Polish presidency of finabel

2012-05-31 poland
Author: Jacek Matuszak
Polish presidency of finabel

From 13 to 15 April 2011 there was the annual meeting of Land Forces Commanders’ Committee FINABEL. This year it was particularly important to our country, since Lieutenant General Zbigniew Głowienka became the chairman of this assembly. 

The presidency in the organization has not only symbolic but also prestigious meaning. FINABEL, gathering sixteen Land Forces Commanders, is also a perfect place to exchange views and elaborate particular solutions which aim is to improve multinational military cooperation.

This year's meeting had one particular dimension for Poland, since Land Forces Commander, LTG Zbigniew Głowienka became the chairman of the commanders’ Committee of Main Military Committee for the next twelve months. During the formal meeting he was handed the presidency symbols, the FINABEL flag and its ‘golden book’ from the present president – the italian general Giuseppe Valotto. „Taking over the presidency in such an important organization gathering Land Forces Commanders from 16 countries is a great honour and distinction both for me and my country. During my presidency I will try to promote FINABEL organization and inspire particular teams and working groups in their work”, as general Zbigniew Głowienka emphasised while speaking to the participants of the meeting.

Among priorities which the Polish side planned for the time of our presidency the New chairman mentioned inter alia: elaboration of the formula of expanding the FINABEL Committee about new membering countries, for example, inviting countries to participation in workshops of permanent and temporary working groups in the role of the observer or active member (with particular emphasis on the Baltic countries); initiation creation of a new working group developing the subject of logistic differences in equipment and armament of „new” and „old” NATO members in the perspective of their participation in creating European Union Battle Groups. Moreover, the Polish side’s aim is to recommend cooperation with Ukraine at expert level, after foregoing legal sanctioning of this initiative. Great emphasis will be put on FINABEL promotion as the organization and its successes on the wide international scene.

The meeting was a perfect occassion to discuss the results of work of expert groups involved in the widely understood subject of counteracting to improvised explosive devices and the legal questions of the participation of the military in overseas missions.

Poland has been a FINABEL member since 2006. In this year's meeting participated representatives of 16 Member States and Czech and Hungarian delegations, as observers, since both these countries are applying to became the member of the organization. The Polish delegation, apart from Land Forces Commander, consisted of the Deputy Chief of Staff of Land Forces, brigadier general Marek Mecherzyński, the Chief of Planning and Development Directorate G-5, colonel Grzegorz Madej, Chief of International Cooperation Department of Land Forces Command colonel Jarosław Mokrzycki.

FINABEL is an organization joining Land Forces Commanders. It was established in 1953. The acronym means the first letters of the names of establishing countries: France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg. At present the Member States are: Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Poland (since 2006), the Slovak Republic, Cyprus, Romania and Finland.

FINABEL is a European forum of exchanging military expertise which are based on the following rules:

• Full equality of Member States;

• Systematic searching for consensus in decision elaboration;

• Informal meetings: FINABEL does not depend their action on international contracts; the committee is a kind of „tool” completely to Land Forces Commanders’ disposal which may be created and used to the task realisation according to their priority;

• The authonomy: it results from informal character and is an occassion to oryginal reflexion, without being dependent to any organization.

The Committee organization is as follows:

a. Committee of Land Forces Commanders (COS) – once a year there is a meeting in each Member States in sequence; it is an organ giving directions of action and giving directives to FINABEL functioning;

b. Committee of Prominent Military Experts (PME) – it meets twice a year; it consists of officers in the rank of division general to colonel; the main tasks of the committee are the analisis and presentation of directives of COS as particular missions and tasks for working groups as well as monitoring their work;

c. Assistant Group of Prominent Military Experts (APME) – it consists of staff officers being assistants of PME who meet three times a year; they play a key role in FINABEL, and their tasks are:

- detailed monitoring of working groups actions;

- PME suport; - proposal of presentation concerning enhancing working groups actions;

- preparation of framework for the following year;

- material transfer from the Permanent Secretariat;

d. Standing Working Groups (SWG) – are directly subordinate to PME; at the moment there are four groups: Additionally, there is the possibility of bringing temporary groups into being, it is so called Expert Temporary Group (ETG) to develop faster responses to more complicated questions of Commanders’ Committee. At the moment there are two temporary groups:

- ETG 1 – it deals with the issues of legal aspects concerning introduction of land for ces in overseas operations;

- ETG 2 - it deals with C-IED issues.

e. Coordination Committee (CC) – it consists of chiefs of working groups as well as PME assisstants; they meet once a year and their main tasks are as follows:

- better cooperation between Member States and between working groups;

- summarising of works in groups in the passing year;

- giving the chiefs the COS directions to work for the forthcoming year;

f. Permanent Secretariat (PSec) – it is an administrative cell of FINABEL, located in Brussells.

Each of Standing Working Groups concentrates on maximum two studio issues simultaneously. To elaborate studio work there is assigned one of the members of working groups as a pilot of studio work. The sequence of taking the pilot function over the studio work results from the sequence of joining of particular country the working group.

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