The European Union’s eleven civilian CSDP missions are crucial to the EU’s foreign policy and crisis management response, supporting partner countries in addressing security challenges including organised crime, terrorism and hybrid threats. Two years ago, the Council agreed to significantly strengthen EU civilian crisis management through a series of practical commitments, called the Civilian CSDP Compact. Today the Security Policy Directors of the EU Member States and the EU services met online to review progress made on the Compact commitments. This second Annual Review Conference, hosted by the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the German Presidency, noted the strong progress to date on implementing the Civilian CSDP Compact and agreed further steps to make the EU’s network of civilian missions more capable, effective and joined up.
“Now, more than ever, it is essential that we deliver on the commitments in the Civilian CSDP Compact to make Europe and its wider region more secure”, said the Secretary-General of the EEAS, Ms. Helga Maria Schmid. “It is very encouraging to see already the significant results both in Member States and among EU institutions and services and I am confident that the commitments made under the Compact are on track to be implemented by 2023”
Member States agreed, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to step up their contribution to civilian CSDP including through increased deployments to EU civilian missions and better national coordination. A European Centre of Excellence for Civilian Crisis Management has also been established to provide targeted advice and support its current 19 members and EU Institutions in implementing their commitments under the Civilian CSDP Compact.
Mr. Miguel Berger, State Secretary at the German Federal Foreign Office, emphasized: “A major achievement of the Compact is that Member States have developed real ownership for the implementation process. Their commitment is visible and tangible. Based on the exchange of national good practices we see first positive results on the ground.”
This ongoing work at the national level is supported by work in the EU institutions and services. The first civilian CSDP mission launched under the Compact in the Central African Republic, EUAM RCA, has included key new elements in its mandate including a specific focus on hybrid threats, one of the new priority challenges identified in the Civilian CSDP Compact.
On 19 November 2018, EU Member States agreed on an ambitious Civilian CSDP Compact to make civilian Missions more capable, more effective, flexible and responsive and more joined up with other EU instruments in light of the changed security environment. The EEAS and the European Commission presented a Joint Action Plan for the implementation of the Compact in May 2019. The Joint Action Plan is complemented by National Implementation Plans drafted by the Member States to ensure full implementation of the Compact by early summer 2023.
The European Union deploys eleven civilian Missions under the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The civilian CSDP Missions promote stability and build resilience through strengthening rule of law in fragile environments. Civilian experts advise and train local partners in Africa, Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, and the Middle East, namely: Ukraine, Georgia, Kosovo, Libya, the Palestinian Territories (Ramallah and Rafah), Central African Republic, Niger, Mali, Somalia and Iraq. Around 2,000 staff work in the field, and around 100 at headquarters. The total cost of the civilian CSDP Missions is currently around €281 million/year. The mandates of the civilian CSDP Missions are agreed unanimously by the Member States of the European Union.