What is an EU battlegroup?
An EU battlegroup is a (approximately 1,500 strong) available for use by the EU for Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations. They were created to improve the EU’s autonomous rapid response capability after first being raised at the 1999 European Council summit in Helsinki.
They are formed from military contributions from EU member states who choose to participate in them. There is no specific number of member states required for an EU battlegroup to be formed.
The EU battlegroup initiative reached operational capacity in 2007 – this means that when responding to a crisis the EU can deploy two rapid-response battlegroups within 5 to 10 days as ‘either stand-alone actions or part of a larger operation’. To date, they have not been deployed.
You can read more about whether the EU has a common army here.