Military Mobility covers the movement of military personnel and assets from one place to another, including crossing borders by using different modes of transport. A smooth, efficient and effective movement of military personnel and assets across and beyond the European Union (EU) will enhance the EU’s preparedness and response to crises. It will enable EU Member States to act faster, in line with their defence needs and responsibilities, both in the context of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and operations, and in the framework of national and multinational activities. Various national, European and international rules, procedures, regulations and directives are currently in place which impact, and potentially hamper, military mobility. A comprehensive European approach, to be also shared with relevant international entities, is therefore required to remedy potential issues in this regard and to allow for the swift movement of personnel and assets to the area where they are needed.

A comprehensive European approach

On 28 March 2018, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR) and the Commission presented a “Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on the Action Plan on Military Mobility” (Action Plan), introducing such a comprehensive European approach. The Action Plan provides a coherent framework for programmes, projects, initiatives and activities to further improve Military Mobility in the EU. It builds upon the Roadmap on Military Mobility developed by an EDA expert working group, set up by decision of the EDA Member States, in September 2017. 

The Action Plan identifies tasks, responsibilities and timelines for improving Military Mobility with regard to legal aspects, customs, military requirements and cross-border movement permissions. 

In addition, the European Council further invited the High Representative, the Commission and the EU Member States to advance their work on Military Mobility, both in the Permanent Structured Cooperation and in the context of EU-NATO cooperation.

EDA’s role in the implementation of the Action Plan

EDA is committed to supporting its Member States to harmonise military aspects in regulations and reducing the administrative burden, while involving relevant stakeholders and ensuring coherence with NATO as much as possible. The Agency functions as a facilitator and an interface between all stakeholders and provides a platform to exchange views.

Its aim is to:

  • Pursue Military Mobility activities as tasked by the Member States;
  • Monitor progress on Military Mobility activities, projects and programmes;
  • Report to the Member States on the progress made on an annual basis;
  • Entertain coherence with NATO and other entities.