EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)
The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), as an integral part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), is a crisis management instrument belonging to the sphere of intergovernmental activities of the EU. CSDP provides the EU with operational capacity based on civilian and military resources to carry out peacekeeping missions outside its territory, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security. Along with the UN and NATO it constitutes a preferred multinational framework for external peacekeeping operations.
Under CSDP, the EU has set a series of targets for improving capabilities and increasing deployable assets, including plans for a rapid reaction force and multinational EU Battlegroups. Such forces are not a standing “EU army,” but rather a catalogue of troops and assets drawn from existing national forces that member states can make available for EU operations. In 2004, the EU established the European Defense Agency (EDA) to help coordinate defense-industrial and procurement policy in order to stretch European defense spending.
An effective CSDP also calls for an autonomous EU capability to conduct external operations.
CSDP is not intended to rival or compete with NATO, but rather is meant to be a complementary alternative. The Lisbon Treaty confirms the primary role of NATO in its members’ mutual defense and reiterates that CSDP does not seek to compromise members’ commitments to NATO. The existence of CSDP gives the EU an ability to act in cases
where EU intervention may be more appropriate or effective, or in situations where NATO or the United Nations choose not to become involved.
Unlike most EU policies, the CSDP remains the exclusive competence of the Member States. As key fields of national sovereignty, issues related to the external security and defence of the European Union still require the unanimous approval of the Member States, and only they can initiate, adopt and control the action taken within this framework. As far as the CSDP is concerned, the rule of unanimity applies to any decisions taken, so the Member States have the right of veto.
Operationally, European cooperation allows tasks, responsibilities, capabilities and the financial burden to be shared more fairly between the EU and its Member States. Much progress has been made with optimising the joint use of military and civilian resources and improving cost effectiveness. These innovations mainly concern crisis management structures and procedures, capacity-building and strengthening partnerships with other bodies involved in crisis management. Efforts made within the CSDP framework have also had the effect of bringing the European armed forces closer together (on standards, equipment and training) in a successful bid for interoperability.
Slovak involvement in CSDP missions allows for greater opportunities to contribute to the strengthening of international peace and security, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and supporting conditions for sustainable development. Within the CSDP framework we advocate EU – NATO cooperation and intense engagement of partner nations in CSDP endeavors. Slovakia also supports enhancement of the overall effectiveness of CSDP through the employment of comprehensive approach as well as through EU partnerships.
Slovakia is represented in EU missions and operations. Our military and civilian experts have participated in: EUFOR Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina, EUPOL Afghanistan, EUMMM Georgia, EULEX Kosovo, EUBAM Moldova nad Ukraine and EUPOL COPPS in Palestinian territoties.
Common Security and Defense Policy
EU missions and operations
European Defence Agency
Treaty of Lisbon
European Security Strategy
Slovak membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a determining factor of our external security ensuring the necessary external stability for the implementation of the priority tasks of social and economic development of the country. NATO represents a main pillar of Slovakia’s security.
Slovakia adheres to NATO core tasks and principles, to its values and strategic objectives. On questions concerning the future of NATO, Slovakia has been striving to retain sufficient engagement in the local region, mainly in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe. Slovakia also backs NATO’s new initiatives, such as being able to provide assistance for building defence capabilities in countries which both need and have expressed an interest in such capabilities. Slovakia has also offered to share her experience of the security sector reform in the UN.
Slovakia continues to push for an open door policy. As part of preparations for the NATO summit in September 2014 in the UK, Slovakia was one of the countries behind the decision to compile by summer 2014 an objective assessment of progress made in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Georgia who are pursuing membership. The assessment will be used by NATO member states to decide further possible steps for enlargement.
During NATO engagement in the Western Balkans, the Slovak Republic ensured that NATO forces in Kosovo (KFOR) continued to fulfil their responsibilities mandated by UN Security Council resolution No. 1244/1999.
In 2013, the Slovak embassy in Belgrade began its two-year mandate as a NATO Contact Point Embassy in Serbia. Slovakia’s activity has mainly been concerned with increasing Serbian public awareness of NATO and also on cooperation between NATO, Slovakia and Serbia.
Priority within NATO crisis management was given to our participation in the International Security and Assistance Forces (ISAF) operations led by NATO in Afghanistan. As this operation is planned to be completed by the end of 2014, Slovakia adapted its contribution in accordance with the changing requirements, resulting in a temporary reduction in the number of soldiers deployed to ISAF from around 350 to approximately 32. Slovakia is prepared to continue providing further support to train and to educate the Afghan Armed Forces so they will be capable of ensuring security in the country independently and as soon as possible. Slovakia stands ready to confirm its readiness to support Afghanistan after 2014 in various ways: 1) contribution to the new NATO training mission (66 troops); 2) financial contribution to ANSF sustainment efforts (0,5 mil. USD annually until 2017); 3) Afghanistan will remain among priority areas of our Official Development Assistance.
During the last NATO summit in Wales (04 - 05 September, 2014), Allies have demonstrated the decisive cohesion in a wide range of issues related to security threats. The summit proved to be significant as well as substantial in terms of setting the future course of the Alliance.
Slovakia will actively participate in the Readiness Action Plan, approved by the Alliance during the summit which will allow NATO for a swift reaction to a widening spectrum of threats and prepare for a broad range of missions.
Slovakia welcomes a broad commitment to stop defense cuts. In that context we will gradually increase our defense budget to 1.6% GDP by the year 2020. We have also set a goal to invest 20% of the budget to modernization and rearmament by 2016.
NATO operations and missions
Slovakia and NATO
Last updated: 01/09/2015