The need for the NATO to be endowed with a military capability of civil police clearly emerged during the SFOR operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 1997, the Allied Command Europe identified the so called “security gap” in the field of public order and security.
The “security gap” was the grey area between the SFOR military capabilities, on the one hand, and the UN IPTF mission, with no executive powers, as well as the capabilities of the local police forces, often either incapable of or unwilling to enforce the law, on the other hand.
In this grey area nobody either could or wanted to take responsibility.
The gap was bridged by a military unit capable of performing some of the typical tasks of a civil police force: the NATO Multinational Specialized Unit (MSU) made up of gendarmerie forces, which are military forces with a full police capability.
Since then, this model has been implemented several times and the deployed MSUs have received the contribution of the MP and of infantry forces trained for the specific mission.
The concept itself of military forces performing police duties to cover the “security gap” has evolved up to the current concept of Stability Policing (SP).
The experience gained by the Carabinieri in performing multinational operations induced Carabinieri Corps to propose to the Italian Defence Staff the project of the establishment of a NATO Stability Policing Centre of Excellence in January 2010.
The venture was well appreciated and supported by Italian Defence Staff that presented the Initial Concept to NATO ACT in December 2011. Hereafter the establishment on the NATO SP COE was reached through the following steps:
- March 2013: creation of the Establishment Team;
- June 2013: the Italian CHOD sent formal letter and Concept to SACT;
- July 2013: first ACT visit;
- 3/6 March 2014: 1st Establishment Conference of the NATO SP COE;
- 16/19 June 2014: 2nd Establishment Conference of the NATO SP COE;
- 18 December 2014: Signing Ceremony;
- 12/13 May 2015: Accreditation visit by ACT;
- 14/15 May 2015: NATO SP COE 1st Steering Committee;
- September 2018: Joining of Greece
- December 2018: Quality Assurance Accreditation granted by HQ SACT