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Thursday, 12 May 2011 - StrasbourgOJ edition
ANNEX (Written answers) - QUESTIONS TO THE COUNCIL(The Presidency-in-Office of the Council of the European Union bears sole responsibility for these answers)

Question no 11 by Georgios Toussas (H-000182/11 )  
 Subject: Military operation in Libya

On 1 April 2011, the Council decided on the ‘EUFOR Libya’ European Union military operation in support of humanitarian assistance operations, appointing Rear Admiral Claudio Gaudiosi as EU operation commander and locating the operational headquarters in Rome. At its meeting of 12 April 2011, the Council confirmed its decision of 1 April 2011, instructing Rear Admiral Gaudiosi to draw up an operational plan for immediate intervention in close cooperation with NATO and indicating its willingness to include in the mission armed forces from third countries situated in the area. In the second half of 2011 (1 July to 31 December 2011), two EU battle groups will be in a state of preparedness for intervention, that is to say the EUFOR and the Balkans ‘HELBROC’ battle groups, the latter made up of armed forces from Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus under Greek command with their operational headquarters in Greece.

Is the Council envisaging the intervention of ground forces in Libya? What will be the role of the Greek-led Balkans battle group (‘HELBROC’) in the ‘EUFOR Libya’ military intervention? Which third countries from the area will be participating in this operation?


The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the May 2011 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

(EN) The EU has decided that it shall, if requested by UN OCHA, launch a CSDP operation, "EUFOR Libya", to support humanitarian assistance in the region, in full respect of the principles governing humanitarian action, particularly impartiality and neutrality and the internationally agreed MCDA Guidelines(1) . To this end, the EU has already adopted the decision establishing the operation, has appointed an Operation Commander and designated an Operational Headquarters in Rome. The Council tasked the Operation Commander to pursue urgently further planning, in close cooperation and complementarity with the UN, NATO and others in order for the EU to be able to react quickly to developments as regards the humanitarian and security situation. As part of preparations, the EU stands ready to consider offers of contributions from third states including countries in the region, following PSC invitation.

In the event of such a request from UN OCHA, the parameters of any EU actions, including the geographical scope, would be decided on the basis of the request. Similarly the nature of the assets needed will depend on the request expressed by UN OCHA. It is not possible at this stage to prejudge the nature of the request and therefore the capacities that will be required.


(1)Guidelines on the use of Military and Civil Defence Assets to support UN Humanitarian Activities in Complex Emergencies, March 2003.

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