The world is changing and Europe faces an increasingly complex and uncertain security environment. There is a growing demand for the European Union to become more capable, more coherent and more strategic as a global actor. The EU disposes of a unique array of instruments to help promote peace and security where needed.

A comprehensive approach is a key asset to tackle the complex, multi-actor and multidimensional crises and growing security threats of today and tomorrow, as highlighted in the European Security Strategy.

The Council of the European Union agrees that in addition to continuing with civilian missions and military operations, the EU has to improve its ability to foster civilian-military cooperation and to use the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as part of coherent EU action, which should also include political, diplomatic, legal, development, trade and economic instruments.

The Treaty of Lisbon offers an opportunity for reinforcing the comprehensive approach. As the European External Action Service becomes operational under the direction of the High Representative, who is also Vice President of the Commission, the Treaty's implementation will facilitate and maximize effectiveness of the use of the variety of policies and instruments at the EU’s disposal in a more coherent manner, in order to address the whole cycle, from preparedness and preventative action; through crisis response and management, including stabilisation, peace-making and peace-keeping; to peace-building, recovery, reconstruction and a return to longer-term development.

  • Council conclusions on Civilian CSDP Capabilities, 21 March 2011 Englishfrançais
  • Factsheet on "Promoting synergies between the EU civil and military capability development", February 2011 English
  • Council conclusions on Military Capability Development, 9 December 2010 English
  • Promoting Synergies between the EU Civil and Military Capability Development – Way ahead, December 2010 English
  • EU civilian and military capability development beyond 2010 English
  • Promoting Synergies between the EU Civil and Military Capability Development, november 2009 Englishfrançais
  • Council declaration of 8 December 2008 on the enhancement of the capabilities of the European Security and Defence Policy Englishfrançais
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