On 15-16 November, the Heads of the EU’s 11 Civilian CSDP Missions travelled to Brussels to meet in person with the Civilian Operations Commander Francisco Esteban Perez for the first time since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic. They were there to discuss a broad range of topical issues, including duty of care towards mission personnel, enhancing Headquarters support to Missions , Human Rights and Gender mainstreaming in mandate delivery as well as the contribution of CSDP missions to the overall Team Europe effort on the ground. The meeting also provided an opportunity to update Heads of Mission on progress made on the implementation of key benchmarks of the CSDP Civilian Compact.
Addressing the assembled Heads of Mission, the Civilian Operations Commander highlighted the resilience of Missions and CPCC headquarters staff in the challenging Covid environment.
'Qualified and motivated personnel lie at the heart of our action and are key to the success of our Missions. Some 2,100 personnel currently serve in our 11 civilian CSDP Missions deployed on three continents. The recruitment and management of such a large number of staff with varied skill sets and requirements is a complex and demanding undertaking at the best of times. I would like to salute the efforts of all involved in ensuring that our missions remained equipped with the right people to do the job on the ground throughout the pandemic.'
Looking to the Civilian Compact he commented:
'CPCC’s work towards a "more capable, and effective civilian CSDP" continues to advance, unfazed by COVID 19. As Civilian Operations Commander, I attach the highest order of priority to filling Mission positions with seconded experts wherever possible. Their presence in our missions is the defining characteristic of CSDP action. They bring credibility to our mission delivery and underpin the coherence of Team Europe in action.'