The initiative draws its origins from a "non-paper" that the United Kingdom presented at the EUMC meeting in 2007. The document was a joint FR–UK project entitled 'European Carrier Group Interoperability Initiatives'.

During 2008 the Ministers of Defence of 9 nations (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and United Kingdom) signed a declaration of intent that formalized the existence and, consequently, the purposes of the initiative.

Subsequently, within the Franco-Italian Council of Defence and Security (February 2009), the parties further renewed their mutual commitment to the implementation of the ECGII, including a joint declaration at Chief of Defence level.

In summary, the ECGII aims to increase the ability of member nations to establish a Multination Carrier Strike Group – CSG: a naval group, focused on an aircraft carrier, with associated escort units (including submarines) and logistical support.

This projection capacity would then be offered to NATO / EU / Coalition of the Willing.

The initiative is structured on a Steering Group, which meets annually, in which the Italian Navy participates delegated by the Chief of Defence, and a Working Group that meets, in principle, every semester. The rotation of the presidency takes place on a two-year basis:

  • 2009/2010: FRANCE;
  • 2011/2012: ITALY;
  • 2013/2014: SPAIN;
  • 2015/2016: UNITED KINGDOM;
  • 2017/2018: FRANCE;
  • 2019/2020: ITALY


Since its establishment, the initiative has achieved the following results:

  • the definition of Terms of Reference;
  • the drafting of ECGII handbook and SOPs, in order to facilitate interoperability: the document includes procedures for integrating a "multinational CVBG" and its "standard manning";
  • the will to share training events – the Maritime Training Event (MTE) – on an annual basis, among those conducted by the Navies of the initiative as an opportunity to experience the process of integration (set-ups and staff) of a CVBG multinational;
  • the use of NATO legislation as a doctrinal reference to ECGII;
  • the creation of a web page dedicated to the initiative within the NSWAN: the page is currently hosted on the HRF(Q) - M website of the country holding the Presidency.

Biennial 2019/2020 (2nd Chair of ITN)

The Italian Navy recently assumed the presidency of ECGII for the period 2019-2020.

The formal handover with the French Navy will take place at the next meeting, which will be organized in Rome (at CINCNAV), presumably in September 2019, that will host simultaneously the Steering Group and the Working Group.