A timely wiki for you, given it’s all kicking off in Greece at the moment. Only spotted this via a mention on twitter linking to a cranky-sounding website which suggested that a “non-Greek militarized riot force may have arrived to enforce austerity” in the Hellenic Republic.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about EUROGENDFOR:
The European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR or EGF) was launched by an agreement in 2006 between five members of the European Union (EU): France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Romania subsequently joined in 2009. Its purpose is the creation of a European intervention force, designed after the French Gendarmerie and the Italian Unità Specializzate Multinazionali (M.S.U.) of the Carabinieri; that force will have militarised police functions and specialise in crisis management. Its status is enshrined in the Treaty of Velsen of 18 October 2007.
The EGF is based in Vicenza, in northeastern Italy, and has a core of 800-900 members ready to deploy within 30 days. This includes elements from the;
- French Gendarmerie
- Italian Carabinieri
- Dutch Royal Marechaussee
- Portuguese National Republican Guard
- Romanian Gendarmerie
- Spanish Civil Guard
An additional 2,300 reinforcements will be available on standby. The Polish Military Gendarmerie are also a partner force, and on 10 October 2006, Poland indicated it would like to join the EGF. More countries will be allowed to join in the future.