Mutual Safety and Defense Policy
The Mutual Safety and Defense Policy constitutes the institutional framework for the growth and implementation of the European Union’s safety and defense policy. It targets, among other things, the advancement of the military and non-military capabilities of the EU, regarding the management of crisis and the prevention of conflict, as specified in the UN’s Charter. It involves either humanitarian missions or enforcement operations or even operations that aim to maintain peace, which can be of either military or non-military nature. For the implementation of these missions, the Member States provide the European Union, voluntarily, part of their forces.
Cyprus is pursuing the support of the Mutual Safety and Defense Policy; it participated and until today still participates in a series of missions conducted by both the EU and the UN. Particularly, in the missions named “ARTEMIS”, “EUFOR RD Congo” and “EUSEC Congo” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in “EU Support to AMIS II” in Sudan/Darfur of Africa, in “EUPOL PROXIMA” in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in “EUFOR Tchad/RCA” in the Republic of Chad and “EUBAM Moldova-Ukraine” in Moldavia- Ukraine. Today, Cyprus participates with officers from the National Guard in the headquarters of the missions-operations “EUTM MALI” in Mali of Africa, “EUFOR Central African Republic” in Larisa and “EUNAVFOR ATALANTA Somalia” in the United Kingdom.
Additionally, the National Guard contributes parts of its forces to the European Union’s Battle groups, which make up multinational, rapidly development, military battle groups that can operate either autonomously, or as part of a wider operation. Specifically, the National Guard participates with Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine in «HELBROC» Battle group, with Greece as the coordinating member. The “HELBROC” Battle group was in operational readiness in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2018. It will be again in operational readiness during the first semester of 2020.
Furthermore, officers of the National Guard are military representatives, as the permanent representatives of the Republic of Cyprus in the EU, in OSCE in Vienna, as well as the European Defense Agency, in the Military Headquarters of EU and the European Security and Defense College.