Brussels, 14 December 2012 European Council
Common Security and Defence Policy
20. The European Council recalls its conclusions of December 2008 and notes that in today's changing world the European Union is called upon to assume increased responsibilities in the maintenance of international peace and security in order to guarantee the security of its citizens and the promotion of its interests.
21. In this regard, the European Council remains committed to enhancing the effectiveness of the Common Security and
Defence Policy (CSDP) as a tangible EU contribution to international crisis management. The EU plays an important role in its neighbourhood and globally. The European Council recalls that CSDP
missions and operations are an essential element of the EU's comprehensive approach in crisis regions, such as the Western Balkans, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Sahel, Afghanistan and the
South Caucasus and remains committed to increasing their operational effectiveness and efficiency. It also recalls that CSDP missions and operations should be carried out in close cooperation
with other relevant international actors, such as the UN, NATO, the OSCE and the African Union, as well as partner countries, as called for in each specific situation. Enhancing the cooperation
with interested partners in Europe's neighbourhood is of particular importance in this regard.
22. To deliver on security responsibilities, the European Council underlines that EU Member States must be ready to provide
future-oriented capabilities, both in the civilian domain and in the field of defence. The European Council stresses that current financial constraints highlight the urgent necessity to
strengthen European cooperation in order to develop military capabilities and fill the critical gaps, including those identified in recent operations. It also underlines the benefits such
cooperation may have for employment, growth, innovation and industrial competitiveness within the European Union.
23. The European Council invites the High Representative, notably through the European External Action Service and the European Defence Agency, as well as the Commission, all acting in accordance with their respective responsibilities and cooperating closely as required, to develop further proposals and actions to strengthen CSDP and improve the availability of the required civilian and military capabilities, and to report on such initiatives, at the latest by September 2013, with a view to the December 2013 European Council. Member States will be closely involved throughout this process.
24. To that end, the European Council underlines i.a. the following issues:
* Increase the effectiveness, visibility and impact of CSDP by
- further developing the comprehensive approach to conflict prevention, crisis management and stabilisation, including by developing the ability to respond to emerging security challenges;
- strengthening the EU's ability to deploy the right civilian and military capabilities and personnel rapidly and effectively on the whole spectrum of crisis management action.
* Enhance the development of defence capabilities by
- identifying current redundancies and capabilities shortfalls and prioritising future requirements for European civilian and military capabilities;
- facilitating a more systematic and longer term European defence cooperation, including through "pooling and sharing" of military capabilities; and in this regard, systematically considering cooperation from the outset in national defence planning by Member States;
- facilitating synergies between bilateral, sub-regional, European and multilateral initiatives, including the EU's "pooling and sharing" and NATO's "smart defence".
* Strengthen Europe's defence industry by
- developing a more integrated, sustainable, innovative and competitive European defence technological and industrial base;
- developing greater synergies between civilian and military research and development;
* promoting a well-functioning defence market, in particular through the effective implementation of the directives on public procurement and on intra-EU transfers, open to SMEs and benefiting from their contributions.
25. The European Council will in December 2013 review progress achieved in pursuing these goals, assess the situation and, on the basis of recommendations by its President, provide guidance, including by setting priorities and timelines, to ensure the effectiveness of EU efforts aimed at meeting Europe's security responsibilities.
Source : Conclusions European Council