Action Plans on Military Mobility
Facilitating the movement of military troops and assets is essential for the security of European citizens, and to build a more effective, responsive and joined-up Union, as identified in the joint communication of the European Commission and the High Representative Joint Communication on improving military mobility in the EU from November 2017 and called for in the EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy as well as in the Strategic Compass.
Improving military mobility also became part of the PESCO commitments, as established in December 2017, and at project level - with a separate PESCO project. It is also a major deliverable under the EU - NATO Joint Declaration.
Against this background, a dedicated Action Plan on Military Mobility adopted jointly by the European Commission and the High Representative in 2018, identified a series of operational measures to tackle physical, procedural or regulatory barriers, which hamper military mobility within the EU. In light of the the Russian agression againt Ukraine, the European Commission and the High Representative adopted a revised Action Plan 2.0 to extend support measures for Military Mobility. The Commission is working closely with the EU Member States and all relevant actors, which is key for the implementation of this Action Plan.
Military Mobility Action Plan 2.0 (2022-2026): An Action Plan for faster cross-border movements and tighter cooperation
Building on the progress made since the military mobility initiative was launched in 2017, this new Action Plan opens the next chapter of work on military mobility for the period 2022-2026. Enlarged in scope and proposing additional measures, it will contribute to a well-connected military mobility network, with shorter and more secured reaction times.
The Action Plan addresses the need to improve the capacity of transport infrastructure to handle the weight, size and scale of military movement with new measures, including the fuel supply chain requirements for military transports.
The Plan will also continue the effort to streamline and harmonise complex, lengthy and diverging national rules and procedures, including by introducing new actions to support the further digitalisation of the administrative processes.
It adds a new preparedness and resilience pillar that encompasses the development of strategic lift capabilities in line with the Coordinated Annual Report on Defence (CARD) Report of November 2020. It proposes measures to enhance the protection of the transport sector against cyber-attacks and other hybrid threats, and to promote its climate resilience and energy security. The new partnership pillar includes EU-NATO cooperation to ensure a stronger and more credible European pillar in NATO, especially in light of its enlargement to Finland and Sweden and promotes dialogue and connectivity with key regional partners as the Ukraine, Moldova and the Western Balkans.
The Action Plan (2017-2021) identified concrete actions in the following areas:
- Military requirements: The development of military requirements for transport infrastructure and geographical data is the starting point for an effective and coordinated approach to military mobility across the EU. The European External Action Service (EEAS) and the EU Military Staff have developed military requirements, which reflect the needs of the EU and its Member States, including the infrastructure needed for military mobility.
- Transport infrastructure: Infrastructure policy and investments offer opportunities for more synergies between civilian and military needs. The Commission identified the parts of the trans-European transport network suitable for military transport, including necessary upgrades of existing infrastructure (e.g. the height or the weight capacity of bridges). A priority list of projects is being drawn up. The Commission will take into account possible additional financial support for these projects in the new multiannual financial framework.
- Regulatory and procedural issues: The Commission is working on streamlining and simplifying customs formalities for military operations and is assessing the need to align rules for the transport of dangerous goods in the military domain. In parallel, the European Defence Agency will support Member States in developing arrangements on cross-border movement permissions.
DG DEFIS coordinates the Commission’s activities contributing to improved military mobility within Europe and leads on the implementation of the Action Plan on Military Mobility.
In October 2020, the Commission and the High Representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy jointly issued the second progress Report on the implementation of the Action Plan on Military Mobility from June 2019 to September 2020. DG DEFIS closely cooperated with EEAS/MOVE. In September 2021, the third joint progress report was presented.