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European Union Military Staff (EUMS)

The EU Military Staff (EUMS) serves as a source of military expertise for the European Union (EU). He is responsible for early warning, situation assessment and strategic planning in the context of the Petersberg tasks (humanitarian missions, peacekeeping, crisis management) as well as for all EU-led operations


Decision of the Council of January 22, 2001 on the establishment of the military staff of the European Union [cf. amending legal acts]


The European Union Military Staff (EUMS), made up of military personnel seconded by the member states to the General Secretariat of the Council (GSC), serves as the EU's source of military expertise. It guarantees the EU's early warning capability. With regard to the crisis management concept and the general military strategy, it performs planning and assessment tasks and makes appropriate recommendations.

Mission and functions of the military staff of the EU

The EUMS is a division of the Council Secretariat. He is subject to the military authority of the Military Committee of the European Union (EUMC). The EUMS implements the decisions and specifications of the EUMC and supports it in the assessment of the situation and military strategic planning with regard to the entire spectrum of Petersberg tasks, including tasks within the framework of the European security strategy, and all EU-led operations.

The EUMS, which reports directly to the Secretary General / High Representative, supports temporary missions in third countries or with international organizations at the request of the Secretary General / High Representative or the Political and Security Committee (PSC).

The EUMS acts as a link between the EUMC and the military forces available to the EU. It is responsible for monitoring, assessing and making recommendations with regard to the armed forces and capabilities that the member states of the EU make available. In coordination with NATO, he appoints the national and multinational European armed forces for EU-led operations.

In detail, the EUMS is responsible for:

  • monitoring potential crisis situations;
  • the military aspects of strategic advance planning for Petersberg tasks;
  • the organization and coordination of the procedures with the national and multinational headquarters, including with the NATO headquarters available to the EU;
  • the programming, planning, implementation and assessment of the military aspects of the EU's crisis management procedures;
  • the establishment of permanent relations with NATO;
  • the establishment of a NATO liaison team and the establishment of an EU cell at the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE);
  • support for the military aspects of the ESDP dimension of counter-terrorism.

The EUMS performs these tasks taking into account the NATO defense planning process and the Partnership for Peace planning and review process. He works closely with the European Defense Agency (EVA).

Crisis management and control of ongoing operations

The EUMS will be given additional tasks in the areas of crisis management and management of ongoing operations.

In the case of crisis management missions, it requests and processes specific information from intelligence services and other available sources. It also submits opinions and guidelines on military strategic options to the EUMC and PSK.

With regard to the control of ongoing operations, the EUMS supervises all military aspects of the missions on the instructions of the EUMC. He will conduct the strategic analysis with the operation's designated commander-in-chief. Depending on the political and operational developments, it proposes new options to the EUMC, which form a basis for the EUMC's military advice to the PSC.

Since 2004, the EUMS has been supported by the civil-military cell, which within the EUMS performs tasks such as the strategic planning of a response to a crisis with a view to joint civil-military operations.

Through the civil-military cell, the military staff is responsible for ensuring the ability to plan and conduct an independent military operation of the EU. This allows the EUMS to quickly establish an operations center when a joint civil-military response is required and the Council, on the advice of the EUMC, has not identified a national headquarters. The civil-military cell provides the permanent core staff of the EU Operations Center and participates in the coordination of civilian operations.


At its meeting in Helsinki on 10 and 11 December 1999, the European Council decided to create new permanent political and military bodies. This also included the EUMS.


Legal act

Effective Date - The expiration date

Deadline for implementation in the Member States

Official Journal

Council Decision 2001/80 / CFSP



OJ L 27 of 30.1.2001

Amending act (s)

Effective Date

Deadline for implementation in the Member States

Official Journal

Council Decision 2005/395 / CFSP



OJ L 132 of 26.5.2005


Council Decision No. 2003/479 / EC of 16 June 2003 on the rules for national and military experts seconded to the General Secretariat of the Council [Official Journal L 160 of 28.6.2003].

This resolution defines the rights and obligations of the national experts seconded to the GSR. It contains special provisions for military personnel seconded to the GSR, which form the military staff of the European Union.

Last change: 05.03.2006