Military Planning and Conduct Capability
The Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) is a permanent operational headquarters (OHQ) at the military strategic level for military operations of up to 2500 troops (i.e. the size of one battle group) deployed as part of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union (EU) by the end of 2020. Since its inception in 2017, the MPCC has commanded three non-executive training missions in Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic.
|Military Planning and Conduct Capability|
|Active||8 June 2017–present|
|Role||Commands CSDP operations|
|Size||154 personnel (prospective)|
|Part of||European Union Military Staff of the European External Action Service|
|Location||Kortenberg building, Brussels, Belgium|
|High Repr.||Federica Mogherini|
|Director||Lieutenant General Esa Pulkkinen|
The MPCC is part of the EU Military Staff (EUMS), a directorate-general of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and the Director General of the EUMS also serves as Director of the MPCC - exercising command and control over the operations.
Working Group/Headline Goal Task Force
|Legal advisor||Deputy Director General||Horizontal Coordination|
|Assistant Chief of Staff for Synchronisation||EU cell at SHAPE||EU Liaison at the UN in NY||Assistant Chief of Staff for External Relations||NATO Permanent Liaison Team|
|Concepts & Capabilities|
|Communications & Information Systems|
|Military Planning and|
The MPCC is a single military strategic command and control structure, responsible for the operational planning and conduct of military missions of up to 2500 troops. This includes the building up, deployment, sustaining and recovery of EU forces. The MPCC will at present control the three EU training missions in Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia.
The MPCC will be reporting to the Political and Security Committee (PSC), and informing the EU Military Committee (EUMC). The MPCC will also cooperate with its existing civilian counterpart, the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC), through a Joint Support Coordination Cell (JSCC).
The MPCC has a maximum of 60 personnel, in addition to personnel seconded from member states.
The Director General of the EUMS also serves as the Director of the MPCC and in that capacity assume the function of the single commander for all non-executive military missions, exercising command and control over the current three training Missions and other possible future non-executive military Missions.
The current three Mission Commanders will become ‘Mission Force Commanders’ who will act under the command of the Director of the MPCC and will remain responsible for exercising military command authority on the ground. The Director of the MPCC will assume the same role, tasks and command relationships as those attributed to a military Operation Commander (OpCdr). He will also exercise the responsibilities related to deployment and recovery of the missions as well as overall budgeting, auditing and reporting.
The MPCC was initially called for as a standing EU military operational headquarters (OHQ), replacing the current practice of having the Council determine a dedicated ad hoc OHQ for each operation, typically out of one of the following categories:
- National 'parent headquarters', e.g. Northwood Headquarters as made available by the United Kingdom
- Allied Command Operations (ACO) of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), based on the Berlin Plus agreement
- European Union Operations Centre (EU OPCEN), a limited ad hoc headquarters outside the EEAS
This however was blocked by the United Kingdom which, despite their impending withdrawal, were keen to oppose anything that might undermine NATO. As a result, the headquarters was not permitted to run executive missions in order to avoid a British veto.
2018-2020: Mandate extensionEdit
EU officials have indicated that a review in 2018 might extend the MPCC's mandate to also include operations with combat elements - or so-called executive missions. Diplomats have also indicated that the MPCC will be 'rebranded' as the EU's Operational Headquarters (OHQ) after the British withdrawal from the Union, which is scheduled to happen on 31 October 2019. On 20 November 2018 the MPCC's mandate was expanded to include executive operations (i.e. with combat elements) also by the end of 2020. As such, the MPCC takes over role of the previous European Union Operations Centre (EU OPCEN).
- "Timeline: EU cooperation on security and defence - Consilium". www.consilium.europa.eu.
- "EU defence cooperation: Council establishes a Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) - Consilium". www.consilium.europa.eu.
- Mogherini sees way past UK spat over military HQ, Euractiv 16 May 2017
- EU military HQ to take charge of Africa missions, EUObserver 6 March 2017