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 Defence 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 defence 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 endeavours. 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: EUAM Ukraine, EUFOR Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina, EUPOL Afghanistan, EUMM Georgia, EULEX Kosovo, EUBAM Moldova and Ukraine, EUPOL COPPS in Palestinian territories, and EUTM in Mali.
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. We see it as an instrument for stabilization of European peace and prosperity in the long-term perspective. We will support democratic transformation of Western Balkan countries and their integration perspective.
During the last NATO summit in Warsaw (08 – 09 July, 2016), Allies agreed to enhance NATO’s military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance, with four battalions in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. They endorsed a tailored forward presence for south-eastern flank too. The other main topics of the Summit were relations with Russia, hybrid threats, cyber defence and security, projecting stability beyond NATO border, continued support for Afghanistan, more efficient cooperation with partners and enhancement of support for Ukraine and Georgia.
Slovakia supports a strengthening the eastern flank and therefore it sends 152 troops to Latvia from April to June 2017 as part of a Visegrad Four Contribution.
Allies also confirmed their Defence Investment Pledge from Wales (September 2014). Slovakia welcomes a broad commitment to stop defence cuts. In that context we will gradually increase our defence 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.
In Warsaw, the President of the European Council D. Tusk, the President of the European Commission J.C. Juncker and NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg signed a Joint Declaration between NATO and the EU. This declaration identified key areas for expanding cooperation, including countering hybrid and cyber threats, supporting partners in defence capacity building, and increasing maritime security. In December 2016, NATO and the EU jointly endorsed the Common Set of Proposals to strengthen NATO-EU cooperation in seven areas: countering hybrid threats, operations, cyber defence, defence capabilities, supporting the defence industry, exercises, and training and capacity building for their partners.
Afghanistan belongs to Slovak´s top priority in the context of strengthening the security of the Euro-Atlantic area. The progress achieved so far in the country is reversible. NATO cannot end the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) yet without risking the loss of what has been achieved. Slovakia supports Afghanistan in various ways: 1) deployment of contingent within NATO training mission; 2) pledge of continued financial support to Afghan Security Forces up to 2020; 3) keeping Afghanistan as one of priority areas of our Official Development Assistance.
Since 1st January 2017, the Slovak embassy in Sarajevo has begun its two-year mandate as a NATO Contact Point Embassy in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Slovakia’s activity has mainly been concerned with increasing Bosnian public awareness of NATO and also on cooperation between NATO, Slovakia and Bosnia and Hercegovina. In the past, Slovak embassies in Kiev (Ukraine) and in Belgrade (Serbia) served as NATO Contact Point Embassy.
Last Update Date: 3.4.2017 Create Date: 6.11.2015