Guidelines/brochures | Date: 2002-04-29 | Ministry of Defence
Memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Finland, the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Norway, and the government of the Kingdom of Sweden concerning Nordic co-ordinated arrangement for military peace support (NORDCAPS)
The Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Finland, the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Norway and the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden, hereinafter referred to as the Participants,
Recalling that the Ministers of Defence of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden on the 2 nd> of April 1997 agreed to establish the Nordic Co-ordinated Arrangement for Military Peace Support (NORDCAPS),
Also recalling the decision of the Nordic Defence Ministers meeting on the 25 th> of April 2000 to establish, within NORDCAPS, a Planning Element to be located in Stockholm,
Further recalling the decision of the Nordic Defence Ministers meeting on the 15 th> of May 2001 aiming at the establishment of a multinational pool of forces as a foundation for combined Nordic forces, for land forces up to a brigade size unit, available on a case by case basis from 1 July 2003, for peace support operations.
Having established, in order to facilitate NORDCAPS, the NORDCAPS Steering Group, the NORDCAPS Military Co-ordination Group, the NORDCAPS Planning Element and a Nordic Pool of Force Register,
Desiring to further develop the co-operation within these frames, including possible collaborations and relationships with other countries,
Taking into account the Letter of Intent concerning the legal status of forces engaged in NORDCAPS activities signed by the Nordic Defence Ministers on the 23 rd> of April 2002,
Have come to the following understanding:
Purpose and scope of this MoU
- This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a framework document
for NORDCAPS and NORDCAPS activities. The purpose is to define the
overall aim, structure, working principles, security and financial
arrangements for NORDCAPS, as well as the legal status of forces
engaged in NORDCAPS activities.
- This MoU will not apply to deployment and operations.
- This MoU may be supplemented by Technical Arrangements (TA).
- This MoU is not intended to conflict with the national law of
the Participants or with international law. In the event of
conflict, national and international law as well as existing
agreements and arrangements between the Participants will prevail.
The Participants will notify each other in the event of any such
- Until further notification this MoU will not apply to Greenland
and the Faroe Islands or to the Åland Islands.
- In this MoU the expression:
- NORDCAPS means the Nordic Co-ordinated Arrangement for Military Peace Support.
- NORDCAPS Steering Group (NSG) means the highest level within NORDCAPS on behalf of the Ministers of Defence.
- NORDCAPS Military Co-ordination Group (NMCG) means the group consisting of representatives from military headquarters in the Nordic countries whose main function is to prepare, plan and co-ordinate the military co-operation within NORDCAPS.
- NORDCAPS Planning Element (PLE) means the multinational element with a military staff function for administrative support to the NMCG.
- NORDCAPS activities will, in addition to the activities of NSG,
NMCG, PLE and authorised working groups, include such possible
activities as courses, conferences, meetings, training and
Purpose of NORDCAPS
- The overall purpose of NORDCAPS is to adapt and further develop
Nordic co-operation within the area of military peace support
operations, utilising the proven ability of Nordic military
interaction and enhancing the Nordic profile in such operations, in
order to achieve more beneficial efforts to support international
peace and security.
- NORDCAPS aims at strengthening and expanding the existing
Nordic co-operation in the field of military peace support
operations, focusing on the foreseen requirements for political as
well as military timely consultations and co-ordination, and
emphasising the multinational aspect as well as the intention to
draw forces from a pool of forces on a case by case basis.
- The practical aim of the co-operation is to develop generic
concepts and planning, multinational training and procedures in
order to be able to generate Nordic robust and cost-effective
forces for military peace support operations. Force generation will
be a national responsibility.
- The Participants do not intend to establish standing forces or
permanent command structures for the purpose of NORDCAPS. This will
not preclude the establishment of working groups or other
arrangements necessary to plan and prepare for deployment.
- NORDCAPS is a Nordic arrangement. Co-operation with third
parties will be based upon a pragmatic approach, as a result of a
defined needs assessment.
Organisational structure and procedure
- The co-operation between the Participants will be based upon
the principle of consensus.
- NSG is the ministerial body for issuing guidelines and policies
for the co-operation. NSG is made up of Participants’
representatives, on Director General or Deputy Permanent Secretary
of State for Defence level. The chairmanship of NSG will rotate
between the Participants on a one-year basis, according to the
sequence of the English alphabet.
- NMCG is the main executive body for military policy guidance
and co-ordination on military matters relating to NORDCAPS. NMCG
will issue military advice to NSG. NMCG will consult NSG on all
politically related matters. Each Participant will be represented
in NMCG by one Senior National Representative (SNR). The
Participants may bring in other personnel to meetings according to
the agenda and own needs. NMCG will be led by a chairperson. The
chair will rotate between the Participants on a two-year basis,
according to the sequence of the English alphabet.
- PLE is a multinational element with a military staff function
for administrative support to the NMCG. NMCG determines the size
and detailed function of PLE. The Participants will assign
personnel to PLE. Subject to approval from NMCG, functional
specialists may be temporarily assigned to PLE for specific
purposes. All resources contributed from the Participants to PLE
will remain under full command of the nations respectively, unless
- NMCG may, as necessary, establish subordinate working groups
for the detailed consideration of specific areas, under terms of
references laid down by NMCG.
- Further details about the structure, funding, functioning and
administration of the NORDCAPS organisation will be laid down in
Nordic Pool of Force Register
- The Participants have agreed to establish a flexible Nordic
Pool of Force Register (NPFR).
- NPFR will comprise units from air, sea and land forces, and it
will be maintained by PLE on a regular basis. For land forces the
co-operation will focus on the ambition to develop a multinational
force up to a brigade size unit.
- Units reported to NPFR should be able to take part,
independently or as part of a larger formation, in military
operations within the range of assistance to civilians, conflict
prevention and separation of parties by force.
- Further details, including with regard to recommended levels of
readiness and sustainability for units reported to NPFR, may be
laid down in an Annex to this MoU.
Exercises, training and education
- Multinational training, exercises, courses and other
co-operative arrangements in order to improve interoperability
between forces will be developed when feasible.
- Principles for conducting such arrangements will be regulated in a Technical Arrangement.
Legal status of forces
- The legal status of forces engaged in NORDCAPS activities on
the territories of the Participants will be regulated in an Annex
to this MoU.
- Unless the Participants decide otherwise, each Participant will
cover its own expenses derived from participation in NORDCAPS
- Classified information exchanged between the Participants
subject to this MoU will be handled in accordance with the
principles of the multilateral security arrangement of 1 September
1995 between Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden ("Överenskommelse
rörande säkerhetsskyddets utformning inom ramen för avtalet om
nordiskt samarbete inom försvarsmaterielområdet").
- Each Participant will appoint a National Security Authority
(NSA)/Designated Security Authority (DSA) responsible for security
issues arising from NORDCAPS activities.
- Detailed security arrangements for specific purposes may be
regulated in separate instructions or in Technical Arrangements.
Entry into effect, termination and withdrawal
- This MoU will enter into effect upon the date of the last
- Annexes to this MoU constitute integral parts of the MoU.
- The MoU will enter into effect without regard to the fact that
some or all annexes may be finalised at a later stage.
- This MoU may at any time be terminated by mutual written
consent of all Participants. Any Participant can withdraw from the
MoU by giving six – 6 – months written notice to the other
- If the MoU is terminated, or if any of the Participants
withdraw from the MoU, the Participants will initiate negotiations
to settle all outstanding mutual financial obligations, claims,
disputes and security issues in accordance with this MoU.
Modifications, amendments and disputes
- The Participants will enter into consultations and, when
necessary, review the MoU on the request of one or more
- This MoU may be modified and amended at any time by mutual
written consent by the Participants. Any proposal to modify or
amend the MoU should be co-ordinated through the NMCG and/or NSG as
- Any dispute regarding the interpretation or application of this
MoU will be resolved through negotiations between the Participants
at the lowest possible level and will not be referred to any
national or international tribunal or other third party for
Signed in Ålesund this twenty-third day of April 2002 in the English language, in four originals, one for each Participant
Mr. Svend Aage Jensby
Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Denmark
Mr. Jan-Erik Enestam
Minister of Defence of the Republic of Finland
Ms. Kristin Krohn Devold
Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Norway
Mr. Björn von Sydow
Minister for Defence of the Kingdom of Sweden