The EU may send 1,000 law enforcement personnel to Kosovo, armed and with powers to arrest. This would be once the future of the province of Serbia is settled. The proposal came from France at a meeting of EU defence chiefs in northern Finland, seen here at a demonstration of ways modern troops are increasingly expected to be deployed.
Under the French proposal, the 8-month-old six-nation European gendarmerie corps based in Italy would take over from the existing U.N. police force in Kosovo. NATO has 17,500 men in Kosovo. The EU has said it has no plans to take over peacekeeping duties from them.
The country leading the EU peace force in the Democratic Republic of Congo – Germany – said it was opposed to any extension of that mission past the planned end date of November 30.
Looking at the evolution of Europe’s defence needs in the future, the ministers endorsed a report which calls for investment and cooperation in the sector to be accelerated.
Failing that, the report warns, given vastly higher American levels and export dominance, Europe’s industries run the risk of becoming niche players.
EU forces intervening abroad will be far more under the critical public eye, and will need to work in concert with NGOs, rapidly and with adaptable equipment and methods.
These, the European Defence Agency said, will be key factors in guiding military research and development.