Member States try to break EU-Turkey deadlock over rapid reaction force

Netherlands and UK try to break EU-Turkey deadlock over rapid reaction force before NATO meeting in Budapest

The EU needs to have access to NATO assets in order for the RRF to effectively carry out the envisaged operations. In particular, the EU lacks the kind of airlift, logistical and intelligence resources that NATO has in abundance.


Turkey has indicated that it wants to be able to participate in the operations of the rapid reaction force in order to ensure that its security position is not undermined.

The EU refuses to accept that Turkey, as it is not a member of the EU, can have any say over the conduct of operations by the RRF.

The US has expressed reservations about the new EU rapid reaction force and its implications for NATO. However, it is willing to consider a limited role for the RRF and is working towards ensuring that a serious division does not develop between the EU and Turkey, one of its most important regional allies.


The Netherlands and the UK are trying to negotiate a settlement of the dispute between the EU and Turkey over the use of NATO assets by the EU's rapid reaction force (RRF). It is hoped that a solution can be reached by the time NATO foreign ministers meet in Budapest on 29-30 May.


The 15 Member States of the EU recently reached an agreement on the establishment of a rapid reaction force of 60,000 men. It is envisaged that this force will be capable of performing peacekeeping and crisis intervention operations and staying in the field for up to a year.


British and Dutch diplomats will be conducting negotiations with Ankara during the next week in the hope that a deal can be announced at the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Budapest on 29-30 May.


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