In 2019, I visited as Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs the Simon Bolivar bridge, a 300 metres long bridge spanning Venezuela and Colombia. The bridge is named after the Venezuelan statesman and it was until the Venezuelan economic crisis a popular crossing point for citizens to shop across the border. Today, the bridge is a point where many Venezuelan refugees start the journey to look for a better future. At the time, I could witness the dire situations that many Venezuelans migrants and refugees are escaping from and the risks and misery they face. 5 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants have by now sought safety and new opportunities across the world, mostly in neighbouring countries. During my visit, I was already appointed as EU High Representative and was committed to organise European and international support for the refuges and migrants. The visit at the crossing over the Táchira River confirmed how badly this is needed.
The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) provide the Union with the operational capacity to deploy both civilian missions and military operations. The range of tasks as set out in the EU Treaty encompass: humanitarian and rescue tasks; conflict prevention and peace-keeping tasks; tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peace-making; joint disarmament operations; military advice and assistance tasks; post-conflict stabilisation tasks.