HC Deb 13 December 1999 vol 341 c24W
24. Dr. Palmer

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the prospects for creating a European force for rapid intervention in crises. [100977]

Mr. Hoon

We need to address the shortfalls in European military capability, as highlighted by experience in Kosovo and identified in the Western European Union's audit of European assets and capabilities, and in NATO's Defence Capabilities Initiative.

EU member states have committed themselves to strengthening their existing military capabilities so that European nations are able to assemble, deploy rapidly and sustain more effective forces for specific NATO or EU-led operations. We are not proposing to create a standing European Rapid Reaction Force.