“Now Brussels sets up rapid response unit” (The Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2000, page 1)
The European Commission is planning to set up its own “Rapid Reaction Facility”…They are intended to allow the Commission “to fully assume its role of co-player” in the European Security and Defence Initiative….
The rapid response unit was set up inside the European Commission in May 2000 on the back of proposals from Chris Patten, Commissioner for External Relations. It aims to ensure that the Commission can react quickly to unfolding crises, such as earthquakes or other humanitarian disasters. This measure is categorically not linked to the decision by EU Member States to create a joint military capacity. The Commission does not perform any kind of military role.