The world is changing and Europe faces an increasingly complex and uncertain security environment. There is a growing demand for the European Union to become more capable, more coherent and more strategic as a global actor. The EU disposes of a unique array of instruments to help promote peace and security where needed.
Civilian capabilities are at the core of every EU CSDP mission. Adequate and sufficient capabilities are the prerequisite for successful implementation of the assigned tasks in the field.
Since 2003, the process of generating the needed capabilities for civilian CSDP missions remains a strategic priority for the EU. The European Council from December 2013 called for the "enhanced development of civilian capabilities" and stressed the importance of "fully implementing the Civilian Capability Development Plan". Subsequently, the June 2015 European Council reiterated that work should "continue on a more effective, visible and result-oriented CSDP and the further development of both civilian and military capabilities".
The EU Level of Ambition regarding civilian crisis management is expressed through two Civilian Headline Goals (CHG 2008 and CHG 2010). The time horizon of the latter was extended beyond 2010. During their implementation, encouraging results were achieved by providing political impetus to the processes of recruitment, training and deployment of civilian personnel to international missions. However, important capability gaps persist.
The Civilian Headline Goal is the basis and the framework for the implementation of the multiannual Civilian Capability Development Plan (CCDP) established in July 2012.
The overall aim of the CCDP is to help EU Member States to address the persistent civilian capability shortfalls through concrete actions within the domain of its drivers: namely EU Ambitions, Capability Trends (operational & long term), National Strategies and Lessons Learnt that have consequences in the realm of capabilities.
Some progress has already been achieved, for instance: increasing the number of Member States with a national strategy to foster national capacity building for CSDP missions; progress made in establishing national budget lines for civilian crisis management and sharing EU Member States' best practices. The CCDP also aims at maximizing efficient use of resources by allowing a more coherent and hence cost-effective development of civilian capabilities.
The CCDP constitutes a lasting framework for CSDP civilian capability development since it envisages periodic modifications deriving from changes in EU ambitions, political strategic context, operational feed-back and other variables.
The establishment of the list of generic civilian CSDP tasks in 2015 was one of the important steps towards the implementation of a CCDP aiming at building a common understanding of generic tasks occurring in civilian CSDP throughout the whole mission cycle.
This list supports CSDP structures and Member States in identifying capability requirements related to planning, conduct and overall support of civilian CSDP missions. As such, it is also part of the Goalkeeper project – the EU software-based platform to facilitate, i.a. training and recruitment of civilian personnel being sent to CSDP missions.
The principal body responsible for ensuring a sustainable process for development of civilian CSDP capabilities is the Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CIVCOM). In its activities in the capability domain, CIVCOM is supported by the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate of European External Action Service (EEAS).
Goalkeeper is a web-based information hub that serves Member States, Brussels and CSDP civilian missions by supporting training, recruitment, capability development and institutional memory in the area of civilian capabilities for CSDP. In that sense, it is a crucial mainstay of EU initiatives in the development of facilitators for civilian deployment.
See also: https://goalkeeper.eeas.europa.eu/