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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
Coat of arms of the European Union Military Staff.svg
Active8 June 2017–present[1]
Allegiance European Union
TypeOperational headquarters
RoleCommands CSDP operations
Size154 personnel (prospective)[2]
Part ofEuropean Union Military Staff of the European External Action Service
LocationKortenberg building, Brussels, Belgium
High Repr.Federica Mogherini
DirectorLieutenant 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.

Through the Joint Support Coordination Cell (JSCC), the MPCC cooperates with its civilian counterpart, the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC).[3]



The CSDP command structure involving the High Representative, the Military Staff and Military Committee as of 1 November 2017:[4] Colour key:
     High Representative (a Vice-President of the Commission)
       Military Committee (a Council body)
       Military Staff (a Directorate-General of the External Action Service)

High Representative
Military Committee
Working Group
Working Group/Headline Goal Task Force
Military Staff
Director General
Legal advisor
Deputy Director General
Horizontal Coordination
Assistant Chief of Staff for SynchronisationEU cell at SHAPE
EU Liaison at the UN in NYAssistant Chief of Staff for External Relations
NATO Permanent Liaison Team
Concepts & Capabilities
Communications & Information Systems
Military Planning and
Conduct Capability

Chief of Staff
Working Group
Current Operations

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.[5] 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).[6] 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.[7]


Lieutenant General Esa Pulkkinen has served as EUMS Director General and thereby MCPP Director since 2016

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.[6]


2017: CreationEdit

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:

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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] As such, the MPCC takes over role of the previous European Union Operations Centre (EU OPCEN).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Timeline: EU cooperation on security and defence - Consilium".
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b "EU defence cooperation: Council establishes a Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) - Consilium".
  7. ^
  8. ^ Mogherini sees way past UK spat over military HQ, Euractiv 16 May 2017
  9. ^ EU military HQ to take charge of Africa missions, EUObserver 6 March 2017
  10. ^
  11. ^

External linksEdit