Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Chairman

  In your letter of 19 December 2005[53] you requested that the Civilian Capability Improvement Plan, approved by the Council in December, be deposited for scrutiny. I am enclosing a copy of the plan, which forms an integral part of the Civilian Headline Goal 2008 process, as explained in the introduction to the Plan (not printed).

  The Plan follows on from completion last September by all Member States of a Capabilities Questionnaire which highlighted capabilities available for EU civilian crisis management, and where gaps lie. The Civilian Capability Improvement Plan sets out a roadmap for tackling shortfalls and taking forward the Headline Goal process during 2006, including further work on best practice in raising personnel for missions, and training. It also sets out steps for improving mission support which includes procurement, security and finance. It highlights ongoing work on Civilian Response Teams and rapidly deployable police elements, and it has at annex timelines and milestones for taking all this work forward.

  The Government strongly supports work on the Civilian Headline Goal which is fundamental to ensuring the EU is able to play a full and constructive international role and has the resources it needs to do so effectively. The UK has played an active part in the process, including by sending experts to Headline Goal planning workshops, and we intend to continue to participate to the full.

  John Reid has written to you separately with a summary of the Lessons Identified from the Battlegroups Initial Operational Capability paper, which you also requested. It has not yet been possible to submit the Battlegroup roadmap because, while the Presidency report stated that the Battlegroup roadmap was due to be updated at the beginning of 2006, work is still in progress. It remains unclear when the roadmap will be completed.

10 February 2006

53   Correspondence with Ministers, 45th Report of Session 2005-06, HL Paper 243, p 280. Back

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