Lithuania to Head EU Programme for Simplified Military Mobility Procedures
(Source: Lithuania Ministry of Defence; issued May 14, 2019)
Today, May 14, an agreement of fourteen members of the European Union on simplification of military mobility procedures was signed at a meeting in Brussels. The programme aimed at concerting and simplifying the procedures applied to cross-border movement of forces between EU members states will be headed by Lithuania.

Lithuania will chair the Managing Committee of the programme: its task is to supervise the implementation and provide guidelines to subordinate expert tasks forces which will be developing technical requirements.

“As the ones who hold the eastern border of NATO, we find it particularly important that allied troops with equipment are able to come to our help in case of a crisis without facing bureaucratic procedural obstacles when crossing EU states’ borders. When the agreement we have just signed is implemented, allies crossing the borders of the signatory countries will have to comply with the same rules, follow the same procedures, and meet the same timeline,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says.

“Being placed in the lead of the programme is a sign of estimation because the current terms for border-crossing of military equipment in Lithuania are among the least time-consuming in the EU, which means we have best practices to share with other members.”

According to Minister, the simplified procedures of military movement should be in force in case of EU operations and missions, as well as of other bilateral and multinational formats, too. According to him, Lithuania will use the lead to concert and simplify military mobility procedures among EU countries over the next two years and to develop an advance permit system, similar to diplomatic permits for flights.

Currently Lithuania has one of the quickest border-crossing procedures for military equipment in the EU – within 24 hours in case of emergency and 5 days in ordinary cases. On certain occasions, e.g., for NATO Response Force flights, permits can be issued at no notice.

To date, countries contributing to the military mobility procedures simplification programme are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, and Romania. Other EU member states will join in when they finish internal coordination.

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22 Member States Sign New Military Mobility Programme
(Source: European Defence Agency; issued May 14, 2019)
BRUSSELS --- In the margins of today’s EDA Steering Board, 22 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden) and EDA signed a new programme that will facilitate the granting of cross-border surface and air movement permissions.

The programme is developed in the framework of EDA’s work on military mobility. It implements an important part of the ‘Action Plan on Military Mobility’ which was presented by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR) and the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council in March 2018.

Military mobility is also highlighted in the EU-NATO Joint Declaration signed in Warsaw in 2016.

The purpose of the programme signed today is to harmonise different national regulations of the participating Member States. It should allow Member States to reduce the administrative burden associated with different permission procedures and thus significantly shorten the timelines for granting surface and air cross border movement permissions.

The programme provides the basis for important activities at technical and procedural level to develop the necessary arrangements for cross border movement per transport mode during crises, preparations for crises, training and day-to-day business. The arrangements cover surface (road, rail and inland waterways) and air movements (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, fighter aircraft or helicopters). They are expected to be finalised in 2020.

“Military mobility is about improving the movement of military personnel and assets across and beyond the EU. The high number of Member States participating in this new programme on cross-border movement permissions shows the need to alleviate the administrative burden while fully respecting the sovereignty of Member States”, said Jorge Domecq, EDA’s Chief Executive.

Military mobility

Military mobility covers the movement of military personnel and assets from one place to another, including crossing borders by using different modes of transport. The latter is of utmost importance for multinational operations. The capacity to ensure 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 missions and operations, and in the framework of national and multinational activities.

EDA’s role in the implementation of the Action Plan

EDA is committed to supporting its Member States. The ‘Action Plan on Military Mobility’ builds upon the ‘Roadmap on Military Mobility’ developed by an EDA expert working group which was set up on request of the EDA Member States in September 2017. In addition to the programme on cross border movement permission, the Agency support to Member States comprises another programme on harmonising of military requirements in the customs domain as well as surveys on transportation of dangerous goods and other legal aspects.


Further information:
Click here for an EDA Fact Sheet on Military Mobility

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