European Union External Action

Shared view: the demand for civilian CSDP will remain high

22/07/2019 - 18:39
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Analysing the way forward to 2023 representatives from Member States and the EEAS underlined the continuing need for the civilian CSDP Missions, which work to improve human security in the Eastern and Southern neighbourhood. The "Civilian CSDP Fast Forward "seminar organised 19 July by the Finnish EU Presidency and the EU Institute for Strategic Studies in Brussels provided room for critical analysis and frank discussions.

Civilian CSDP Missions work to improve human security

The EU Police Mission in Bosnia-Hercegovina, deployed in 2003, was the first civilian CSDP Mission. The EU has since then deployed altogether civilian 22 Missions in Asia, Europe and Africa to increase human security. The civilian CSDP Missions are, by large, a unique instrument of the EU and can be deployed flexibly with their mandates tailored to the needs of the partner nations who invite the EU to support them to address their security challenges.

Civilian CSDP Missions have proven their utility

The participating experts underlined that the fact that the EU has repeatedly launched civilian Missions is proof of their added value as a crisis-management tool of the European Union.

The current reluctance of governments for "boots on the ground", i.e. robust military interventions, increases the usefulness of civilian security tools, which work to increase the capacities of host nations' own security services and respond to the concept of "forward security".

"Fishing in the same pond" – civilian security experts are in high demand

The participating experts' assessment is that the need for civilian Missions will remain high, but that the overall number of civilian Missions – currently ten – will probably not rise significantly. The limit to a larger number of Missions is based on the limited availability of civilian security assets such as police officers or counter-terrorism experts, civil administration experts, SSR and legislative experts, who are needed by the member states for their immediate national security efforts.

Specific measures to make the secondment of experts less cost-impacting on the Member States should be thoroughly examined. A positive example was found in Finland where a dedicated budget line for civilian CSDP Missions has been established in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. This guarantees that Finland's civilian CSDP Missions are not forced to compete with military crisis-management for funding.

Interdependence: our partners' security is our security

The stabilisation effect that the civilian CSDP Missions achieve in our partner countries also strengthens the security of the European Union and its citizens. The need to communicate this beneficial effect to the wider European population was raised. 

Shared view: demand for civilian CSDP will remain high
Shared view: demand for civilian CSDP will remain high