Europe must take greater responsibility for its own security - EU Heads of States and Government agree
29/06/2018 - 19:56
Cooperation between Member States within the framework of "Permanent Structured Cooperation", sharing of defence plans and more investment in security and defence will strengthen the EU's strategic autonomy and reinforce NATO, agree all 28 national leaders.
At the European Council of 28 June 2018, the 28 EU Heads of States and Government took a series of decisions that will enable the EU to further underpin its role as a credible and reliable security provider.
The European Council emphasised the steps taken to bolster European defence and enhance the EU's strategic autonomy while complementing and reinforcing the activities of the transatlantic NATO alliance.
Leaders also highlighted the need to push ahead with the important project to improve military mobility within Europe so troops and equipment can move seamlessly and ensure rapid and effective security and defence operations. This serves to increase Europe's capability of working operationally together in the military area or fielding rapidly missions and operations under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Among other things Member States are now called upon to simplify and standardise relevant mobility rules and procedures by 2024. These efforts will obviously fully respect the sovereignty of the Member States and be reviewed yearly on the basis of a report, starting in spring 2019.
Finally, another important point is the call for an action plan by December 2018 with specific proposals for a coordinated EU response to the challenge of disinformation, including appropriate mandates and sufficient resources for the relevant EEAS Strategic Communications teams.
The EU as a global actor and security provider
Global challenges have not only increased in recent years, they have become more complex, multidimensional, and rapidly evolving. To effectively address them, the European Union needs to strengthen its range of external actions with efficient and flexible instruments. Action to help prevent conflict, build peace and strengthen international security is critical. The EU and its Member States' higher level of ambition to work together in the area of defence is not the beginning of a militarisation or an arms race with third countries, but a clear response to the demand for security and stability by European citizens and our partners in the world. In this context, defence is just one element in the EU’s unique mix of instruments at hand to tackle today’s complex security challenges more effectively.