About the organisation

What do we do?

A European Centre with a Sector Focus

From our offices in the heart of Europe, Brussels, Belgium, we view the world through the lens of our key sector: land forces.  ​ For our Member States this means 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 build into each relationship value that is meaningful for each Member State. 

Building Value Through Inclusivity and Diversity

Collaboration and flexibility are as vital within our own organisation as it is in our work with our Member States. The diverse range of professional people that Finabel attracts and nurtures 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 shapes the particular dimension to the advice that we give. 

Our History

Created in October 1953 under the acronym FINBEL by the Ministries of Defence of France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, then becoming FINABEL with the arrival of Germany (Allemagne) in 1956.

The Finabel Committee’s initial task focused on the cooperation between armament programmes. This task quickly developed 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.

During its existence Finabel has already provided more than 500 studies. Membership is open to all European States.



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)

Made up of primarily 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. Belgium provides the Chairman for this Committee.

Expert Task Groups (ETG)

An ETG is an “ad hoc” group created at the request of one or more COS and basically lasting no more than one year. It deals with specific and/or urgent issues that need a common view. The ETG is composed by Subject Matter Experts (SME) of the memberstates and could be enlarged with external experts.

The Permanent Secretariat

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


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

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

Victor Hugo