OUR STORY

About Us

What do we do?

Finabel promotes and facilitates the interoperability of land forces through the harmonisation of military concepts, doctrines and procedures. It produces recommendations, guidelines and research for army decision-makers according to the demands of its Member States.

Finabel convenes the leadership of its Member States’ armies in annual meetings. The organisation complements and cooperates with EU and NATO military structures.

A European centre with a sector focus

From our offices at the heart of Europe in Brussels, we view the world through the lens of our key sector: land forces. For our Member States, this means that they benefit from an organisation fully focused on this sector, wholly understanding the challenges they face and completely tuned in to their needs. Over the decades, we have been careful to build our international presence using a combination of local researchers with demonstrable local knowledge, and fully integrated teams acting together at a global level.

Putting collaborative relationships at the heart of our work

Understanding exactly what each of our Member States needs and wants lies at the heart of our approach to harmonising land doctrines and promoting interoperability. We adopt a long-term view, and we take time to understand the distinct demands that each Member State faces. This allows us to build a bespoke relationship to suit each Member State. Our approach means that we are consistent in the standard of excellence we bring to our service, and flexible enough to ensure that each Member State gains meaningful added value from its relationship with Finabel.

Building value through inclusivity and diversity

Collaboration and flexibility are as vital within our own organisation as they are in our work with our Member States. Finabel attracts and nurtures a diverse range of professionals, which has created a rich pool of talent. This makes a direct contribution to the value that we create, a real difference to the services that we provide, and helps shape the advice that we give.


Our History

The organisation was created in 1953 by the Ministries of Defence of France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, and was originally called FINBEL. With the accession of Germany (Allemagne) in 1956, it was renamed as FINABEL. Today, the organisation has 22 Member States. Membership of Finabel is open to all European Union Member States.

The Finabel Committee initially focused on cooperation between armament programmes. Its scope of activity quickly expanded into the harmonisation of army doctrines.

Since the creation of Finabel was not the result of an intergovernmental agreement, Finabel has the status of an informal international de facto association.

Since it was founded, Finabel has already provided its Member States with more than 500 studies.

 

OUR STRUCTURE

The Army Chiefs of Staff Committee (Executive Committee)

At the highest level is the executive, composed of the Army Chiefs of Staff and Land Force Commanders of the member states. It meets once a year to summarise the work of the past year and to establish the objectives of the coming year. The Chairmanship of the COS Committee rotates annually.

The Principal Military Experts (PME) Committee (Steering Committee)

Primarily made up of the senior officers or civilians responsible for doctrines, planning and studies within the staff of the land components of Finabel Member States. This Committee analyses the directives of the Chiefs of Staff and reformulates them in terms of missions. The Chairmanship of the Committee rotates annually. 

Expert Task Groups (ETG)

An ETG is an “ad hoc” group created at the request of one or more COS. Usually, an ETG’s task lasts no more than one year.  It deals with specific and/or urgent issues that need a common view. The ETGs are composed of Subject Matter Experts (SME) of the Member States and can be enlarged with external experts.

The Permanent Secretariat

Located in Brussels, the Permanent Secretariat is the only permanent structure of Finabel. It provides the daily management of the organisation, deals with the coordination and organisation, and is the representative for international contacts and relations.

Observers

Finabel welcomes observer organisations from the EU and NATO. The objective is to consult the various points of view, preventing duplication and contradictions within NATO’s doctrine or the concepts outlined by the military organisations of the EU.

OUR PARTNERS

"There is only one thing stronger than all the armies of the world: and that is an idea whose time has come."

Victor Hugo