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Common Security and Defence Policy

Common Security and Defence Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Common Security and Defence Policy

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Institutional affairs > Building europe through the treaties > The Lisbon Treaty: a comprehensive guide

Common Security and Defence Policy

The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) replaces the former European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The Treaty of Lisbon introduces this name change by dedicating a new section in the founding Treaties to this policy. The Treaty of Lisbon emphasises the importance and specific nature of the CSDP, which still forms an integral part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

In addition to this new recognition, the Treaty of Lisbon also introduces new provisions aimed at developing the CSDP. The main innovations aim to gradually establish a common European defence.

Member States may also participate in military or humanitarian missions and are henceforth bound by a solidarity clause on matters of European defence. They also have the means to cooperate more closely in this field, particularly in the European Defence Agency or through establishing permanent structured cooperation.

As in the preceding Treaties, the CSDP remains a fundamentally intergovernmental issue. The Council of the EU principally acts unanimously. However, the finance and operational means for missions carried out under the framework of the CSDP are provided by Member States.

ENLARGING THE MISSIONS CARRIED OUT UNDER THE CSDP FRAMEWORK

The CSDP offers a framework for cooperation within which the EU can conduct operational missions in third countries. Specifically, the aims of these missions are peace-keeping and strengthening international security. They rely on civil and military assets provided by Member States.

Before the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, the tasks which could be carried out under the framework of the CSDP were:

  • humanitarian and rescue tasks;
  • conflict prevention and peace-keeping tasks;
  • tasks of combat forces in crisis management.

The Treaty of Lisbon adds three new tasks to this list:

  • joint disarmament operations;
  • military advice and assistance tasks;
  • tasks in post-conflict stabilisation.

The Council defines the objectives of the tasks and the general conditions for their implementation. With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the Council may henceforth delegate the implementation of a task to a group of Member States which are willing and have the necessary civil and military assets to carry out the task. Member States responsible for carrying out tasks must regularly inform the Council of their progress. They also act in association with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The Treaty of Lisbon acknowledges the potential intervention of multinational forces in the implementation of the CSDP. These forces are the result of the military alliance between certain Member States who have decided to combine their capacities, equipment and personnel strength. The main “Euroforces” are:

  • Eurofor, regrouping land forces between Spain, France, Italy and Portugal;
  • Eurocorps, regrouping land forces between Germany, Belgium, Spain, France and Luxembourg;
  • Euromarfor, regrouping maritime forces between Spain, France, Italy and Portugal;
  • the European Air Group, regrouping air forces between Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

MUTUAL DEFENCE CLAUSE

The Treaty of Lisbon introduces for the first time a mutual defence clause, specifically binding EU Member States. If a Member State is the victim of an armed attack on its territory, it can rely on the aid and assistance of the other Member States, which are obliged to help.

Two restrictions moderate this clause:

  • the mutual defence clause does not affect the security and defence policy of certain Member States, specifically those which are traditionally neutral;
  • the mutual defence clause does not affect the commitments made under the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

THE EUROPEAN DEFENCE AGENCY

The Treaty of Lisbon extends and lists the competences of the European Defence Agency. The main objective of the Agency is to improve Member States’ military capacities. To this end, the Agency shall:

  • set common objectives for Member States in terms of military capacity;
  • introduce and manage programmes in order to achieve the set objectives;
  • harmonise Member States’ operational needs and improve the methods for procuring military equipment;
  • manage defence technology research activities;
  • contribute to strengthening the industrial and technological base of the defence sector and improving the effectiveness of military expenditure.

PERMANENT STRUCTURED COOPERATION

Permanent structured cooperation refers to a deeper form of cooperation between Member States in the defence sector. It is the subject of a Protocol appended to the Treaty of Lisbon.

Under this framework, participating Member States commit to developing their defence capacities more intensively and to supplying combat units for planned missions. The European Defence Agency regularly assesses participating Member States’ contributions.

Permanent structured cooperation must be authorised by the Council, which acts by a qualified majority at the request of participating States. There is no Member States threshold for establishing permanent structured cooperation. Member States are free to withdraw or participate in the permanent structured cooperation as long as they meet the commitment criteria.

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Institutional affairs > Building europe through the treaties > The Lisbon Treaty: a comprehensive guide

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The Treaty of Lisbon creates the post of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, whose role is to conduct the foreign policy of the European Union (EU).

The responsibilities of the High Representative were previously held by two separate persons within the EU:

  • the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP);
  • the Commissioner for External Relations.

The Treaty of Lisbon therefore puts all of the powers related to common foreign and security policy into the hands of one person. The aim is to improve the consistency, effectiveness and visibility of the EU’s external action.

However, the High Representative of the Union does not have the monopoly on the EU’s external representation. The Treaty of Lisbon also gives the President of the European Council responsibility for the external representation of the EU, at a separate level, without prejudice to the powers of the High Representative. However, the text does not specify how the work is to be divided between the two, allowing practical experience to determine their respective roles.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The High Representative participates actively in the common foreign and security policy of the Union. First of all, he contributes to the development of that policy by submitting proposals to the Council and the European Council. He then enforces the decisions adopted, as a representative of the Council.

The High Representative of the Union also has a duty of representation. He conducts political dialogue with third countries and is responsible for expressing the EU’s positions in international organisations.

In replacing the High Representative for CFSP and the Commissioner for External Relations, the High Representative has also inherited their respective responsibilities:

  • within the Council, he is responsible for ensuring the consistency and continuity of the work relating to EU foreign policy. To this end, he chairs the Foreign Affairs Council;
  • within the Commission, he holds the responsibilities of the latter in the field of external relations. In addition, he is responsible for ensuring coordination between external policy and the Commission’s other policies and other services.

APPOINTMENT

The High Representative is appointed by the European Council acting by a qualified majority with the agreement of the President of the Commission. The European Council may also end the High Representative’s mandate in accordance with the same procedure.

By virtue of his position, the High Representative is one of the Vice-Presidents of the Commission. In this capacity, he is subject, together with the President and the other members of the Commission, to a vote of approval by the European Parliament. The Treaty on European Union provides that, in the event of a censure motion passed by the Parliament against the Commission, the High Representative must resign from his functions within the Commission. A contrario, he retains the responsibilities which he holds within the Council until the new Commission is formed.

EUROPEAN EXTERNAL ACTION SERVICE

The High Representative of the Union is assisted in the performance of his duties by a European External Action Service. This Service has its legal basis in Article 27(3) of the Treaty on EU. Its functioning and organisation are established by a decision of the Council acting on a proposal from the High Representative. The Council approved the guidelines on the role and functioning of the Service in October 2009.

In accordance with these guidelines, the European External Action Service is under the authority of the High Representative. The latter relies on the Service for the preparation of proposals relating to the external policy of the Union and for the implementation of decisions adopted by the Council in this area.

The European External Action Service may also be placed at the disposal of the President of the European Council, the President of the Commission and the other Commissioners for issues connected with EU external policy.

SUMMARY TABLE

Articles Subject

Treaty on European Union

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Appointment and powers of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted the status of candidate country for accession to the European Union (EU) in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations for its future accession and the aligning of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, negotiations for accession had not yet started since some progress still needed to be made with regard to the objectives and conditions defined within the framework of the Partnership.

In its 2011 Report, the European Commission states that alignment with the acquis on the common commercial policy has progressed. Advancements in the field of foreign and security policy are also adequate.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

In this field the Community acquis mainly comprises directly binding legislation which does not require transposition into national law. EU legislation results from the Union’s multi-lateral and bi-lateral agreements on matters of trade policy as well as from a certain number of autonomous preferential trade measures. In the fields of development and humanitarian aid, Member States must comply with the relevant EU legislation and international commitments and equip themselves with the capacities required to participate in EU policies in these sectors. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align their policies with regard to third countries, and their positions within international organisations, with the policies and positions adopted by the Union and its Member States.

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) are based on legal acts, legally binding international agreements in particular, and on policy documents. The acquis comprises declarations, actions and policy agreements. Member States must be in a position to conduct political dialogue under the framework of the CFSP, to align with the EU’s declarations, to take part in EU action and to apply the appropriate sanctions and restrictive measures. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align with the EU’s declarations and to apply sanctions and restrictive measures if required.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Progress was made in the area of external relations, notably in the alignment towards the common commercial policy.

There was also progress in the area of foreign, security and defence policy. The country took measures to ensure better coordination between the competent authorities in the implementation of international restrictive measures. It aligned with all EU declarations and Council decisions and showed continued commitment to participate in civil and military and crisis management operations.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The situation presented by the 2010 Report is satisfactory. The country cooperates fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court. Furthermore, the country plays an active part in bilateral and regional cooperation initiatives, including for maintaining good neighbourly relations.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

European security strategy

European security strategy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European security strategy

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Fight against organised crime

European security strategy

Document or Iniciative

A secure Europe in a better world – European security strategy . Brussels, 12 December 2003 [Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European security strategy was drawn up under the authority of the EU’s High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, and adopted by the Brussels European Council of 12 and 13 December 2003. It identifies the global challenges and key threats to the security of the Union and clarifies its strategic objectives in dealing with them, such as building security in the EU’s neighbourhood and promoting an international order based on effective multilateralism. It also assesses the policy implications that these objectives have for Europe.

The security environment: global challenges and key threats

In the context of ever-increasing globalisation, the internal and external aspects of security are inextricably linked. Flows of trade and investment, the development of technology and the spread of democracy have brought prosperity and freedom to many people, while others have perceived globalisation as a cause of frustration and injustice. In much of the developing world, poverty and diseases such as AIDS give rise to security concerns, and in many cases economic failure is linked to political problems and violent conflict. Security is a precondition for development. Competition for natural resources is likely to create further turbulence. Energy dependence is a special concern for Europe.

The security strategy identifies three key threats facing Europe:

  • Terrorism. Concerted European action against terrorism is indispensable. Terrorism puts lives at risk and seeks to undermine the openness and tolerance of our societies. It arises out of complex causes, including the pressures of modernisation, cultural, social and political crises, and the alienation of young people living in foreign societies.
  • Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This is potentially the greatest threat to our security. International treaty régimes and export control arrangements have slowed the spread of WMD, but we are entering a new and dangerous period. Advances in the biological sciences may increase the potency of biological weapons. The most frightening scenario is one in which terrorist groups acquire weapons of mass destruction. In this event, a small group would be able to inflict damage on a scale previously possible only for States and armies.
  • Regional conflicts. These can have a direct or indirect impact on European interests, regardless of their geographical location. They pose a threat to minorities, fundamental freedoms and human rights. They can lead to extremism and terrorism and provoke state failure.
  • State failure. Civil conflict and bad governance – corruption, abuse of power, weak institutions and lack of accountability – corrode States from within. This can lead to a collapse of state institutions. Afghanistan under the Taliban is a well-known example. State failure is an alarming phenomenon that undermines global governance and adds to regional instability.
  • Organised crime. Europe is a prime target for organised crime, which has an important external dimension, namely trafficking in drugs, women, children and arms, which does not stop at the Union’s borders. Such criminal activity is often associated with weak or failing states. For example, revenues from drugs have helped to undermine state structures in several drug-producing countries. Organised crime can have links with terrorism. In extreme cases, it can come to dominate the State.

The European Union’s strategic objectives

To defend its security and promote its values, the European Union pursues three strategic objectives:

  • Addressing the threats. The Union continues to take steps to tackle the key threats. It responded after 11 September with measures that included the adoption of the European Arrest Warrant and steps against terrorist financing. The Union continues to pursue its policies against arms proliferation, in part by strengthening international treaties and their verification provisions. It has intervened to help deal with regional conflicts and to put failed States back on their feet. Restoring good government promotes democracy and is a way of tackling organised crime. Until the end of the Cold War, our traditional concept of self-defence was based on the threat of invasion. With the new threats, however, the first line of defence will often be abroad. We should be ready to act before a crisis occurs. Today, each threat requires a combination of responses, which the Union is particularly well equipped to provide.
  • Building security in its neighbourhood. It is in the Union’s interest that countries on our borders are well governed. Our task is to promote a ring of well-governed countries to the east of the European Union and on the shores of the Mediterranean with whom we can enjoy close and cooperative relations. Resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is a strategic priority. Without this, there will be little chance of dealing with other problems in the Middle East.
  • Developing an international order based on effective multilateralism. Our security and prosperity increasingly depend on an effective multilateral system. The Union aims to develop a stronger international society, well-functioning international institutions – such as the United Nations, whose Charter constitutes the fundamental framework for international relations – and a rule-based international order. The best protection for our security is a world of well-governed democratic States. EU policies are aimed at bringing this about.

Policy implications for Europe

The European Union has made progress towards a coherent foreign policy and effective crisis management. However, according to the security strategy, the Union must:

  • be more active in pursuing its strategic objectives. Active policies are needed to counter the new threats. The Union needs to develop a strategic culture that fosters early, rapid and, when necessary, robust intervention. A more active EU taking on greater responsibilities will also carry greater political weight.
  • increase its capabilities. Steps such as the creation of a European defence agency take us in the direction of a more capable Europe. The armies of the Union’s Member States must be transformed into more flexible and more mobile forces to enable them to address the new threats. The Union also needs more capacity to bring all necessary civilian resources to bear in crises and post-crisis situations. In addition, the Union must go further in combining the diplomatic capabilities of its Member States with those of the EU.
  • pursue coherent policies. The challenge is to bring together the different tools and capabilities of EU policy, such as European assistance programmes, the European Development Fund and the Member States’ military and civilian capabilities. The Union must pursue coherent policies. Diplomatic efforts and development, trade and environmental policies should follow the same agenda.
  • work with its partners. As things stand now, neither the Union nor any Member State is alone capable of addressing the threats we are faced with. Multilateral cooperation and bilateral partnerships with key actors are a priority and a necessity. The transatlantic relationship is irreplaceable. However, the EU must also work for closer relations with partners such as Russia, Japan, China, Canada and India.

The European Union: a global player

The violence of the two world wars that marked the first half of the twentieth century has given way to a period of peace, stability and prosperity unprecedented in European history. The creation of the European Union has been central to this development. European countries are now committed to dealing peacefully with disputes and to cooperating through common institutions.

The United States has played a critical role in European integration and European security, especially through NATO. Now that the Cold War is over, it has become the single dominant military power. However, no country is able to tackle today’s complex problems on its own. As a union of 27 states with a total population of over 500 million, the EU has inevitably become a global player. It should therefore be ready to share in the responsibility for creating global security and building a better world.