SACEUR is responsible for the overall command of NATO military operations. He conducts the necessary military planning for operations, including the identification of forces required for the mission and requests these forces from NATO countries, as authorised by the North Atlantic Council and as directed by NATO's Military Committee. SACEUR analyses these operational needs in cooperation with the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation.
SACEUR makes recommendations to NATO's political and military authorities on any military matter that may affect his ability to carry out his responsibilities. For day-to-day business, he reports to the Military Committee, composed of Military Representatives for Chiefs of Defence of NATO member countries. He also has direct access to the Chiefs of Defence and may communicate with appropriate national authorities, as necessary, to facilitate the accomplishment of his tasks.
In the case of an aggression against a NATO member state, SACEUR, as Supreme Commander, is responsible for executing all military measures within his capability and authority to preserve or restore the security of Alliance territory.
SACEUR also has an important public profile and is the senior military spokesman for Allied Command Operations. Through his own activities and those of his public information staff he maintains regular contacts with the press and media. He also undertakes official visits to NATO countries and countries where NATO is conducting operations, or with which NATO is developing dialogue, cooperation and partnership.
Other tasks that come under the responsibility of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe include:
- contributing to stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area by developing and participating in military-to-military contacts and other cooperation activities and exercises undertaken in the framework of the Partnership for Peace and NATO’s relationships with Russia, Ukraine and Mediterranean Dialogue countries;
- conducting analysis at the strategic level designed to identify capability shortfalls and to assign priorities to them;
- managing the resources allocated by NATO for operations and exercises; and
- in conjunction with Allied Command Transformation, developing and conducting training programmes and exercises in combined and joint procedures for the military headquarters and forces of NATO and Partner countries.