Athena is a mechanism which handles the financing of common costs relating to EU military operations under the EU's common security and defence policy (CSDP):
Athena is managed by an administrator and under the authority of a Special Committee made up of representatives from the member states contributing to the financing of each operation.
Athena can finance the common costs of EU military operations as well as the nation borne costs, which include lodging, fuel, and similar costs linked to national contingents.
In all cases, these costs are:
If the Council so decides, Athena can also finance costs relating to the transport and lodging of forces, and multinational headquarters below FHQ level.
When requested by the Operation Commander and approved by the Special Committee, Athena may also finance the following:
The rules on contributions to Athena are set out in article 41.2 of the Treaty on the European Union. Member states contribute an annual share based on their Gross National Income.
Athena may also pre-finance other expenditure relating to an operation, particularly in the area of real-life support. Specific financial rules apply to all the expenditure financed through the Athena mechanism.
Athena's financial rules are set by the Special Committee. Specific rules apply to the different areas of eligible expenditure, and to recruitment and procurement under Athena.