Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

On the fregate 'Bayern'

On the fregate 'Bayern', © picture-alliance/ZB


The CSDP enables the EU to use civilian, police and military instruments to cover the full spectrum of crisis prevention, crisis management and post-crisis rehabilitation.

For Europe’s security

The member states of the European Union are working together to ensure Europe’s security. The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) was first conceived at the Cologne European Council in June 1999. The EU launched its first mission in 2003: Concordia in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Since then, civilian experts, police officers and soldiers have helped foster peace and stability in more than 30 missions. The European Union works together with partners. One example of this is the ATALANTA (EU NAVFOR) operation, which aims to protect merchant ships and supply ships transporting humanitarian aid from pirates off the Horn of Africa. Third countries such as Serbia, New Zealand and Ukraine have also taken part. The EU exchanges information on the situation along one of the world’s most important shipping routes with the United States, China, Japan, Russia and other countries with ships in the area.

Civilian and military instruments

When it comes to ensuring Europe’s security, the CSDP is about crisis prevention, crisis management and post-crisis rehabilitation. The EU has civilian, police and military instruments at its disposal – from civilian crisis response teams to two operational EU battlegroups. Every crisis has its own challenges. EU experts are in great demand as monitors to ensure ceasefires are respected (example: the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia). They help to develop the rule of law (example: EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo)). They train police officers (EU Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL Afghanistan) and soldiers (EU Training Mission in Mali (EUTM) Mali) to a high standard so they can provide for security in their own countries.

German participation

EUPOL in Afghanistan© picture alliance / dpa

Civilian experts, police officers, customs officers and Bundeswehr soldiers are involved in almost all CSDP missions and operations. The members of the German Bundestag are briefed on missions on a regular basis. In the case of armed military operations, they hold debates and vote on the Bundestag mandate, which is a prerequisite for such missions.

For more on CSDP missions and operations click here:


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