CoE CSDP Summer Forum 4/5 June 2024

© Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union / Julien Nizet

The EU’s Integrated Approach: Opportunities for Civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

On 4/5 June, the CoE’s Civilian CSDP Summer Forum took place in Brussels under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU. Its focus on opportunities and challenges for civilian CSDP in the framework of the EU’s Integrated Approach (IA) fits into the overall aim of the EU to strengthen crisis management and prevention.

Though the IA – embedded in the EU Global Strategy – is not new, its complexity (multi-dimensional, multi-phased, multi-level, multilateral) requires continuous efforts to make it work. This includes achieving the objectives of the new Civilian CSDP Compact adopted in 2023.

Successful implementation of the IA and its benefit for civilian CSDP can only be realised if all three groups of actors - the national (Member States – MS), the EU (institutions and services), and the actors in theatre (missions and other stakeholders on the ground) – work towards strengthening coordination and cooperation, not just between each group, but also within.

© Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union / Julien Nizet

The Summer Forum brought together high-level experts from all three sides of this triangle, with 99 participants from EU MS (governments and agencies), EU institutions and services, as well as actors in theatre. It offered a platform for an intense and fruitful exchange on the state of play, understanding of the respective actors’ roles and responsibilities as well as possibilities for further improvement, like introducing joint benchmarking for EU-actors, outcome orientated prioritisation, a transparent and swift information flow as well as mutual trust rather than competition.

The context was set with a keynote speech by Cosmin Dobran, Director PCM/EEAS recalling the core principles, instruments, and stakeholders of the IA. This was followed by a presentation by Katariina Leinonen, Head of Directorate PCM.1/EEAS, focusing on the EEAS’ commitments under the new Compact. This spans from ensuring continuous reporting on the application of the IA as it relates to civilian CSDP, promoting synergy and coherence with all relevant instruments across thematic areas to covering the entire process from planning to implementation and transition.

© Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union / Julien Nizet

Two panels directed to case studies reflecting on the role of EU missions: The first on Ukraine, moderated by Crista Huisman, Deputy Head PCM.1/EEAS with participation of Maura O’Sullivan, Deputy Head EUAM, alongside representatives from the EU Delegation and EEAS; the second on Somalia, moderated by Ariane Bonnier, CoE Policy Officer for Knowledge Management with participation of Kęstutis Lančinskas, Head of Mission EUCAP Somalia, also alongside colleagues from the EEAS. The programme was rounded off by a final discussion addressing the question of how EU MS can strengthen civilian CSDP through applying the IA, facilitated by Volker Jacoby, Director of the CoE.

MS are currently in the process of finalising their National Implementation Plans (NIP’s) under the new Civilian CSDP Compact. Discussions during the Summer Forum contributed to facilitating the implementation process by further strengthening the awareness for the various IA instruments and the interaction necessary to realise its full potential. The CoE, tasked with enhancing capabilities towards strengthening civilian crisis management in the CSDP framework, will continue supporting its members in this process.