What is the National Skill Development Mission

International security policy

Ralf Roloff

Dr. Ralf Roloff is the head of the German faculty at the German-American George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and director of the "Master in International Security Studies" program. He is a private lecturer at the social science faculty of the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich. His areas of expertise are European foreign policy, international relations, international security and international political economy, transatlantic relations and German foreign and security policy.
Contact: [email protected]

The EU's Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) has a wide range of tasks with a focus on the eastern and southern neighborhoods. The CSDP is based on an agreement and basic consensus among the EU member states. But their reservations about decision-making inhibit their clout and ability to react in the event of a crisis.

Nobel Prize for the European Union

The structures of the CFSP / CSDP (& copy translation from: European Security and Defense College (ed.), CSDP Handbook, 2nd edition, Vienna / Brussels 2013)
In December 2012 the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The reactions to the award ranged from happy surprise to incredulous skepticism. The award referred not only to the model character of the European Union for lasting pacification and the promotion of prosperity through political and economic integration in Europe, but also to its role in security policy. But what security added value does the European Union bring?

The EU operates as a security actor in a variety of ways. It maintains numerous international civil and military missions and operations - from combating piracy in the Horn of Africa to comprehensive reform of the security sector in Kosovo. The range of tasks is therefore very broad. The Petersberg tasks set out in Article 43 of the Lisbon Treaty cover the entire course of an international crisis - from prevention to reconstruction, supplemented by joint disarmament measures, humanitarian tasks and rescue operations, as well as military advice and support. The coordination and coordination of the member states with the EU institutions and also within the EU bodies has made great strides. The development of military and civilian capabilities in the European Union, on the other hand, is proving to be very difficult and is suffering from the consequences of shrinking defense budgets. The armed forces are being reduced in almost all EU member states.

In its European Security Strategy "A Secure Europe in a Better World" of 2003, the EU formulated the claim to act collectively, competently and actively, and in it represents a comprehensive security concept that includes military, diplomatic, economic, developmental and ecological elements includes. The Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) is organized in a dovetailed dualism, which means that the two originally separate intergovernmental and supranational decision-making structures are becoming increasingly intertwined. Nevertheless, the CSDP remains primarily an intergovernmental matter that is decided and operated by the member states.

From St. Malo to Lisbon - the CSVP

The European Union is a fairly young player in international security policy. It was not until the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 that the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) was established. At their summit in St. Malo in 1998, Great Britain and France came to the conclusion that the European Union must have its own military and civilian capabilities in order to be able to act independently of NATO. For this reason, at the EU summit in Cologne in 1999, at the suggestion of Great Britain and France, the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) was added to the CFSP, which was renamed the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) in 2009.

Security policy was not a completely new field for the European integration process. Right from the start, the Coal and Steel Community followed in 1951 with the Pleven Plan 1950 and the resulting Treaty of a European Defense Community (EVG) in 1952, a security policy integration project that failed in 1954 due to domestic political difficulties, mainly in France. Since then, security policy has been excluded from the integration process and has been organized through NATO and the Western European Union (WEU). With the growing economic importance of the European Community (EC), however, the member states also increasingly had to face global security policy challenges. In order to be able to react to the effects of the oil crises and the Middle East conflict, the informal European Political Cooperation (EPC) of the member states was created in the 1970s. The path then led via the Single European Act (EEA) of 1986 to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. The CFSP was organized on a purely intergovernmental basis and initially left little leeway for security policy actions. In the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, this proved to be a key obstacle. The EU did not speak with one voice. Therefore, with the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997, the Heads of State and Government introduced not only the office of High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (HR) but also the Petersberg tasks and contractually defined the framework for the EU's role in security policy. The heads of state and government were able to build on these developments from 1999 onwards.

Source text

Legal basis of the CSDP

Article 42 TEU

(1) The common security and defense policy is an integral part of the common foreign and security policy. It ensures the Union an operational capability based on civilian and military means. These can be used by the Union in missions outside the Union for peacekeeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. It carries out these tasks with the help of the skills provided by the Member States. [...]

Article 43 TEU

1. The missions provided for in Article 42 (1), which the Union may use civilian and military means to carry out, shall include joint disarmament, humanitarian and rescue operations, military advice and assistance, conflict prevention and peacekeeping and Combat operations in the context of crisis management including peace-building measures and operations to stabilize the situation after conflicts. All of these missions can contribute to the fight against terrorism, including by helping third countries fight terrorism on their territory. [...]

Lisbon Treaty, ed. from the Federal Agency for Civic Education / bpb, Bonn 2010, p. 55 ff.



Organizational and decision-making structure

The Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) is dominated, shaped and shaped by the member states despite the interlinked dualism of intergovernmental and supranational decision-making structures described above.

The European Council, in which, among other things, the heads of state and government are represented, therefore also has full control over the content and direction of the CFSP and the CSDP. Any policy approach requires a basic consensus among national governments. This close interplay of national, intergovernmental and supranational foreign and security policy defines the special character of the EU as a security policy actor. That is why it is not so important that the EU speaks with one voice, but that the various voices come to an agreement with one another in a constant process of coordination. But this often prevents a quick reaction in international crises.

This is what happens in this voting process Political and Security Committee (PSK), which is made up of the EU ambassadors from the member states, has a key role to play. The PSC carries out the necessary coordination, coordination and preparation of decisions between the meetings of the Council for Foreign Affairs, which is made up of the responsible ministers of the member countries and is responsible for the CFSP and CSDP. It works closely with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European External Action Service (EEAS) subordinate to it.

The demand for a unified voice for European foreign and security policy was initially taken into account with the High Representative of the CFSP. This office was set up in the Amsterdam Treaty on a purely intergovernmental basis to represent the CFSP externally on behalf of the Council. Since the Treaty of Lisbon, the office has been set up as a double hat. It combines the originally intergovernmental task of the High Representative of the CFSP - now upgraded by the Presidency of the Council for Foreign Affairs - with the supranational task of the Vice President of the EU Commission and responsibility for the Union's external action. With the Lisbon Treaty he is now called High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy and has become the symbol of the interlinked dualism of European foreign and security policy. The High Representative is deliberately not a European foreign minister who can set his own foreign policy line. He is the coordinator and mediator of national, intergovernmental and supranational foreign policy, which only becomes a common European foreign and security policy in cooperation. If the Council cannot agree on a common position, there will be no European foreign and security policy that the High Representative can reflect to the outside world. However, this has an enormous influence on paving the way towards a common foreign policy, preparing, coordinating and bringing it into harmony with the supranational foreign trade of the European Union and the national foreign policies of the member states.

The European External Action Service (EEAS), headed by the High Representative, consists of one third each from the EU Commission, the Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers) and representatives from the member states. The dovetailed dualism of the CFSP and the CSDP is also reflected in the bureaucratic structure of the EEAS. In addition, the EEAS unites all auxiliary bodies of the CFSP and the CSDP under one roof. All civil and military structures that are necessary for comprehensive international crisis and conflict management also work under the common umbrella of the EEAS: the European Military Staff, the Civil-Military Planning Directorate, the Civilian Planning Directorate, the Directorate General for Crisis Response and Operational Coordination, the EU Analysis Center and the EU Special Representatives for specific regions or topics. In this way, European crisis and conflict management is enormously simplified because all important institutions work together under the leadership of the High Representative. The various elements of comprehensive crisis and conflict management, from prevention to reconstruction after the end of a conflict, can thus be coordinated much better with one another and therefore interlock better during implementation. In this way, the EEAS combines the tasks of a foreign ministry and a ministry of defense.