Guidelines for Command and Control Structure for Civilian CSDP Missions

These guidelines set and clarify the chain of command and specific roles of the institutions and individuals in civilian CSDP, from the Council down to the individual Heads of Mission. They outline the distinctions between operational and tactical command and control and go into great detail on the responsibilities of the Civilian Operations Commander and the Heads of Mission.

In the chain of command for civilian CSDP, the ultimate responsibility rests in the Council of the EU, who establishes missions with its decisions. The Political and Security Committee (PSC) then manages the political and strategic direction of the mission with advice from the Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CivCom). The Managing Director of CPCC will be the Civilian Operation Commander, exercising command and control at the strategic level for all missions while the Heads of Mission will exercise command and control at the theatre level. The guidelines then distinguish between command, the authority to give orders and assign tasks to individuals and units, and control, the authority to direct individuals and units in the completion of specific actions and tasks. 

 The role of the Civilian Operation Commander begins with the development of documents for launching the mission, including the Crisis Management Concept and the Operation Plan. In the conduct of operations, they fulfil the duty of care, ensure Council and PSC decisions are effectively carried out by the missions, advise and support the Heads of Mission, report back to EU bodies on mission performance, and are responsible for quality control through the lessons learnt process. The Heads of Mission contribute to the Operation Plan within parameters set by the Concept of Operations, direct the day-to-day management of the mission, ensure security and budgetary requirements are met, and represent their mission externally in the mission area as well as to the PSC and other Council bodies. A brief document, these guidelines provide a concise and useful overview of the authority structure for the EU's civilian CSDP activities. 

Reference: European External Action Service (2023). Guidelines for Command and Control Structure for Civilian CSDP Missions.


PDF | 15 pages

Read the full EU document


The European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia: Special Annual Report on Gender Mainstreaming (2016)
This report highlights the efforts made by EUMM Georgia in implementing the…
Gender, Peace and Security in the European Union's Field Missions
This report explores how can the EU and EU Member States act more…
Field Assessment: Implementing EU Gender Policy in EUPOL COPPS
The report looks closer at what it means to work with gender mainstreaming…