The European Union has been organised since 18 November (untill 6 December 2011) its first crisis management exercise under the Lisbon Treaty, and the sixth such exercise overall in the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).1
This exercise, a continuation of the EU exercise policy adopted in 2003, will be organised for the first time by the European External Action Service (EEAS) and is adapted to the new institutional and administrative context.
For instance, for the first time, EU delegations will be involved. The exercise is also an occasion to test some of the crisis coordination arrangements introduced within the EEAS.
Based upon the EU's new "comprehensive approach" to crisis response, the aim of the exercise is to test and evaluate the whole range of EU crisis response and management structures, as well as decision making and planning processes, with a view to further improving the EU's capacity to manage crises in a rapidly changing environment. Like in the previous exercises, no troops will be deployed and the exercise will be conducted in Brussels and in Member States capitals.
Acting under the authority of the High Representative Catherine Ashton, Agostino Miozzo, the EEAS Managing Director for Crisis Response and Operational Coordination, will conduct the exercise. It will involve the relevant EU Council instances, the EEAS and the EU delegations to the African Union, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, the European Commission, and the EU Satellite Centre. A response cell acting as an EU Operational Headquarters has also been set up.
The scenario for this exercise will draw from previous scenarios, focusing on a fictitious country named "Alisia" and four of its neighbouring countries. It will foresee the possibility for the deployment of a CSDP military operation and a CSDP civilian mission, as well as the implementation of the full range of the EU's instruments, including humanitarian aid and rule of law assistance. The exercise will recognise the primacy of the UN Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as the EU's autonomy of decision in coordination with the relevant regional organisations, and will facilitate the intervention of the African Union.
The Political and Security Committee (PSC) will exercise the political control and strategic direction of the CSDP exercise and ensure that all the diplomatic, military and civilian aspects are planned in a comprehensive and coherent manner.
1 The EU conducted its first crisis management exercise in May 2002 in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy. Different types of exercises have been conducted since then, including one joint exercise with NATO in 2007, and several military exercises since 2005.