European Union – first military test

The decision to create the multinational peacekeeping force was taken at the EU meeting in Laeken, Belgium. It will be composed of troops from all the 15 Member States of the EU and will number between three to four thousand soldiers. The EU external relations commissioner, Javier Solana, declared that the UK will head the force.

The 15 member states of the EU are, in alphabetical order, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Belgian foreign Minister Louis Michel stated that “This is a very important decision, one taken for the first time. One may say that with this decision, the Fifteen have taken one step further in the history of the European Union”.

The peacekeeping force will act under the auspices of the United Nations Organisation.