Under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), the EU takes a leading role in peacekeeping operations, conflict prevention and the strengthening of international security. It is an integral part of the EU's comprehensive approach towards crisis management, drawing on civilian and military assets. Almost 4,000 women and men help to promote peace and security where needed, providing stability and building resilience in fragile environments. Since the first CSDP missions and operations were launched back in 2003, the EU has undertaken over 37 overseas operations, using civilian and military missions and operations in several countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. As of today, there are 18 ongoing CSDP missions and operations, 11 of which are civilian, and 7 military.
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Europeans on the ground: missions and operations
Close to 4,000 European women and men are currently engaged on the ground in Europe’s neighbourhood: Africa, the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe, the Middle East. They are military forces and civilian experts detached by the EU’s Member States under EU-led CSDP missions and operations. With mandates tailored to the needs of the situation on the ground, their aim is to stabilise our partner countries in the neighbourhood and thus provide security at home.
The EU currently conducts seven military missions and operations on land and sea, to reform and train armies, assist in creating a safe and secure environment, fighting pirates or disrupting networks of traffickers. Three of them are military training missions who provide advice and training to local security forces in Mali, Somalia and the Central African Republic. To strengthen coordination and cooperation on the ground, a single command centre for these military training missions – the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) – was established in 2017. The MPCC is also empowered to plan and conduct military missions of up to 2,500 troops.
As a further improvement, the European Peace Facility (EPF) will address current limitations that do not allow for the Union’s budget to finance expenditure with military or defence implications. As a fund outside the Union’s budget, it enables the financing of operational actions under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) that have military or defence implications and thus allow more flexibility and effectiveness of our operations abroad.
Military missions are just one element in the EU’s toolbox of instruments to tackle today’s complex security challenges in a comprehensive way. There are also eleven civilian missions deployed in partner countries whose assistance plays a crucial role in border management, conflict prevention, combatting organised crime and smuggling, reforming national security sectors or in monitoring the judicial system and the rule of law. The Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) serves as the common operational headquarters for the EU’s civilian CSDP missions.
Their contribution is being stepped up further. In November 2018, EU Member States agreed on a Civilian CSDP Compact aimed at strengthening civilian CSDP. A Joint Action Plan has been subsequently presented by the EEAS and the European Commission to implement this Compact, and EU Member States are implementing National Implementation Plans
Each EU mission works in the framework of a comprehensive approach. The mission works in agreement and coordination with the EU Delegations in the same area and in the framework of EU regional policies.
The decisions of deployment and management of the mission are taken by the EU countries during the Foreign Affairs Council.
Ongoing missions and operations
European Union Advisory Mission in support of Security Sector Reform in Iraq - Civilian Mission
The European Union Advisory Mission in Iraq (EUAM Iraq) was launched in October 2017 in response to a request by the Iraqi government. The strategic objective of the mission is to supportthe Iraqi government in achieving lasting peace, stability and security in Iraq and the wider region following the defeat of Da’esh (the Islamic State) in 2015 by offering strategic advice to the Iraqi security sector. The Mission is part of borader package of EU political, security and development measures to support Iraq.
EUAM RCA: European Union Advisory Mission in Central African Republic – Civilian Mission
Established in late 2019 , Mission provides strategic advice to the CAR Ministry of Interior and Public Security and to the Internal Security Forces. Through this action, the Mission supports the establishment of coherent and accountable security providers, under full national ownership.
EUAM UKRAINE: European Union Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform in Ukraine - Civilian Mission
EUAM Ukraine was deployed in December 2014 to advise state security bodies on security, police, judiciary, prosecution, anti-corruption and human rights. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine the mission has evacuated out of Ukraine and remains on stand-by in the region pending further developments.
EUBAM Libya: European Union Border Assistance Mission in Libya - Civilian Mission
The European Union Integrated Border Management Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya) was established in 2013 to support the capacity of Libyan authorities to enhance the security of their land, sea and air borders in the short term and to develop a broader Integrated Border Management (IBM) strategy in the long term. EUBAM is complementary to the UN-Mission (UNSMIL), established in 2011 at the request of the Libyan authorities to support the country's new transitional authorities in their post-conflict efforts.
EU BAM RAFAH: European Union Border Assistance Mission for the Rafah Crossing Point - Civilian mission
Since 2007, EUBAM Rafah has continued to assist the Palestinian General Administration for Borders and Crossings, delivering and coordinating strategic advice, training and equipment. The Mission maintains a readiness to redeploy to the Rafah Crossing Point once the political and security situation allows.
EUCAP SAHEL MALI
EUCAP SAHEL MALI: European Union Capacity Building Mission in Mali - Civilian mission
Restoring security and lasting peace in Mali is of crucial importance to Africa and Europe. EUCAP Sahel Mali is an important element of the regional approach taken in the European Union strategy for security and development in the Sahel and for the European Common and Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
EUCAP SAHEL NIGER
EUCAP Sahel Niger: European Union Capacity-Building - Civilian Mission
EUCAP Sahel Niger is a civilian capacity-building Mission established by the European Union as part of its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) with the overall aim to strengthen Niger’s internal security sector and its capacities in the fight against significant security threats. Since its opening in 2012, EUCAP Sahel Niger has supported the Nigerien Internal Security Forces, national authorities as well as non-state actors with a variety of different programs and activities. EUCAP Sahel Niger is an essential element of the EU’s strategy for security and development in the Sahel and acts in close partnership and on all levels with other EU institutions and security stakeholder present in the Sahel.
EUCAP Somalia: European Union Capacity Building Mission in Somalia - Civilian Mission
EUCAP Somalia, launched in 2016, contributes to the establishment and capacity building of maritime civilian law enforcement capability in Somalia, including Somaliland and the restructuring of the Somali “Maritime Security Architecture”. In carrying out its mandate, in the spirit of the EU integrated approach, the mission cooperates with the EU Delegation to Somalia and the two CSDP military missions operating in Somalia (EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta, EUTM Somalia) to secure one of the EU’s vital trade routes.
EUFOR BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA Military Operation ALTHEA
On 2 December 2004, 9 years after the war ended, the European Union (EU) launched the military Operation ALTHEA in BiH. This followed the decision by NATO to hand over its own peacekeeping mission that had maintained security in the region since the war ended. The EU deployed a robust military force (EUFOR) to ensure continued compliance with the Dayton/Paris Agreement and to contribute to a Safe And Secure Environment (SASE) in BiH.
EULEX Kosovo: European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo - Civilian Mission
The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) was launched in 2008 as the largest civilian mission under the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union. EULEX’s overall mission is to support relevant rule of law institutions in Kosovo on their path towards increased effectiveness, sustainability, multi-ethnicity and accountability, free from political interference and in full compliance with international human rights standards and best European practices.
Under EULEX’s current mandate, the Mission undertakes monitoring activities and has limited executive functions, including as second tier security responder. EULEX continues to support the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in line with relevant Kosovo legislation.
The Mission works within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
EUMM Georgia: The European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia - Civilian mission
The EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) is an unarmed civilian monitoring mission. It was established by the European Union on 15 September 2008.
EUMM civilian personnel monitor compliance by all sides with the EU brokered Six-Point Agreement of 12 August, signed by both Georgia and Russia, and the Agreement on Implementing Measures of 8 September 2008. The Mission patrols day and night, particularly in the areas adjacent to the South Ossetian and Abkhazian Administrative Boundary Lines. The Mission’s efforts have been primarily directed at observing the situation on the ground, reporting on incidents, and, generally, through its presence in the relevant areas, contributing to improving the security situation.
EUNAVFOR MED IRINI
EUNAVFOR MED IRINI: European Union Naval Force IRINI - Military Operation
The European Union is stepping up its efforts to implement the UN arms embargo on Libya, thereby contributing to the peace process in the country, through the launch of a Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) military operation in the Mediterranean. These efforts resulted in the launch of the Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI (Irini is the Greek word for “peace”) with the main task to implement the UN arms embargo on Libya through the use of aerial, satellite and maritime assets.
EUROPEAN UNION NAVAL FORCE SOMALIA Military Operation ATALANTA
The European Naval Force Somalia Operation Atalanta is a counter-piracy military operation conducted at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean. It was the first Maritime CSDP operation of the European Union in which individual Member States united together under the EU flag. Since its launch on 8 December 2008, Operation Atalanta remains committed to the implementation of its mandate to ensure maritime security off the coast of Somalia, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Its mandate was extended until 31 December 2022 by the European Council.
EUPOL COPPS/Palestinian territories
EUPOL COPPS: EU Police and Rule of Law Mission for the occupied Palestinian territory - Civilian mission
Initially the Mission was established in 2006 as a Police Mission comprising a Police Advisory Section. In 2008 a Rule of Law Section was added. EUPOL COPPS (the EU Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support) assists the Palestinian Authority in building its institutions with a focus on security and justice sector reforms. This support is placed under Palestinian ownership and is delivered in accordance with European and international standards. Ultimately, the Mission’s objective is to improve the safety and security of the Palestinian people.
The Mission forms part of the wider EU effort to support Palestinian state building, in the context of working towards a comprehensive peace, based on a two-State solution.
EU RACC Sahel
The EU Regional Advisory and Coordination Cell for the Sahel (RACC)
The EU's Regional Advisory and Coordination Cell for the Sahel (RACC) contributes to peace and stability in region. It was deployed in 2019 to support G5 Sahel structures and countries to enhance regional cooperation and operational capabilities in the field of defense and security, in compliance with international law, human rights and the EU Strategic Approach to women peace and security. To reinforce international cooperation and transparency in support of the G5 Sahel structures and countries capacities, as well as to facilitate internal EU coordination on security and defense, in the framework of the integrated approach to the Sahel.
EUTM Mali: European Union Training Mission in Mali - Military Mission
EUTM Mali was launched on 18 February 2013. EUTM Mali is mandated to assist the Malian Armed Forces in restoring their military capacity through of the provision of training, advice, non – executive accompaniment and military assistance. The mission supports the Malian authorities to reach self-sustainable Malian Armed Forces capable of conducting military operations to restore Malian territorial integrity and reduce the threat posed by terrorist groups. Following the EU’s Strategic Review process for EUTM Mali, an EU Council decision expanded the scope of EUTM Mali’s mandate to all five Sahel countries, to support their respective defence sectors/National Armed Forces, and all G5 Sahel Joint Force contingents. EUTM Mali’s mandate was also extended until 18 May 2024, with a potential mid-term Strategic Review half way.
The integration of MATF GAZELLE in Niger, effective from the 14 August 2021, in EUTM Mali, leads immediately to the mission’s mandate delivery in Niger through a well-established, qualified and credible force, highly trusted by Niger’s authorities. EUTM Mali has a not executive mandate and is not engaged in combat operations.
EUTM Mozambique: European Union Training Mission in Mozambique - Military Mission
Launched the 15 October 2021, EUTM Mozambique constitutes a part of the EU’s response to the request of the Government of Mozambique to address the crisis in Cabo Delgado including political dialogue, humanitarian aid, peacebuilding, security and development. EUTM Mozambique supports a more efficient and effective response by the Mozambican armed forces to the crisis in Cabo Delgado in compliance with human rights law and international humanitarian law. The strategic objective of EUTM Mozambique is to support the capacity building of the units of the Mozambican armed forces selected to compose a future Quick Reaction Force (QRF), in order for them to develop the necessary and sustainable capacities to restore safety and security in Cabo Delgado. The mission has a not executive mandate and is not engaged in combat operations.
EUTM RCA: European Union Training Mission in Central African Republic - Military Mission
As an integral part of the EU´s integrated approach that encompasses political, security, humanitarian, and development actions, EUTM RCA was born from the achievements of EUFOR RCA and EUMAM RCA. The European Union Training Mission in Central African Republic (EUTM- RCA) was launched on 16 July 2016 after a Central African Government request. After a first extending from 2018 to 2020, the European Union Council extended the mandate (3rd Mandate) of the mission for two years, until 19 September 2022. The mission contributes to the defence sector reform within the framework of a wider Security Sector Reform (SSR), in close coordination with other EU and International Support Missions [especially the EU Delegation, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM)]. The mission supports the Central African authorities and is engaged in three domains: strategic advice, operational training and education. The mission has a not executive mandate and is not engaged in combat operations.
EUTM Somalia: European Union Training Mission in Somalia - Military Mission
EUTM Somalia, launched on 7 April 2010 aims at contributing to strengthening the federal government and the defence and security institutions in Somalia, following a three-pillar approach: training, mentoring and advising. The mission’s mandate has been extended seven times, with adapted mandates reflecting changes in the political and security situation on the ground. In line with Somali needs and priorities, EUTM Somalia provides, through its’ 7th mandate, strategic level advice to Somali Authorities within the Security Institutions in the Mogadishu area as well as specific mentoring, advice, tailored training and capacity building in the training domain. The current mandate remains focused on supporting the Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) through advisory, mentoring, “train the trainers” and specialized training in order to develop its Defence Institutions. The mission has a not executive mandate and is not engaged in combat operations.
Completed EU Missions and Operations
Around 4,000 EU military and civilian staff are currently deployed in CSDP missions and operations in three continents. The 18 missions and operations work towards a more stable world and therefore contribute to a safer Europe.