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Common Security and Defence Policy forces (European Union)

Last modified: 2022-12-31 by rob raeside
Keywords: eurocorps | eurogendfor | euromarfor | nordic battlegroup |
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Eurocorps

[Flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 8 February 2002

The European Corps, a first step to a future European Army, is composed of five member nations: Belgium (1993), France (1992), Germany (1992), Luxembourg (1996), and Spain 1994), and of five associated nations: Greece (2002), Italy (2009), Poland (2002), Romania (2016), and Turkey (2002). Austria (2002-2011), Canada (2003-2007), and Finland (2002-2006) were once associated nations.

The flag of the Eurocorps (photo) is light blue with the Eurocorps emblem in the middle.
The emblem, which is undoubtedly to be worn as a shoulder patch, is a lineal descendant of the one worn by Eisenhower in 1944.

Marc Pasquin, Al Kirsch & Ivan Sache, 9 February 2018

After the Second World War which put an end to centuries of internal struggles on the European continent, the total destruction and the millions of lives lost made realize that the solution could only be found in peaceful understanding between the European nations. The French and German post-World War II leaders understood the necessity to foster friendship relations between them; this resulted in the Elysée Treaty in 1963. Konrad Adenauer and General De Gaulle were the driving forces behind this reconciliation. The treaty already included cooperation in the defence domain.

In 1989 a further step in French German defence cooperation was realized with the creation of the French German Brigade (5,000 soldiers) based in Müllheim (Germany).

In October 1991, the French President François Mitterrand and the German Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl, were eager to increase the visible signs of the reconciliation between France and Germany while fostering simultaneously an idea of European Defence. A few months later, May 1992 both governments decided to set up in Strasbourg a French-German Corps Headquarters, where both nations would share equally the command but also the burden. Eurocorps was born. It is hence celebrating currently its 30th anniversary (https://30years.eurocorps.org).

The SACEUR agreement of 21 January 1993 allows EUROCORPS to be put under NATO command when needed and regulates the information exchange and training between both partners in peacetime. The SACEUR agreement was amended in 2002, linked to EUROCORPS’ certification as High Readiness Force (HRF – Rapid Reaction Corps).

In May 1993, France and Germany made EUROCORPS available for “Petersberg” missions (crisis response operations) to the former Western European Union. At the European Summit in Cologne (3 and 4 June 1999), the European Union wished to have multinational forces prepared for future military crisis management. EUROCORPS could foster closer relationship with the European Union. Additionally, the signature of a “Letter of Intent” between EUROCORPS and the European Union Military Staff (EUMS) on 18 January 2016, has demonstrated EUROCORPS’ effort towards closer ties with the European Union.

On 5th November 1993 some 250 Belgian, French and German Eurocorps soldiers gathered around the war memorial on the Place de la Republique in Strasbourg city center. The three ministers of defense inspected the troops and together they officially installed Lieutenant General Helmut Willmann as the first Commander EUROCORPS." (source: https://30years.eurocorps.org/categorie-photo/genese-1). And on 30th November 1995, EUROCORPS was declared operational at the French training area of Laon-Couvron during an exercise in which some 10,000 soldiers took part." (source: https://30years.eurocorps.org/categorie-photo/genese-2)

It is a Force for both the EU and NATO. Its first mission was part of SFOR (source: https://30years.eurocorps.org/categorie-photo/missions-otan). It is located in Strasbourg.

At operational level, it is a Force disposable for both EU and NATO. As of 2021, it has performed 8 missions abroad (4 NATO and 4 EU), plus 5 alert duties (3 NATO and 2 EU).

"The European Corps is presently not established at the EU level (referred to as the Common Security and Defence Policy, CSDP); it is for instance not a project of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) of the CSDP. The European Corps and its assets may however contribute in the implementation of the CSDP, when made available as a multinational force in accordance with article 42.3 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)."

Member countries are:
- France (1992)
- Germany (1992)
- Belgium (1993)
- Spain (1994)
- Luxembourg (1996)
- Poland (2022)

Associated countries are:
- Greece (2002)
- Turkey (2002)
- Italy (2009)
- Romania (2016)
- Austria (2021)

"The Eurocorps emblem (and cap badge’s) has the form of a shield. Its shape and the dark blue background symbolize the European defence. The yellow stars symbolize the European Union, the sword symbolizes its armed forces, while the contours of the European continent represent both the boundaries of the European Union and the commitment for peace and security for the benefit of Europe and the Atlantic Alliance."
Source: https://30years.eurocorps.org/categorie-photo/specifites-1
Other sources: https://www.eurocorps.org/about-us/history
https://www.eurocorps.org/about-us/a-force-for-the-eu-nato
https://www.linkedin.com/company/hq-eurocorps and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocorps

Esteban Rivera, 8 September 2022

So far, I've located at least two different color variants:

[Flag] - early 1990s flag, located by Esteban Rivera, 8 September 2022
Source: https://30years.eurocorps.org, source: https://30years.eurocorps.org/categorie-photo/genese-2.
Notice this flag features the organization name below in golden capitals plus a golden fringe all around, very similar to the uniform patch insignia (featured in the same picture as well).
Esteban Rivera, 8 September 2022

[Flag] located by Esteban Rivera, 8 September 2022

Flag with white background with stars outside the main badge.
Cropped image from the original located here: https://ae01.alicdn.com, source: https://es.aliexpress.com/item/1005002503447251.html?gatewayAdapt=glo2esp.
Notice this logo features two thin black outlines plus 12 five-pointed yellow stars around in circular form.
Esteban Rivera, 8 September 2022

[Flag] located by Esteban Rivera, 8 September 2022

Flag with lighter blue background
Cropped image from the original located here: https://commons.wikimedia.org, source: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corps_de_r%C3%A9action_rapide_europ%C3%A9en?uselang=fr.
Picture by Claude TRUONG-NGOC (2013).
Notice this logo features a black solid outline and a Europe map in grey and a sword in grey too.
Esteban Rivera, 8 September 2022

[Flag] located by Esteban Rivera, 8 September 2022

Flag with darker blue background.
Screenshot from this video at 0:01 https://twitter.com/HQEurocorps/status/1565636728265875456. Video dated 2016. Notice this logo features both a golden Europe map and stars inside the logo, with a silver sword.
Esteban Rivera, 8 September 2022

[Flag] located by Esteban Rivera, 8 September 2022

Flag with darker blue background in detail.
Screenshot from this embedded video at 0:53 https://30years.eurocorps.org.
This flag also features the organization's name on top in yellow capitals, plus what appears to be some battle/campaing streamers on the mast.

For additional information go to Eurocorps (official website): http://www.eurocorps.org/
Esteban Rivera, 8 September 2022


Eurogendfor

European Gendarmerie Force
[Flag] image by Zoltán Horváth, 25 June 2014

The European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR or EGF; official website; Wikipedia) was launched by an agreement in 2006 between five member states of the European Union: France, Italy, the Netherlands,Portugal and Spain. Romania subsequently joined in 2009, and Poland was invited to join in 2011. Its purpose is the creation of a European intervention force with militarised police functions and specialise in crisis management, designed after the French Gendarmerie, the Spanish Guardia Civil, and the Italian Carabinieri and its Multinational Specialized Units (M.S.U.). Its status is enshrined in the Treaty of Velsen of 18 October 2007. The EGF is based in Vicenza, in northeastern Italy, and has a core of 800 to 900 members ready to deploy within 30 days.

The French Defence Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie first proposed this force on September 2003; she and the Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino presented it at the Meeting of European Union Defense Ministers, on October 2003. The implentation agreement was finally signed by defence ministers of the five countries on September 17, 2004 in Noordwijk, Netherlands. On 23 January 2006, the EGF was officially inaugurated during a military ceremony in the Gen. Chinotto barracks in Vicenza.
The EGF was declared fully operational on 20 July 2006, following the High Level Interministerial meeting in Madrid, Spain, and its second successful Command Post exercise (CPX), which took place between 19Ð28 April 2006. The first CPX was held at the National Gendarmerie Training Center in Saint Astier, France, in June 2005.

The flag of the European Gendarmerie Force (photo) is blue with the logo in the middle.

Esteban Rivera, 25 June 2014


Euromarfor

Flag image by Željko Heimer, 8 December 1997

The flag of Euromarfor is blue with four yellow stars and "EUROMARFOR" in yellow.
[Album des Pavillons, [pay00]]

Armand du Payrat, 8 December 1997


Nordic Battle Group

[Flag]

Command signal of the NBG - Image by Eugene Ipavec, 9 July 2006

Sweden, Norway and Finland have reached agreement to collaborate in the establishment of a so-called battlegroup to be placed at the disposal of the EU as of January 2008. The three countries have also agreed to include Estonia in this collaboration. Since then, Ireland, Latvia and Lituania have joined the collaboration.
The background to the agreement lies in the EU decision to establish 13 so-called battlegroups (subsequebntly, 18), each consisting of about 1,500 military personnel. The aim is to establish flexible rapid reaction forces capable of deploying at short notice to take part in operations to maintain or re-establish peace and security. The concept has been developed in conjunction with the UN and the forces are intended to reinforce the UN's crisis management capability. Participation in an EU operation presupposes that a clear mandate has been established under international law.

The command signal of the NBG is square, horizontally divided blue-yellow-blue, with blue Roman numeral "V" in the yellow stripe. The "V" may also be interpreted as "Victory", referring to the battle group motto: "Victory through Values". The flag was introduced at a ceremony held on 12 May 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Kristian Söderberg, 12 May 2006