The conclusions of the European Council meeting that took place in Nice in the period of 7-9 December 2000 was that the European Union should quickly be made operational in the area of security and defence.
As a follow up 5 EU Member States -France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain- proposed:
- to provide Europe with a full capability in order to conduct all police missions in crisis management operations within the framework of the Petersberg Declaration, with particular regard to substitution missions;
- to offer a multinational operational structure to those States which intend to join EU operations;
- to participate in initiatives of international organisations in the area of crisis management.
To fulfil this proposal the countries decided to create a Gendarmerie Force, called the European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR), which would be operational, pre-organised, robust, and rapidly deployable in order to perform all police tasks.