The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

The Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD)

Gabor Iklody, Director of the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD)
Gabor Iklody, Director of the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD)

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The entry into force of the Lisbon treaty has produced new dynamics in the relations among crisis management actors in the framework of EU institutions. The Crisis Management Planning Directorate (CMPD) is at the core of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy and is in charge of the integrated civilian-military planning within the EEAS. It has integrated the main structures and the largest part of decision-making into the European External Action Service (EEAS).


The Crisis Management and Planning Directorate is part of the European External Action Service and embodies a basic part of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CSDP). It is one of the "youngest" directorates; was created in 2009, following European Council conclusions encouraging the establishment of a new, single civilian-military strategic planning structure for EU peace-keeping and humanitarian operations and missions. The CMPD works under the political control and strategic direction of the Political and Security Committee (PSC) consisting of the representatives of all the 28 Member States. The CMPD also provides assistance and advice to the High Representative and the relevant EU Council bodies.

The objective of the strategic planning is to develop possible options for EU action. It also serves as a basis for the decision of the EU Council on "what to do, why, where and with whom" in an international crisis situation. These options are put together in a so-called Crisis Management Concept (CMC) which is proposed to EU ministers for approval. It forms the basis of the operational planning and the conduct of a mission.

The Strategic planning is conducted in a so-called integrated way, involving both civilian and military planners and in consultation with other services within and outside of the EEAS. Recent Crisis Management Concepts (CMC) developed by us include those for a civilian mission to support the internal security forces in Mali, a military operation to contribute to a secure environment in the Central African Republic and an advisory mission for Security Sector Reform in Ukraine.

Strategic Reviews examine the mandate, objectives, size and sustainability of existing missions and operations against the background of a changing strategic context or a new local or international political situation.

Particular attention is given to the effectiveness of the mission and the coherence with other EU instruments, with bilateral actions by Member States and by other international actors. CMPD conducts Strategic Reviews consulting with other relevant EEAS services and local and international partners.

CMPD also develops Lessons Learned on missions and operations or on specific topics such as human rights, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration and to improve performance of CSDP actions. These lessons are fed back into the strategic planning process.

The CMPD has a mandate to work with different partners in the crisis management field. They can be international organizations, such as the UN, NATO, African Union, ASEAN, OSCE, or individual countries (we call them "Third States"), for example China, Norway, Turkey or the US. In most cases this partnership is based on the so-called Framework Participation Agreements (FPA). The agreements provide a legal basis for participation in and contribution towards civilian and military missions/operations. There are eighteen FPAs in place, including the most recent ones with Chile, the Republic of Korea and Colombia.

The challenges for CSDP going forward are complex. While the effects of the global economic crisis continue to be felt across EU defence budgets, at the same time the security context within which the EU operates continues to evolve and become more difficult. CMPD has a mandate to initiate and coordinate activities in further developing European civilian and military capabilities. In this process we are paying special attention to find synergies between civilian and military means and strengthen ties between CSDP and the area of Freedom, Security and Justice, Human rights and other horizontal aspects of EU crisis management. In line with the so-called comprehensive approach we also trying to find possible interactions with crisis prevention and post-conflict reconstruction.

EU training policy in CSDP is aimed at creating a European security culture and meeting crisis management operational needs in both civilian and military field