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Research Report

A New Strategy – Implications for CSDP

Margriet Drent
Lennart Landman
Dick Zandee
Copyright Date: Jun. 1, 2016
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 16

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [i]-[ii])
  2. (pp. [iii]-[iii])
  3. (pp. 1-2)

    The new Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy will have implications for many areas of EU responsibility, including for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). To operationalise the Global Strategy an implementation document will have to be developed, often referred to as a CSDP White Book. It will complement the Defence Action Plan of the European Commission. The White Book has to address many issues, ranging from the ambition level and capabilities to institutional, legal and financial topics. While noting that all of these elements have to be dealt with together and that the CSDP consists of military...

  4. (pp. 2-5)

    The existing level of ambition – the Headline Goals – and the Petersberg tasks were agreed in another era. The White Book will have to define a new level of ambition and revised CSDP tasks based on the Global Strategy. Naturally, the EU’s response to security challenges needs to be cross-sectoral and comprehensive. This wider response goes beyond the scope of this report, but it is essential to note that all EU instruments from trade to development aid and from the CSDP’s civilian missions to military operations will have to be aligned in the EU’s approach.

    There is no shortage...

  5. (pp. 5-7)

    The broader level of ambition for CSDP has implications for the capabilities the EU needs to fulfil them. The dire security situation demands that existing shortfalls are met with greater speed. However, it will not suffice to only address these well-known shortfalls. The new levels of ambition and revised tasks should be mirrored by the CSDP’s capability requirements. ‘Use what we already have’ asks for a fresh look at existing capacities such as the EU Battlegroups. They can be great assets in the current volatile security situation. Next to their use for external crisis management – also in a combined...

  6. (pp. 7-10)

    Europe lags behind in solving existing capability shortfalls, in particular in the area of enablers. In order to increase capacities at the high end of the spectrum more investment in high technology will be needed. All of this underlines the need for a further pooling and sharing of scarce resources. However, reality shows that member states have decreased their European collaborative spending over the years, away from benchmarks agreed in 2007. In that year EU Ministers of Defence approved a benchmark of 35 percent of all equipment expenditure to be spent on collaborative European programmes. The facts: the percentage dropped...

  7. (pp. 10-11)

    In a fundamentally changed security environment the European Union needs a new strategy. The Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy fulfils that aim. That policy has to be global in its reach, as the EU’s political and economic interests are worldwide. At the same time the EU is most directly confronted with security challenges to its East and South. In particular for the EU’s role in security and defence this implies a near-term focus on the arc of instability now surrounding three-quarters of Europe, while a global outreach should remain a longer-term goal.

    As a consequence the Common Security...

  8. (pp. 12-12)

    The next step will be to ‘translate’ the new strategy into the consequences for the Common Security and Defence Policy in the form of a White Book-like document. It has to be developed in conjunction with the European Commission’s Defence Action Plan – in particular to connect the agenda related to strengthening the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base to capability development requirements. Timelines for the delivery of both documents have to be synchronised, which implies that the White Book has to be ready before the end of 2016. Next to many other subjects related to CSDP, the White Book...