Category Archives: NATO @en

Common security and defence policy (CSDP)

The foundations for the development of the European Security and Defence Policy were established in the Maastricht Treaty, which entered into force in 1993, and according to which the ESDP is an integral element of the Union’s common foreign and security policy (CFSP).

The EU’s Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was renamed the European Union’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009.

External Relations Council meeting – Ministerial Declaration:

ESDP Ten Years – Challenges and Opportunities (November 2009)!menu/standard/file/111253.pdf

In accordance with the Treaty on the European Union, the CSDP can lead to a common defence if the Council of Europe so decides and if the Member States, on the Council’s recommendation, accept the decision in accordance with their constitutional requirements. At present, a common defence is not a likely option.

In the framework of CSDP the European Union conducts both military and civilian crisis management operations. The so-called Capability Development Mechanism refers to improving the EU’s civilian and military crisis management capacity in view of future operations. An ambitious set of Headline Goals have been set for both the military and civilian capabilities.

The European Security Strategy, which was approved in December 2003 and revised in December 2008, provides a framework for the Union’s security political action. The EU’s common interests, strategic goals and capability requirements are determined based on the security environment and threat assessments.

European Security Strategy of 2003 and its revision in 2008:

  • European Security Strategy: A secure Europe in a better world (EN, Brussels, 12 December 2003)
  • Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy: Providing Security in a Changing World (Brussels, 11 December 2008, S407/08)

Decisions concerning the CSDP are made by the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), Council of foreign affairs ministers of the EU, which is chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The Political and Security Committee (COPS/PSC) takes part in policy formulation related to the European security and defence policy by giving statements to the Council. The Committee monitors the implementation of the CSDP and takes responsibility for the political supervision and strategic guidance of crisis management operations. Actual decisions concerning CSDP operations are made in the Council.

The EU Military Committee (EUMC) provides advice and recommendations on military issues to COPS/PSC and guidance to the EU Military Staff (EUMS) in military matters. Issues related to civilian crisis management are prepared in the Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CivCom).The politico-military working group (PMG) is in charge of preparing CSDP matters for COPS/PSC.

Related websites

  • External Relations: Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) for the European Union
  • CSDP information by the Council of the EU: Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP)
  • Implementation of The CFSP and CSDP
  • CSDP structures and instruments
  • Headline Goal 2010 (PDF)
  • Presidency Report on ESDP (CSDP), June 2009 (PDF)

One of the main challenges for the EU in the field of security and defence policy in the future is to enhance coordination and coherence between different policy areas and actors to help ensure a comprehensive approach to crisis management. This has been taken into account in the EU’s new External Action Service (EEAS), the new European diplomatic corps.

The Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD) will combine civilian and military expertise in crisis management. It is intended to be at the very heart of the External Action Service and to be the body that deals with all the toughest issues of world peace and security the EU is involved in.

In December 2008, the European Council agreed to merge civilian and military aspects of the planning for European peace keeping missions into a single CMPD.

It was a logical step that would help the EU to be more efficient in its response to conflicts. This strategic planning tool of the CSDP was set up in November 2009.

Created to belong to the EEAS, the specific constellation and staffing level of this standing structure based in Brussels under the authority of the HR/VP Mrs Catherine Ashton, has not yet been specified.

The CMPD would include personnel from all geographical task forces within the Council secretariat, from the SitCen, SatCen, the EUMS, and most particularly from its Civil-Military Cell as well as from relevant Commission services. It will be led by a civilian head and a military deputy.

Related Article:

“The Crisis Management and Planning Directorate: recalibrating ESDP Planning and conduct Capacities”

On the 26th of April, SEDE hold a hearing on the EU civil and military cooperation

“EU Civil-military cooperation: a comprehensive approach”

Programme and speeches can be found on the following link:;jsessionid=ADA24BF01FC49EF160E7E5B62CDF7A01.node2?language=EN&body=SEDE

Environmental security strategy

At their Summit in Strasbourg / Kehl on 3 and 4 April 2009, NATO’s Heads of State and Government tasked the Secretary General to develop a new NATO Strategic Concept. This exercise should be completed by the time of NATO’s next Summit, which is expected to take place towards the end of 2010.

NATO’s new strategic concept:

The report can be found directly on the following link:

As the European Security Strategy recognises that predicted global climate change will have increasing impact on stability and security in many regions around the world and more particularly in Asia and Africa, and in the context of the forthcoming new NATO strategic concept, the set up of an environmental security strategy is more than needed.

It is important to analyse commonality of assessment between the EU and NATO of predicted global climate change as a factor of instability and insecurity in the most vulnerable places in the world, especially in terms of climate change as a driver of current or future conflicts. Climate change consequences like resource depletion, drought and floods, famine and mass migration, might have a direct impact on EU and NATO security interests.

The adequacy of existing NATO and EU capacities to respond to climate change driven catastrophes and the extent to which existing civilian, policing and military capabilities and assets could be deployed or adapted to meet these future challenges should be assessed.

It would be necessary to recommend measures and modifications to training – through NATO’s ACT described above – and to procurement policies, necessary to improve the EU and NATO’s ability to respond to such crisis.

Existing command and control structures and policies in the context of their applicability to the long-term nature of likely climate-driven crisis and conflicts should be reviewed.

The potential for burden-sharing and specialisation between the EU Member States and NATO allies to optimize resource allocation, civilian, policing and military assets which are required for crisis response and conflicts, whether climate driven or not should be explored.

At present, the climate change issue is only mentioned in the new report presented by the group of experts, chaired by Madeleine Albright.

Taking into account environmental security related to it in the new strategic concept would be a breakthrough.

NATO delegation (D-NAT)

The European Parliament decided on 12 December 2001 to set up an inter-parliamentary Delegation for Relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (D-NAT). The delegation is composed of 10 MEPs (Members of the European Parliament).

D-NAT Members shall consist of Members of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE). The D-NAT is supported by a secretariat which consists of staff members of the SEDE secretariat.

The aim of the D-NAT is to bring forward the position of the EU, and of the European Parliament in particular, to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in view of further developing the relationship between EU and NATO, while respecting the independent nature of both organisations. This is of particular importance in the theatres of operations where both the EU and NATO are engaged, such as Afghanistan, Kosovo and in the fight against piracy off the coasts of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden.

The delegation for relations with the NATO PA took part in the Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on 28 May – 1 June 2010 in Riga, Latvia.

In 2002, NATO’s military command structure was reorganised at the Prague Summit.

One strategic command focus on NATO’s operations – Allied command operations – and the other would be focused on transforming NATO – Allied Command transformation (ACT). ACT focuses on areas such as training and education, concept development, comprehensive approach, experimentation, and research and technology and using NATO’s ongoing operations and work with the NATO Response Force (NRF) to improve the military effectiveness of the Alliance. It has the following strategic objectives: provide appropriate support to NATO missions and operations, lead NATO military transformation, improve relationships, interaction and practical cooperation with partners, nations and international organisations.

Find out more on NATO from:

More information can be found on the D-NAT Infokit:

Find NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Report on Climate Change discussed in Riga: