New Compact, Renewed Impetus: Enhancing the EU’s Ability to act through its Civilian CSDP

This SIPRI-policy paper reviews the first compact and how the new compact builds on the former. It highlights that the Member States did not deliver on their commitments in the first Compact regarding secondments while acknowledging the usefulness of the initiative. Three main commitments are discussed in this paper: increasing national contributions, raising the share of seconded personnel to 70% and promoting women’s representation. The paper concludes by making suggestions for the design of the review process of the new Compact. As a review, it is interesting for everybody who is working on secondment to civilian CSDP missions and on the implementation of a meaningful review process of the new Compact.

The 2018 Compact already recognised the problem of low levels of secondments and wanted to increase secondments especially for operational positions while also increasing the share of women being seconded. Unfortunately, the Compact did not see the goals being achieved as the share of seconded personnel dropped. Women’s representation only saw a slight increase. However, women’s representation was unevenly distributed across different positions and levels. Next to underdelivering Member States (MS), the paper offers some possible explanations for the limited success of the first Compact which are the pandemic and the war against Ukraine. 

The 2023 Compact is structured around the key goals of 70% secondees (as in the 2018 Compact), 100% secondees in all management, operational and key functional positions and 40% of all international staff being women. While the goal of 70% has not changed, it is refined by targeting 100% secondees for specific positions as well as clearly stating that it applies to all missions and levels (not just as an average across missions). Additionally, the MS aim to share the burden more equally which would also lead to more diverse personnel in missions. 

The paper concludes with policy recommendations. One suggests a counterpart to the Civilian Capabilities Development Plan (CCDP) at MS-level to ensure that developed capabilities at national level match the needs of missions. Another encourages CPCC to develop capacities to evaluate and monitor missions based on data that should be entirely gender disaggregated. 

Reference: Smit, T. (2023). New Compact, Renewed Impetus: Enhancing the EU’s Ability to act through its civilian CSDP. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). 


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