Select Committee on European Union Seventh Report

Appendix 5

Joint Situation Centre (JSC)[114]

Objective: to provide the Council with high quality information. In 1998 when ESDP was first developed no structure existed to allow member states to share intelligence. Three years ago, there was some exchange of confidential information in the form of diplomatic telegrams. In the past twelve months the JSC has been recruiting intelligence analysts from Member States and facilitated information exchange through putting in place secure communication networks. It will shortly be installing secure communications to the five operational military headquarters.[115]

JSC missions:

1.  Contribute to early warning (in conjunction with other Council military staff). Sources: open source material, military intelligence, non-military intelligence and diplomatic reporting;

2.  Conduct situation monitoring and assessment;

3.  Provide facilities for crisis task force; and

4.  To provide an operational point of contact for the High Representative.

Input: Member States contribute two types of intelligence:

-  diplomatic reporting; and

-  information from external intelligence services

Very sensitive information is not shared.

The JSC is still operating on an experimental basis. Early indications suggest that it is working well.

Output: Standard output goes to members of the PSC and EUMC. The Commission receives the material through its representative on the PSC, but it has only a restricted circulation within the External Relations Directorate-General. At the moment nothing is distributed to the Parliament although the Council is negotiating arrangements to permit a limited release.

The JSC will operate 24-hours a day as of 1 January 2003 (to coincide with the start of EUPM).

114   Q87. Back

115   The EU has no permanent operational headquarters. The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Greece have made voluntary offers to headquarters. The French and British headquarters could be used today. (Q84). Back

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