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Europe

Five Member States to Establish European Gendarmerie

A proposal to create an EU peace-keeping gendarmerie made up of officers from France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands is likely to get the green light on Friday, according to Presidency sources.

Dutch diplomats close to the talks said there was almost certain to be a result in the talks, which will take place on the margins of an informal defence meeting in the Netherlands. The gendarmerie will be able to conduct peace-keeping operations that do not require the advanced skills of soldiers but are too dangerous for NGOs, thus bridging the gap between military and civilian EU peace-keeping operations.The idea, according to the French defense ministry is to "provide the EU or any other international force with a military police force, specialised in crisis management." The German agency DPA reports that the force will consist of 800 men and be based in Italy but this was not confirmed by the Dutch Presidency. (EUobserver.com)

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