Civilian CSDP Summer Forum 2023

The CoE, together with the Swedish Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), organised a Civilian CSDP Summer Forum in Stockholm. The event under the auspices of the Swedish Council Presidency took place on 15/16 June and brought together around 75 representatives from 23 EU Member States as well as the EEAS, Eurojust and Frontex to discuss what capabilities are needed within EU Member States to make civilian CSDP missions of the EU stronger, more inclusive, more effective and efficient.

© Rodrigo Paras, FBA

The event was organised against the backdrop of the adoption of the new Civilian CSDP Compact on 22 May 2023 and the commitment of EU Member States therein to “provide an increased contribution to civilian CSDP, which can take the form of personnel, equipment training, exercise support, financial contributions or otherwise.”

“Simply put, capabilities in Member States are structures and systems to ‘produce’ much-needed resources (strategic plans, personnel, equipment, training, money etc.) for civilian CSDP missions”, said CoE Director Volker Jacoby, adding that “the Civilian CSDP Summer Forum offered MS the possibility to reflect on what their national primary capability needs are, and how to address them.”

© CoE

At the Forum, the participants identified a number of significant national capability needs they will have to address to increase their contributions to CSDP missions, including in the areas of national legislation, budgeting, national career path development, women’s representation, training as well as national coordination structures, and visibility. Having identified those needs, the participants outlined how to address those needs through producing a mini-NIP (National Implementation Plan).

"Civilian crisis management missions are at the core of a strong Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Gender balance holds immense significance in these missions, as it fosters both equity and mission effectiveness. To fulfil our pledge of reaching 40 percent, we must intensify our efforts, delineate actionable steps, and forge a comprehensive strategy." With this statement, Johanna Gårdmark, director of the Department for Peace Operations at FBA underlined the key importance of increasing women’s participation as essential part of Member States’ general contribution to civilian CSDP missions.

© Rodrigo Paras, FBA

Åsa Claesson, EU Coordinator at FBA, added that "a well-functioning leadership and a safe, inclusive working environment are essential elements for effective delivery and staff retention in missions. Integrating gender-responsive leadership is equally vital. The FBA is committed to supporting these efforts and stands ready to provide guidance. Together, let's promote inclusive leadership for better outcomes."

The Civilian CSDP Summer Forum, the third event of its kind already, is part of larger efforts by the CoE to support its members (and eventually all EU Member States) in living up to their commitments under the Compact.

The subsequent Forum will take place in Brussels on 19/20 October 2023 under the auspices of the Spanish Council Presidency.