Cooperation in the area of Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)/Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is a priority for the European Union and its Western Balkans partners. The EU’s Western Balkans Strategy, adopted by the European Commission in 2018, outlines as objectives to expand and deepen CFSP/CSDP dialogues, increase Western Balkans contributions to EU missions and operations, and further develop cooperation on hybrid threats, intelligence, space issues and defence and security sector reform.

Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) / Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

Cooperation between the EU and Western Balkans within CFSP/CSDP has significantly evolved in the past years. Whilst the EU remains engaged with CSDP missions and operations in the region, Western Balkan partners are also contributing to CSDP missions and operations around the world.


Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) 

The EU has shown a continuous commitment to ensuring peace and stability in the Western Balkans since the 1990s. In 2003, the EU launched its first CSDP mission ever under the novel European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP – the precursor of CSDP). This was the EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUPM). Subsequently, the first military ESDP operation, Concordia, was launched in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (today North Macedonia). The development of CSDP and the Western Balkans are closely linked.

Currently, the EU is engaged in the region through CSDP with the military operation EUFOR Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX KOSOVO) – the Union’s largest civilian mission to date, and the only civilian CSDP mission ever with executive powers.

Today, the Western Balkans partners are also contributing to CSDP action and serve hand-in-hand with the EU in the most challenging regions of the world.


Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)

Partners from the region are invited to align with the EU foreign policy (CFSP). Countries already negotiating their accession to the European Union (Montenegro and Serbia) are formally required to progressively align with the CFSP.

Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia have a record of full alignment with the CFSP, which is a strong signal of commitment to the EU integration.

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