The Treaty of Lisbon was signed in October 2007 and entered into force on 1 December 2009. It amends and modifies two pre-existing treaties: the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty of the European Community (TEC), now the Treaty on the Functioning of European Union (TFEU). Its ‘Provisions on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CSDP)’ incorporate the European – now Common - Security and Defence Policy (ESDP/CSDP) and all its developments since the Cologne European Council in 1999.
The Treaty also contains a number of important new provisions related to the CSDP, including a mutual assistance and a solidarity clause, the creation of a framework for Permanent Structured Cooperation, the expansion of the Petersberg tasks, and the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) under the authority of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The High Representative – currently Federica Mogherini (IT) – has additional roles as a Vice President of the European Commission (HR/VP) and chair of the Foreign Affairs Council.
The Treaty introduces solidarity and mutual assistance clauses. The former states that ‘the Union and its Member States shall act jointly in a spirit of solidarity if an EU Member State is the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster’ (TFEU Art. 222). The mutual assistance clause, inspired by Article V of the WEU Treaty, states that ‘if a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with Article 51 [the right to self-defence] of the United Nations Charter. This shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States' (TEU Art. 42.7). The clause, however, includes a caveat that ‘commitments and cooperation in this area shall be consistent with commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which, for those States which are members of it, remains the foundation of their collective defence and the forum for its implementation’.
Moreover, the Treaty extends the scope and range of the Petersberg tasks to include ‘joint disarmament operations, humanitarian and rescue tasks, military advice and assistance tasks, conflict prevention and peace-keeping tasks, tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peace-making and post-conflict stabilisation. All these tasks may contribute to the fight against terrorism, including by supporting third countries in combating terrorism in their territories.’ (TEU Art. 43.1)
For its part, Permanent Structured Cooperation is an agreement for ‘Member States whose military capabilities fulfil higher criteria and which have made more binding commitments to one another in this area with a view to the most demanding missions’ (TEU Art. 42.6). It is designed to contribute to a new stage in the development of the CSDP and a more assertive role for the EU in the realm of security and defence. To achieve these objectives, Member States are encouraged to: cooperate to reach objectives concerning expenditure on equipment, harmonise defence apparatuses, when appropriate pool and specialise resources, and coordinate logistics and training. There is no minimum number of states required for cooperation to take place at this level, as opposed to the Treaty provisions on ‘enhanced cooperation’ (Art. 20). The decision to set it up is taken by the European Council. Notably, this is one of the few areas in the CSDP where decisions are not made by unanimity but instead by qualified majority voting (QMV). In addition, the Treaty stipulates that the European Defence Agency (EDA) shall contribute to a regular assessment of the contributions of Member States.
Treaty of Lisbon