Bolstering Europe's security and defence capacities
15 Sep 2016 - 11:44
Source: 1GNC Münster / Flickr

In a rapidly changing security environment Europe needs to bolster its defence efforts, as stated by European Commission President Juncker in his State of Union speech of 14 September. Europe’s top  leaders will discuss concrete proposals at their informal summit in Bratislava on 16 September to back up the EU’s Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy with credible military forces. The Clingendael report 'A New Strategy - Implications for CSDP' (June 2016) shows the way forward in developing ambitious yet realistic European security and defence capacities. 

The new Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy will have implications for many areas of EU responsibility, including for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). In this Clingendael report, these implications for the CSDP are discussed. This report is based on the findings of the Netherlands EU Presidency Seminar that was organised in Amsterdam in June 2016 by Clingendael and the Netherlands Ministry of Defence.

The authors provide ideas on the operationalisation of the strategy through a CSDP White Book into new levels of ambition, the related adaptation of CSDP tasks and operations and corresponding capabilities. The report contains recommendations for the desired focus, content and structure of the White Book. These recommendations include ideas on how to move from voluntarism to real commitment to capability improvement and other ways for deepening European defence cooperation, and are the fruit of discussions held at the seminar.

About the report
The report reflects the main topics of discussion at the seminar, but it is neither a verbatim record nor a summary of the debate. It does not reflect a common understanding or agreement on the topics discussed. Rather it lists key issues discussed at the seminar, based on a Clingendael Food-for-Thought Paper which was sent to all participants. Most of the issues raised in the Food-for-Thought Paper are reflected in this report, even those not discussed at the seminar. The report is divided into three sections.

The first part focuses on the implications of the Global Strategy for the future CSDP. The second section looks at the consequences for capabilities, while the third part addresses the issue of tools and instruments needed to improve capability development and for deepening defence cooperation. The report closes with two short sections on the conclusions and the way ahead.