The European Union Military Staff
The European Union Military Staff (EUMS) is a department of the European Union Military Committee (EUMC), that has been created in 2002 to assist the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Its headquarters is based in Brussels, Belgium. Since 2020, the General Director of EUMS is the French Admiral Hervé Bléjean. The EUMS principal role is to assist the EUMC and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy by providing military expertise.
Main Tasks and Goals
Since its creation, the mission of the EUMS is to provide military expertise to all EU-led operations, by giving instruments such as early warming, situation assessment, strategic planning and communication and information systems.
The EUMS is divided into several directorates covering its activities and tasks:
- Concepts and Capabilities Directorate: in cooperation with the European Defense Agency (EDA), it works to develop analysis, training, and crisis management exercises.
- Intelligence Directorate: it prepares a crisis response planning and assessment for operations and exercises to the European Union.
- Operations Directorate: it represents the heart of the executive operation by giving the tools to let the EUMS participates to the decision making. It works to plan strategic and crisis response and early military assessment.
- Logistics Directorate: it improves and supplies administrative and logistic support to the EUMS.
- Communication and Information systems and Cyber Defense Directorate: it helps the EUMS by providing Cyber Defense planning expertise at the strategic and operational level.
The EUMS plays a very important role in the foreign policy of the European Union. It promotes military assistance for all EU-led operations and it works to accomplish the Petersberg tasks. The Petersberg tasks define military tasks on humanitarian missions, peacekeeping, and crisis management. In origin, they have been defined by the Member States from the Western European Union (WEO) organization and they have been incorporated to the European Union, after the WEO dissolution in 1992.
The EUMS has joint various missions led by the European Union and the NATO too. Nowadays the EUMS military expertise is implicated in the EUFOR Althea. This mission has been started in cooperation with the NATO in 2004 to ensure security and peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina territory.
As it has been said before, the EUMS has been created to support the foreign action of the European Union by providing military expertise. Furthermore, it ensures the link between the EUMC and other European Agencies and the coordination between the European Union and the NATO.
To sum up, the creation of the EUMS has been primordial for the development of the European Union foreign policy. First of all, because it provides military expertise to operate the foreign policy missions and secondly because it makes the bridge between the NATO, the European Union and other European Agencies. It helps the European Union to be more efficient on the ground and more coordinated on the defence field.