Above, I have listed the various interdepartmental bodies and committees or working groups that ensure the functioning of a WGA in Luxembourg. Of these, the merger of the three key bureaucracies in 1999 has been the key enabler. The Political-Military Committee is the operational arm of this integrated structure. It operates a permanent review of issues related to international crisis management in addition to making recommendations on policy and decisions. This committee meets at regular intervals, holding at least five ordinary meetings per year, and is chaired by the director general for political affairs. It reports to the three members of government (i.e. the MFEA’s minister of foreign and European affairs, minister for development cooperation and humanitarian affairs, and minister of defence), and it involves the embassies when called for by its agenda.
At the political level, when in session, the Government Council reviews international affairs on a weekly basis under a dedicated agenda item. Once a crisis exists and crisis-management measures have been taken by the EU or NATO, the High Commission for National Protection (HCNP) is activated and implements the declared crisis measures on a national level.
This Government Council has working groups that are activated depending on the particular nature of the crisis. These working groups are under the authority of the High-level Council of National Protection (CSPN), an inter-ministerial committee chaired by the HCPN. The composition of the working groups varies depending on the nature of their areas of competence. During a crisis, both the Political-Military Committee and the HCNP report to the government through the minister for foreign affairs and the prime minister, respectively. This WGA enables the committees to have full situational awareness of all elements of a crisis, which in turn helps them make better-informed decisions.
One should note that, as a purely advisory body, the above-mentioned Inter-ministerial Committee for Development Cooperation is not involved in the daily (i.e. operational) management of an international security crisis. However, it reviews the lessons and/or needs from existing or past crises when defining its policies, priorities and budgets, together with representatives from the ministries of Foreign and European Affairs, Defence, Home Affairs and Justice, who are members of this committee by law.
Through these integrated structures, Luxembourg has been able to make timely, integrated contributions to the EU’s missions and operations, to NATO’s operations, to various international trust funds, and to peace initiatives. To list a few examples, Luxembourg has contributed to UN operations in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina (UNPROFOR); to EU missions in Mali (EUTM) and Somalia (EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta); and to several NATO efforts, including ones in Bosnia-Herzegovina (SFOR), Kosovo (KFOR), Afghanistan (ISAF and the Afghan National Army Trust Fund), Lithuania (Operation Resolute Support) and Central Asia (demining and demilitarisation trust funds).