The European Commission and the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy presented the second report on the implementation of the Action Plan on Military Mobility, with a new progress since the first report.
“Our second report on the Military Mobility Action Plan shows progress towards better transport infrastructure and quicker procedures thanks to Member States actions and EU support,” said Josep Borrell Fontelles the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The report recognizes the commitment made by the EU Heads of State and Government to invest transport infrastructure to adapt the military needs in instances where this can benefit the civilian movements as well. The joint report makes an update of the military requirements and the gap analysis between the military and the civilian requirements.
In July 2019, the Council approved the updated military requirements as prepared by the EU Military Staff in close cooperation with the Commission services, the European Defence Agency and the EU Member States. The update of the geographical data provided the opportunity for the Member States to review and adjust information relating to certain parts of the military transport network, as well as to further consider the technical requirements.
The update of the military requirements has provided a firm basis for the next steps in the implementation of the Action Plan in the area of infrastructure. The gap analysis concludes that the update of the military requirements has brought positive implications for military mobility within and beyond the EU. According to the report, there are fewer gaps between civilian and military sets of technical infrastructure requirements, and where gaps remain, they are in some instances narrower. In addition, the total length and the number of nodes of the military transport network have increased. Some of these additions to the military transport network have helped to reduce the number of missing cross-border links. Although the overlap between the military transport network and the trans-European transport network has marginally decreased from 94% to 93%, it remains very high.
The number of the transport infrastructure projects would now potentially be eligible for the funding under the 2021-2027 MFF, through the Connecting Europe Facility Military Mobility calls for proposals. Although the CEF 2027 regulation is not currently adopted, the Commission services have started the process of drafting the dual-use requirements implementing regulation in order to begin funding projects starting 2021.
The European Council has agreed a budget for dual-use transport infrastructure funding amounting to EUR 1.69 billion.
A progress was also made on in regulatory issues such as the adoption of the EU form 302 and the Directive ensuring equal treatment of defence efforts under NATO and under the EU framework from the fiscal perspective.
It should be mentioned that an important issue achieved since last year’s report is the adoption of the Council Directive (EU) 2019/2235 on 16 December 2019 which ensures equal treatment of defence efforts under NATO and under the EU framework from the fiscal perspective by exempting supplies to armed forces from value added tax and excise duties when these forces are deployed outside the sending Member State and take part in a defence effort under the Common Security and Defence Policy.
The first Progress Report on the implementation of the Action Plan on Military Mobility was presented in June 2019. The initiative on the military mobility was launched in November 2017 and the action plan was launched in 2018.