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The mechanism for financing military operations (Athena)

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The mechanism for financing military operations (Athena)

Established in 2004, Athena was designed to administer the financing of the common costs of European Union (EU) operations having military or defence implications.

ACT

Council Decision 2011/871/CFSP of 14 May 2007 establishing a mechanism to administer the financing of the common costs of European Union operations having military or defence implications (Athena).

SUMMARY

Operations with military implications or in the field of military defence led under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) cannot be covered by the EU budget pursuant to article 41 of the TEU. These operations are funded by contributing Member States. This Decision establishes a mechanism to administer the financing of the common costs of these operations. The Athena mechanism is not for profit and has the necessary legal capacity to, among other things, enter into contracts and to sue and be sued.

Structure

The special committee is the decision-making body of Athena. It comprises one representative per participating Member State. In accordance with Protocol No 22 annexed to the Treaties, Denmark does not participate in the decisions and actions of the Union which have defence implications; it is therefore not participating in Athena. Furthermore, representatives of third States and the commanders of operations may participate in the work of the committee, but they do not have the right to vote.

The special committee is responsible for examining the financing of military operations by Athena. It approves unanimously all the budgets and financial decisions by Athena.

Athena also comprises three management bodies, all under the authority of the special committee:

  • the administrator: s/he represents Athena’s permanent executive authority, draws up any draft budget and submits it to the Special Committee, and ensures the proper implementation of the committee’s decisions;
  • the operation commander: s/he carries out his/her duties on behalf of Athena in relation to the financing of the common costs of the operation which s/he commands. In particular, s/he must send the administrator proposals for the expenditure - operational common costs section of the budgets and, as authorising officer, implement the appropriations relating to the common operational costs;
  • the accounting officer: s/he keeps the accounts for Athena. S/he is responsible for proper implementation of payments, collection of revenue and recovery of amounts established as being receivable.

Financing the common costs of operations

The financing of EU military operations follows the principle of allocation of expenditure by their author. Nevertheless, the decision defines the eligible costs of the joint financing by Athena depending on the phase of the operation.

Annex I to the Decision lists the common costs borne by Athena whenever they are incurred (certain mission expenditure, costs related to storing materials, etc.).

Annex II lists the common costs borne relating solely to the preparatory phase of an operation.

Annex III lists the common costs which can be borne during the active phase of operations (the establishment of headquarters, local transport costs, salaries of locally hired personnel, etc.).

Annex IV lists the common costs that can be borne during the liquidation phase of the operation.

In addition, the administrative management of certain costs, which remain the responsibility of contributing Member States, may be entrusted to Athena. These are often costs for staff subsistence, provision of electricity and water, waste management, etc.

Drawing up the budget

The administrator each year proposes the draft budget for the following year to the Special Committee by 31 October at the latest. The budget, drawn up with the support of each operation commander for the operational common costs section, must include:

  • the appropriations to cover the common costs incurred in preparation for, or further to, operations;
  • the appropriations to cover the operational common costs for ongoing or planned operations;
  • a forecast of the revenue to cover expenditure.

In the case of EU Military Rapid Response operations, flexible early financing procedures are provided for to attain the level of the reference amount set by the administrator.

Context

In 2002, the Council adopted a first document (10155/02) on the financing of EU-led crisis-management operations. On 23 February 2004, Decision 2004/197/CFSP created the Athena mechanism. The Decision was amended several times and then replaced by Decision 2008/975/CFSP. Decision 2011/871/CFSP repeals and replaces Decision 2008/975/CFSP.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2011/871/CFSP

19.12.2011

-

OJ L 343 of 23.12.2011

RELATED ACTS

Council Decision 2012/768/CFSP of 9 March 012 on the signing and conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia establishing a framework for the participation of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in European Union crisis management operations [Official Journal L 338 of 12.12.2012].

Council Decision 2013/12/CFSP of 25 October 2012 on the signing and conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova establishing a framework for the participation of the Republic of Moldova in European Union crisis management operations [Official Journal L 8 of 12.01.2013].

Council Decision of 2014/71/CFSP of 18 November 2013 on the signing and conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Chile establishing a framework for the participation of the Republic of Chile in European Union crisis management operations [Official Journal L 40 of 11.02.2014].

Council decision 2014/15/EU on the signing and conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Georgia establishing a framework for participation of Georgia in European Union crisis management operations [Official Journal L 14 of 18.01.2014].

Last updated: 21.04.2014

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