Intervention de l’Ambassadeur à l’occasion du lancement du groupe de travail de la Force de gendarmerie européenne – 24 mars 2014
Excellencies, General Rozmus, dear members of this European Gendarmerie Force working group, ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted and honored to welcome you tonight at the Residence de France to open this working group of the European Gendarmerie Force, which is the second of that kind to be set up under French presidency.
I would like to start by expressing my deepest gratitude to General ROZMUS, Commander of the Polish Gendarmerie, for his remarkable involvement in organizing this working group here in Warsaw. The Polish Gendarmerie has been strongly and deeply committed to the EGF for several years and recently became – in June 2013 – a full member of the EGF. I am glad to see that our countries are tightening their links, and I would like to highlight how excellent the relationships between our two countries and our two Gendarmerie Forces are.
The European Gendarmerie Force, also known as EUROGENDFOR or EGF, was created in 2004 to bring together European countries whith military police forces. Today, it unites Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Romania, as well as Lithuania as a partner state and Turkey as an observer state.
The EGF is an international crisis management tool dedicated to operations abroad, which is able to deploy 800 gendarmes in 30 days. It has been designed primarily to serve the European Union’s Common Security and Defense Policy, but it can also carry out missions in support of other international organizations. Over the last ten years, the EGF contributed to operations in several theatres : in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the European Union from 2007 to 2010 ; in Haiti with the United Nations mission in 2010 ; and within the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan since 2009.
As a military organization, the EGF can cover a wide array of missions and is able to manage every aspect of the various phases in a crisis, from the military one to stabilization. Being active in the fight against international trafficking, terrorism and illegal immigration, it contributes, from abroad, to the security of Europe.
The working group you’re about to participate in tomorrow comes at a key moment for the EGF, since the organization is embracing two new missions :
1/ It will support the European military operation in Central Republic of Africa, where it will assist the local internal security forces.
2/ It will join the civilian mission the European Union is leading in Mali, where it will provide advisory services to the local Gendarmerie and National Guard.
As it fulfills these two new missions, the EGF will undoubtedly show its know-how and prove its added value in crisis management on the international stage. Such skills are certainly welcome in a time when crises are multiplying from our close neighbourhood to Sahel, with potential consequences on the security of Europe.
We are all here tonight because we share common values and I am sure this evening will prove to be an occasion for fruitful exchanges.
I want to thank you all for your attention. I will now leave the floor to Colonel RIO.