MACEDONIA JOINT ACION
Letter from Denis MacShane, Minister for
Europe, to the Chairman
Thank you for your letter of 5 February in response
to my letter of 22 January on the draft Joint Action on the planned
EU-led military operation in Macedonia.
As I explained in my letter, I was writing to
send you the draft Joint Action in advance of the permanent arrangements
for scrutiny of ESDP on which we were then still working. My letter
of 5 February set out MoD and FCO proposals for those permanent
arrangements and, following that, I sent on 6 February an EM on
the Macedonia Joint Action.
My letter of 22 January noted that the requirement
for the EU to take forward preparation for a take-over of the
stabilisation role from NATO in Macedonia this Spring, as foreseen
by the Copenhagen European Council, required early GAERC decisions.
I noted that this might involve the January GAERC endorsing the
Joint Action to take this work forward. My letter of 5 February
noted that, while we would always seek to ensure the Committees
had the time and information needed to scrutinise ESDP decisions
effectively, there would inevitably be occasions where the Government
would need to take part in EU decisions before scrutiny was completed.
This was such a case. The first draft of the Macedonia Joint Action
emerged in the PSC only on 21 January 2003, as noted in my 5 February
Your letter asked about the arrangements for
command and control of the EU-led operation in Macedonia (Article
10 of the Joint Action). These reflect the arrangements it is
envisaged will apply to all EU-led operations with recourse to
NATO assets and capabilities. They are essentially the same as
in NATO, where political control and strategic direction is exercised
by Member States, acting together, and the operational commander
is responsible for the planning and execution of the operation.
DSACEUR will act as the commander of the EU operation. He is in
a dialogue with the EU Military Committee on the detailed command
and control arrangements for this operation. Given NATO's interest
as a provider to the EU of assets and capabilities, and its responsibility
for other military operations in the region, the EU will keep
the North Atlantic Council and the NATO Military Committee informed
of developments throughout the operation. These NATO bodies are
not, however, part of the chain of command for an EU operation.
The MoD is content with these arrangements.
20 February 2003