Austrian non-paper: Synergies and military support for civil institutions
The Austrian non-paper sets out ideas for temporary military support of civil authorities working in external border protection. This support should be provided to handle peak periods and exceptional situations. It should be deployed as an intermediary solution. The aim is to reinforce the synergies of civil‑military cooperation.
Border management in the EU is a shared responsibility. Nevertheless, the main burden remains on the individual countries. A prolonged ad hoc peak, however, can hardly be handled by available civil resources.
Based on the positive experiences made with the Austrian assistance model, the Austrian ministry of defence has developed various options to transfer this concept to a European level and put it forward for discussion.
These options are meant to guarantee the ability to carry out effective border controls and to handle migration peaks until Frontex, in particular, has reached its full operational capability. The EU member states, third countries or even Frontex would be able to make use of this military support. The range of military tasks should be regulated by corresponding mandates and be based on a national and international legal framework.
General options for military support for the protection of the EU’s external borders (outside the Common Security and Defence Policy – CSDP) are:
Option 1 – support for Frontex
Option 2 – bilateral support for an EU member state
Option 3 – deployment of military resources following invocation of the solidarity clause
Military forces are not generally foreseen to act as “first responders” in border protection situations. Instead, their main task should be to support the (civil) forces foreseen for this specific purpose by the individual member states.
3. Military tasks for the support of civil authorities
Examples of military tasks:
Non-executive tasks (main tasks)
- provision of transport capacities
- provision of medical support
- on site training of civil and military forces
- putting in place of the necessary infrastructure (such as access roads or shelters)
- reaction forces for crowd and riot control
- creation of a secure environment
- personal searches
- surveillance and reconnaissance of the environment
Information about the informal meeting of defence ministers can be found on the event page.