Civilian CSDP missions play a crucial role in the European Union’s work as a security provider, addressing security challenges including organised crime, terrorism and hybrid threats and this way contributing towards the level of ambition set in the EU Global Strategy. A year after an agreement to bolster the capabilities of civilian crisis management Missions, EU Member States Security Policy Directors, hosted by the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Finnish Presidency, met today in Brussels for the first Annual Review Conference on the Civilian CSDP Compact.
Together with several EU services, they discussed the progress made so far and decided on future steps to make civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) more capable, effective and responsive. They agreed that the Civilian CSDP Compact started to deliver results both nationally (e.g. structured coordination mechanisms in inter-ministry cooperation) as well as at headquarters in Brussels (e.g. strengthening of organisational structures to optimise use of human resources made available by Member States).
The meeting was the first of four Annual Review Conferences on the Compact. The Dialogue was co-convened by the EEAS and the Finnish Presidency, with the participation of Member States' Security Policy Directors coming from Ministries for Foreign Affairs and Justice and Home Affairs, as well as relevant EU services.
Last year, 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 ten 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), Niger, Mali, Somalia and Iraq. Around 2,000 staff work in the field, and around 80 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.