Civilian missions are built on MS contributions

Through our civilian CSDP missions, we provide an essential contribution to rule of law, civil administration, police and security sector reform in crisis areas. Our civilian missions are also crucial in the EU’s wider response to security challenges through non-military means, including those linked to irregular migration, hybrid threats, terrorism and radicalisation and violent extremism. To strengthen its ability to tackle these and other security threats and challenges, it is imperative to make civilian CSDP faster, more flexible and effective. In order to be able to do so, our civilian missions need to have personnel available in sufficient numbers and quality. By using seconded personnel from Member States, as stipulated in the TEU, the EU employs well-trained, experienced and vetted professionals, thus ensuring effectiveness and increasing legitimacy of its civilian missions.

Civilian capability development as part of the Civilian CSDP Compact

The first cluster of the Civilian CSDP Compact addresses capability development specifically. It consists of concrete commitments for Member States to develop the required capabilities and to enhance their availability for civilian CSDP missions. This includes commitments on increasing MS contributions to civilian CSDP, such as the commitments to achieve a 70/30% ratio between seconded and contracted personnel, and to increase the representation of women in civilian CSDP missions at all levels. The Compact also includes commitments for the EU services related to capability development, for example on reviewing human resource management and updating training policies, as well as improving responsiveness. 

Developing civilian capabilities to meet national but also European needs is a national responsibility. To implement their commitments, Member States are working on the basis of National Implementation Plans. Progress is monitored through a yearly Civilian Annual Report on Capabilities, and discussed with senior Member States’ representatives as part of the Annual Review Conference.

History of Civilian capability development

The Compact sets the ambition for civilian missions by defining commitments at all levels, even beyond capability development, and by all relevant actors. This also makes it different from its predecessors: the Civilian Headline Goals, which focused mostly on capability development.

The first Civilian Headline Goal was set in 2000 at the meeting of the European Council in Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal. It identified policing, the rule of law, civil administration and civil protection as four priority areas for the EU in the field of crisis management. In the area of policing, the 2000 Feira Council set concrete targets whereby EU Member States could collectively provide up to 5,000 police officers for crisis management operations, with 1,000 officers on high readiness (able to be deployed within 30 days). EU Member States also identified a number of key tasks for civilian policing which included: monitoring, advising and training local police, preventing or mitigating internal crises and conflicts, restoring law and order in immediate post-conflict situations, and supporting local police in safeguarding human rights.

The 2001 Gothenburg Council subsequently set concrete goals for the other three priority areas. By 2003, the EU set out to be able to: have 200 judges and prosecutors prepared for crisis management operations in the field of rule of law that could be deployed within 30 days, establish a pool of experts in the area of civilian administration (including general administrative, social and infrastructure functions) and provide civil protection teams of up to 2,000 people, all deployable at very short notice. These teams included 2-3 assessment/coordination teams consisting of 10 experts that could be dispatched within 3-7 hours.

After the 2004 Civilian Capabilities Commitment Conference in Brussels declared these targets to have been met (and indeed exceeded), the formulation of the Civilian Headline Goal 2008 (CHG 2008) was shaped by the experiences the EU had gained in the field, increasing the attention paid to training, staffing procedures, and mission planning.

The CHG 2008 added two new priorities to those identified at Feira: monitoring missions and support for EU Special Representatives. The CHG 2008 also emphasised the need for the Union to conduct simultaneous missions and highlighted two further focus areas for the EU: security sector reform (SSR) and disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR).

EU Member States then set an additional goal, the Civilian Headline Goal 2010 (CHG 2010), to continue the capability-development process and to synchronise it with the Military Headline Goal 2010. The CHG 2010 goal drew on the now extensive experience in civilian crisis management of the EU, and placed greater emphasis on civil-military cooperation in addition to a continued focus on improving readiness and deployability. It also identified other capabilities to be developed, such as making available 285 additional experts on transitional justice, dialogue, and conflict analysis. The CHG 2010 also focused on the creation of Civilian Response Teams (CRT), a 100-person strong pool of experts prepared for rapid deployment.


Related links:

Santa Maria da Feira Conclusions

Civilian Headline Goal 2008

Civilian Headline Goal 2010