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Security & Defence: Council welcomes the substantive progress made during the last two years

On 19 November 2018, the Council adopted conclusions on security and defence in the context of the EU Global Strategy. The Council underlined that by addressing Europe's current and future security needs, the EU will enhance its capacity to act as a security provider and its strategic autonomy, and strengthen its ability to cooperate with partners. The Council recalls that this will contribute decisively to collective efforts, also in the context of the transatlantic relationship, and will enhance the European contribution to a rules-based global order with the UN at its core.

In its conclusions, the Council takes note of progress in strengthening cooperation in the area of security and defence, and provides guidance for further work. The areas covered include:

  • Civilian CSDP

The Council welcomes the agreement on the establishment of a civilian CSDP compact, marking an ambitious commitment to strengthen civilian CSDP and make it more capable, more effective and responsive, and more joined-up in today's changed security environment.

  • the military planning and conduct capability (MPCC)

The Council welcomes the positive impact of the MPCC in its command and control of the EU military training missions (currently: EUTM Somalia, EUTM RCA, EUTM Mali). The Council agrees to further strengthen the role of MPCC with the objective to be ready by the end of 2020 to also take responsibility for the operational planning and conduct of one executive military CSDP operation, limited to EU battlegroup size.

  • Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)

The Council welcomes progress in the implementation of PESCO almost one year after its establishment and adopts a list of 17 new PESCO projects on 19 November.

  • the coordinated annual review on defence (CARD)

The Council welcomes the trial run report and agrees to launch the CARD as a standing activity. CARD is a process aimed at offering a better overview at EU level of defence spending, national investment and defence research efforts. This actively promotes an enhance a defence cooperation among member states.

  • the European Defence Fund

The Council adopted its position (partial general approach) on the European Defence Fund proposed by the European Commission in the context of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. The European Defence Fund aims to strengthen the global competitiveness and innovation capacity of the EU defence technological and industrial base.

  • EU-NATO cooperation

The Council reiterates that it continues to ensure coherence and mutual reinforcement between the EU and NATO. It welcomes the second Joint Declaration on EU-NATO cooperation signed on 10 July 2018 by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of NATO.

  • the European Peace Facility

The Council takes note of the proposal by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy with the support of the European Commission, for a European Peace Facility with the intention of enhancing the EU's ability to preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security. The Council invites the relevant preparatory bodies to continue to take this work forward.

  • military mobility

The Council welcomes the implementation of efforts in improving the mobility of military personnel, materiel and equipment. The aim of military mobility is to address the obstacles which are hampering the movement of military equipment and personnel across the EU and beyond.

On 14 November 2016, the Council adopted conclusions on implementing the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence. These conclusions set out three strategic priorities: responding to external conflicts and crises, building the capacities of partners, and protecting the European Union and its citizens.

Since then, the EU has significantly increased its efforts in the area of security and defence.  Progress was noted and further guidance provided through Council conclusions on 6 March 2017, on 18 May 2017, on 13 November 2017 and on 25 June 2018.

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