EU cooperation on security and defence
At the Bratislava Summit of September 2016, the 27 leaders of the EU decided to give a new impetus to the European external security and defence: in a challenging geopolitical environment, the EU cooperation on external security and defence will be strengthened.
They set as a target the December European Council to decide on a concrete implementation plan on security and defence and on how to make better use of the options in the Treaties, especially as regards capabilities, and decided to start implementing the joint declaration with NATO immediately.
Delivering on this commitment, the European Council discussed a security and defence package at its December meeting comprised of three elements:
- the implementation plan of the EU global strategy on security and defence and Council conclusions on implementing the EU global strategy in the area of security and defence
- proposals to increase cooperation between EU and NATO, implementing the Joint declaration by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg in its 7 areas
- the European Defence Action Plan proposed by the European Commission, to increase research and capabilities, as well as competitiveness through a better functioning internal market
European Council calls for the launch of a permanent structured cooperation
At the June European Council, EU leaders agreed on the need to launch an inclusive and ambitious permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) to strengthen Europe's security and defence.
Within three months, member states will agree a common list of criteria and commitments, together with concrete capability projects, in order to start this cooperation.
"It is a historic step, because such cooperation will allow the EU to move towards deeper integration in defence. Our aim is for it to be ambitious and inclusive, so every EU country is invited to join.", said Donald Tusk at the European Council press conference.
Council welcomes progress made on EU-NATO cooperation
Foreign ministers discussed EU-NATO cooperation with NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller. The discussion was based on a joint progress report by the EU High Representative and the Secretary-General of NATO. The Council adopted conclusions on the report, welcoming progress in the implementation of the common set of proposals and calling for further steps in the same direction.
Council establishes a Military Planning and Conduct Capability
The Council adopted the decision establishing of the military planning and conduct capability (MPCC), within the EU military staff.
The MPCC will improve the crisis management structures of the EU. It will assume command of EU non-executive military missions (currently, the EU military training missions in Somalia, in Central Africa and in Mali).
This will allow the mission staff in the field to concentrate on the specific activities of their mission, with better support provided from Brussels.
EU Global Strategy: Council conclusions on security and defence
The Council adopted conclusions on security and defence in the context of the EU Global Strategy. The conclusions take note of progress in strengthening cooperation in the area of security and defence, and provide guidance for further work.
The areas covered include:
- improving CSDP crisis management structures, in particular the establishment of a military planning and conduct capability
- strengthening CSDP cooperation with partner countries
- capacity building for security and development
- developing civilian capabilities and enhancing the responsiveness of civilian crisis management
- reinforcing military rapid response
- deepening European defence cooperation
Council discussed EU-NATO cooperation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Ministers of defence took stock of cooperation, in particular of the common set of 42 proposals in the 7 areas identified in the Joint Declaration by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of NATO.
They welcomed the progress made in several areas , in particular in countering hybrid threats as well as in information sharing, strategic communications, and maritime cooperation.
Council reviews progress and agrees to improve support for military missions
The Council adopted conclusions setting out the progress achieved in implementing the EU global strategy in the area of security and defence.
The Council also approved a concept note on the operational planning and conduct capabilities for CSDP missions and operations. One of the measures foreseen is the establishment of a military planning and conduct capability (MPCC) for the planning and conduct of non-executive military missions.
European Council stressed the need to strengthen Europe's security and defence
The European Council reaffirmed its commitment to the European Union Internal Security Strategy 2015-2020. It addressed the strengthening of EU cooperation on external security and defence and focused on the three priorities:
- the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence
- the European Defence Action Plan
- implementation of the common set of proposals which follow up on the EU-NATO Joint Declaration signed in Warsaw in July 2016
European Defence Action Plan presented by the European Commission
European Defence Fund and other actions aim to support member states' more efficient spending in joint defence capabilities, strengthen European citizens' security and foster a competitive and innovative industrial base.
Implementation plan on security and defence
EU foreign and defence ministers discuss the implementation plan on security and defence under the EU global strategy. They set out the level of ambition and the way forward on the future development of EU security and defence policy.
Signature of the EU-NATO joint declaration
At the NATO summit in Warsaw, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and NATO Secretary-General sign a joint declaration on EU-NATO cooperation.
The declaration aims to further strengthen EU-NATO cooperation at a time of unprecedented security challenges from the East and the South.
Presentation of the European Union global strategy
High Representative Federica Mogherini presents the EU global strategy on foreign and security policy to EU leaders, meeting in Brussels at the EU summit.
The High Representative was mandated to prepare the new strategy by the European Council in June 2015. The strategy, under the title 'Shared vision, common action: a stronger Europe' reflects the collective views expressed in the process and offers a strategic vision for the EU's global role. In these challenging times, both for Europe and globally, the strategy highlights common ground and presents a way forward.
Priority actions for defence set out
For the first time since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council discusses defence and identifies priority actions for stronger cooperation:
- increasing the effectiveness, visibility and impact of Common Security and Defence Policy
- enhancing the development of capabilities
- strengthening Europe's defence industry
The Treaty of Lisbon comes into force. The CSDP succeeds the ESDP
The Treaty of Lisbon, signed in 2007, enters into force, renaming ESDP to Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). It provides for the creation of the European External Action Service. Commission delegations in countries outside the EU become EU delegations.
Creation of the European Defence Agency
The European Defence Agency is established to support the member states and the European Council to improve European defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain ESDP.
European Security Strategy adopted
The summit in Brussels adopts a European Security Strategy. The aim of the document is to achieve a secure Europe in a better world, identify the threats facing the EU, define its strategic objectives and set out the political implications for Europe.
Signature of Berlin Plus
The 'Berlin Plus' arrangement is signed, allowing the use of NATO structures, mechanisms and assets to carry out ESDP missions.
Launch of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)
At the European Council in Cologne, the EU 15 decide to reinforce the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The foundations are laid for a Common Foreign and Security Policy
The European Council in Maastricht lays the foundations for a political Union with the creation of a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the beginnings of a common defence policy, as the second pillar of the Treaty of Maastricht.
The text is signed in February 1992 and comes into force in November 1993.