Security and defence is on the agenda of the European Council of 19-20 December. EU leaders are expected to provide political guidance on the way ahead for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Their discussion will cover the effectiveness, visibility and impact of CSDP; capabilities and defence industry.
The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is an essential tool in the foreign policy of the European Union. Since 2003, the EU has deployed some 30 missions and operations around the world. CSDP also offers the framework for enhanced cooperation among Member States by Pooling & Sharing military capabilities, the only way forward in a context of growing threats and budgetary limitations. It also supports the strengthening of the European defence industry, which is essential for the EU's strategic autonomy as well as a driver for jobs, growth and innovation.
In preparation to the EU Council, the European Defence Agency made proposals for four capability programmes and their associated roadmaps in order to address critical shortfalls identified in recent operations:
- Air-to-Air Refuelling, with the objective of establishing a multinational fleet from 2019;
- Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, with the objective of laying the foundations for a European solution in the 2020-2025 timeframe;
- Governmental Satellite Communication, with the objective of preparing the next generation in the 2025 timeframe;
- Cyber Defence, with a focus on technology, training and protection of EU assets.
EDA also proposed measures to back defence industry in Europe, including SMEs, by supporting research and innovation in Europe through prioritisation (list of European critical defence technologies), investment in critical technologies and greater synergies with EU instruments. More information can be found in the dedicated factsheets here below.