A COE is a nationally or multi-nationally sponsored entity, which offers recognised expertise and experience to the benefit of the Alliance, especially in support of transformation.
NATO Centres of Excellence (COE) provide a unique opportunity for participating nations to support NATO’s transformation by strengthening existing and creating, if necessary, new capabilities in a variety of subject matter areas through enhanced education and training, doctrine development and concept experimentation.
The Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence (CMDR COE), located in Sofia, the Republic of Bulgaria, was established on 28 August 2013. The Centre currently has two Sponsoring Nations – the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Poland, and one Framework Nation - the Republic of Bulgaria. The CMDR COE is founded upon Memoranda of Understanding (MOU): the Operational MOU between the Participating Nations and the Functional MOU between the Participating Nations and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Headquarters (HQ SACT).
On 31 March 2015, upon a NAC silence procedure, the Centre received accreditation as the 21st NATO COE and was activated as a NATO Military Body with an international status under Article 14 of the Paris Protocol. The CMDR COE is an accredited, fully operational, NATO COE focusing its work on one of the Alliance’s core tasks – Crisis Management. The Centre’s concept of operations has been so crafted as to ensure its complementarity role and to avoid duplications with existing NATO or other COEs’ activities.