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The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)

Ministers of the Foreign Affairs Council adopt the instruments needed to pursue the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP):

  • decisions that define the Union's approach to a particular issue
  • measures needed to implement the CFSP, including possible sanctions.


The Council's formal positions are published after the meetings in communiqués known as "conclusions".

The Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) and the Political and Security Committee (PSC) prepare the work of the Council as a whole. The PSC deals with political and security issues of the CFSP.

The PSC also exercises, under the responsibility of the Council, political control and strategic direction of crisis management operations.

In addition, there are 38 working parties (the so-called Council's preparatory bodies) where member states' experts deal with questions related to CFSP and which meet in accordance with geographical and thematic considerations (covering, for example, the Balkans, Middle East, human rights, terrorism).

The Common Foreign and Security Policy is implemented by the High Representative and by member states, using national and EU resources.