Peace-building (Common Security and Defence Policy)
"I want to pay homage to all the Europeans who dreamt of a continent at peace with itself, and to all those who day by day make this dream a reality. This award belongs to them" said the President of the European Council upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the European Union in 2012.
The EU has come a long way in building lasting peace on the European continent. As a global actor, the EU promotes integration as a means to support peace and prosperity and to overcome conflicts around the world. The ability of the European Union to respond to a crisis with a wide range of tools and instruments, short and long term, humanitarian and development, security and political demonstrates its unique strength and considerable potential. This comprehensive approach is guided by the understanding that the security challenges we face today demand that we tackle the issues in their complexity, tailor our policies and calibrate carefully our responses using efficiently our resources.
The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is rapidly developing. Since the creation in March 2002 of the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, some 30 civilian and military missions and operations have been launched under the CSDP and the demand for more missions is growing. The EU is constantly improving its crisis management capabilities while fostering and deepening our partnerships with the UN, NATO, AU, OSCE and partner countries. Headline Goals, both civilian as well as military have been defined and adapted to reflect the changing security environment.
The EU external action for the prevention of conflicts is based on:
- Early identification of risk of violent conflict, and closing the gap to early action;
- Improved understanding of conflict situations (root causes, actors and dynamics);
- Enhanced identification of the range of options for EU action;
- Conflict-sensitive programming of external assistance.
Mediation and Dialogue
Mediation is part of the EU’s on-the-ground preventive diplomacy and is a component of the EU’s conflict prevention and peace-building toolbox for conflict countries. Based on the Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities adopted in November 2009, the EU has developed its own mediation support capacity.
Actors such as EU Special Representatives are frequently engaged in mediation efforts, alongside EU Delegations and CSDP missions. These range from high-level political mediation meetings to political facilitation and confidence building. The EU is also active in dialogue processes involving civil society organisations at grassroots levels, in particular through the Instrument for Stability.
Cooperation with Japan
Alongside well-established political and strategic dialogues with Japan, staff-to-staff consultations on security, defence and CSDP have been conducted regularly since 2010 with Japan's Defence Ministry and General Staff. High-level contacts take place regularly, too. In March 2014, General Patrick de Rousiers, Chairman of the European Union Military Committee, paid an official visit to Japan.
In October 2014, the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia-Operation Atalanta and Japan's Self-Defence Forces (SDF) conducted a joint counter-piracy exercise in the Gulf of Aden.
This was the first joint exercise between EU NAVFOR and the SDF in counter-piracy activities. Led by the Italian Navy destroyer “Andrea Doria” of EU NAVFOR-Atalanta and the Japanese destroyer “Takanami”, it aimed to increase interoperability and mutual knowledge between the respective navies, through various actions related to communications, tactical manoeuvring, flying operations, and boarding teams.
The preparation for this successful joint exercise followed an agreement between EU and Japanese leaders during the 22nd Japan-EU summit in May 2014.