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.
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".
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.
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.