Central African Republic (EUFOR RCA), Mali (EUCAP SAHEL) and Afghanistan (Resolute Support) are the latest EGF commitments.
The important steps taken so far, through its current commitments to EU, NATO and UN, have allowed EUROGENDFOR to achieve a considerable improvement in its planning capabilities and to gain significant experience in execution of operations that have further developed the force itself, thus increasing its reliability within the international community. Despite being a relatively young international organization, EUROGENDFOR has already proven to be a highly suitable tool for a range of crisis management operations contributing to peace and international security.
Characteristics and Capabilities
- The initial phase, carrying out stabilization operations and ensuring order and security, substituting or strengthening weak or nonexistent local police forces;
- During the transition phase, continuing to fulfill its mission, as part of military expeditionary force, facilitating co-ordination and co-operation with local or international police units;
- During the disengagement, facilitating the seamless and smooth transfer of responsibilities from the military to the civilian chain of command.
Scenarios of Intervention
- Substitution of local police forces taking place in an area where the conflict has led to a significant breakdown of the central administration. The international police presence may be mandated to perform the full range (or just some) of the police functions, thus being entitled to executive police powers, and should therefore be armed.
- Strengthening of local police forces in a scenario characterized by a high level of insecurity and criminality due to the lack of a proper Rule of Law system. The international police officers would monitor, mentor and advise as well as train the Local Police in order to raise their professional standards, contributing to the restructuring of the Local Police also through screening and vetting programs.
- Other possible uses in humanitarian operations in case of natural or manmade disasters, unsafe environments, lack of adequate infrastructure, internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees.
- Rapid Planning and rapid deployment.
- Civilian Police forces are, in general, not capable to deploy as fast as the military. On the contrary EUROGENDFOR is able to deploy alongside the military in the first stage of a crisis management operation, generally the most critical, thus filling the deployment and security gaps.
- Possibility to act under a military chain of command or under civilian authority.
- The possibility to act under civilian and military chain of Command and even to assure the transition from the military to the civilian primacy in a CMO will allow synergy of efforts and consistency of action. Generally civilian polices are not allowed to act under military Chain of command.
- Capability to operate in non benign environments.
- Gendarmerie forces have some military skills and robust equipment that allows them to act in destabilized environments performing police tasks from the very outset of a crisis.