This article outlines the command and control (C2) structure of the European Union's (EU) missions, which are deployed as part of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This C2 structure ranges from the political strategic level to the tactical level.
At the military/civilian strategic level, missions are commanded by an operation headquarters (OHQ). For all civilian missions the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) serves this purpose. For each military mission an OHQ is chosen from a list of available facilities. The EU does not have a permanent military command structure along the lines of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Allied Command Operations (ACO), although it has been agreed that ACO resources may be used for the conduct of the EU's CSDP missions. The Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), established in 2017 and to be strengthened in 2020, does however represent the EU's first step in developing a permanent OHQ.
The MPCC and CPCC are counterparts that cooperate through the Joint Support Coordination Cell (JSCC).
The CPCC, MPCC and JSCC are all part of the External Action Service (EEAS), and situated in the Kortenberg building in Brussels, Belgium.
The EU command and control (C2) structure, as directed by political bodies which are composed of member states's representatives and generally require unanimous decisions, as of April 2019:
|Political strategic level:|
|ISS||EUCO Pres. (EUCO)||Chain of command|
|INTCEN||HR/VP (PMG)||HR/VP (PSC) (******)|
DGEUMS (***) (EUMS)
|Military/civilian strategic level:|
Dir MPCC (***) (MPCC)
|JSCC||Civ OpCdr CPCC(*)|
|MFCdr (****) (MFHQ)||HoM (*)|
|CC(**) Land||CC(**) Air||CC(**) Mar||Other CCs(**)|
Main article: Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability
All civilian missions are directed on the strategic level by the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC), a directorate of the External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels, Belgium. The Director of the CPCC acts as Civilian Operation Commander (Civ OpCdr).
The CPCC directs the subordinate Head of Mission (HoM), who administers the mission on the operational level.
For each military mission (certain missions are also referred to as operation), the Council nominates a dedicated OHQ. This section outlines the main options for OHQ.[page needed]
Established in 2017, the MPCC is the EU's first permanent OHQ and supersedes the previous EU OPCEN. At present it may run only non-executive operations, but will by the end of 2020 the MPCC will also be capable of running executive operations of up to 2500 troops (i.e. the size of one battle group).
The practice of activating ad hoc national OHQs has been criticised as being inefficient due to high start-up costs and fact that their temporary nature to a certain extent prevents the staff forming a strong working relationships and ‘collective memory’.
Further information: Berlin Plus agreement
The Berlin Plus agreement requires that the use of NATO assets by the EU is subject to a "right of first refusal", i.e. NATO must first decline to intervene in a given crisis, and contingent on unanimous approval among NATO states, including those outside of the EU. For example, Turkish reservations about Operation Concordia using NATO assets delayed its deployment by more than five months.
Each OHQ is led by an Operation Commander (OpCdr).
When the MPCC acts as OHQ, the OpCdr is the MPCC Director, who is also Director General of the European Union Military Staff (EUMS).
When the NCS provides the OHQ, the OpCdr is the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR).
The OHQ directs the subordinate Force Headquarters (FHQ), which carries out the operation on the tactical level (i.e. on the ground). The FHQ is led by a Force Commander (FCdr).
In case the MPCC acts as OHQ, the FHQ is termed Mission Force Headquarters (MFHQ) instead. The MFHQ is led by a Mission Force Commander (MFCdr).
The FCdr/MFCdr directs Component Commanders (CCs) for all service branches that may be required as part of the operation. The military forces within each component is subordinate to the CC.
In the event that both a military and civilian mission are in the field, the military OHQ and its Operation Commander (OpCdr) coordinate relations on the strategic level horizontally with the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) and its Civilian Operation Commander (Civ OpCdr). Equally, on the tactical level the military Force Headquarters (FHQ) and its Force Commander (FCdr) coordinate relations horizontally with the civilian Head of Mission (HoM).
If the Military Planning and Conduct Capability acts as OHQ, it will coordinate its relations with the CPCC through the Joint Support Coordination Cell (JSCC).