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New Compact for the EU’s civilian crisis management

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen speaking to the press in Brussels

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen speaking to the press in Brussels, © Thomas Koehler / photothek.net

21.11.2018 - Article

The civilian component of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is to be strengthened on the initiative of Foreign Minister Maas.

On 19 November 2018, European Union foreign and defence ministers adopted a new civilian CSDP Compact.

The Compact contains concrete measures designed to enable the EU to be swifter, more decisive and better equipped to do justice to its role as a civilian force for peace, and includes a pledge by the EU member states to deploy more personnel to civilian CSDP missions, provide practical support for missions in the fields of information technology and logistics and work to increase the safety of those involved in the operations.

A new centre for civilian crisis management

Germany intends to establish a new European centre of excellence for civilian crisis management and through this national contribution provide tangible support for the goals of the civilian CSDP Compact. The centre will pool the competence of those EU member states with a particular interest in civilian CSDP. It will be a service provider and will cooperate closely with the crisis management structures in the European External Action Service (EEAS). The key role of the centre of excellence will be to define standards for the tasks and procedures involved in an EU civilian crisis management mission.

Civilian component at the heart of European foreign and security policy

In a world that is going increasingly out of joint, the foreign and security policy challenges facing the EU require Europe to increase its influence and improve its ability to assert its interests.

The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy with its civilian and military components forms the basis of these efforts. On the military side, the establishment of permanent structured cooperation in 2017 created the foundation for ambitious moves to develop it further.

The framework for European military engagement is always diplomacy, civilian crisis management and conflict prevention. Clearly, no conflict can be resolved permanently by military means. Civilian crisis management therefore remains at the heart of European foreign and security policy. Germany has worked continuously to promote this in particular.

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Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

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