Tag Archives: Strategic Compass

EU adopts Strategic Compass

Brussels 21.03.2022 Today the Council has formally approved the Strategic Compass, at a time when we witness the return of war in Europe.

The Compass gives the European Union an ambitious plan of action for strengthening the EU’s security and defence policy by 2030.

The more hostile security environment requires us to make a quantum leap forward and increase our capacity and willingness to act, strengthen our resilience, and invest more and better in our defence capabilities.

The strength of our Union lies in unity, solidarity and determination. The objective of the Strategic Compass is to make the EU a stronger and more capable security provider. The EU needs to be able to protect its citizens and to contribute to international peace and security. This is all the more important at a time when war has returned to Europe, following the unjustified and unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as of major geopolitical shifts. This Strategic Compass will enhance the EU’s strategic autonomy and its ability to work with partners to safeguard its values and interests.

A stronger and more capable EU in security and defence will contribute positively to global and transatlantic security and is complementary to NATO, which remains the foundation of collective defence for its members. It will also intensify support for the global rules-based order, with the United Nations at its core.

The threats are rising and the cost of inaction is clear. The Strategic Compass is a guide for action. It sets out an ambitious way forward for our security and defence policy for the next decade. It will help us face our security responsibilities, in front of our citizens and the rest of the world. If not now, then when?
“The Strategic Compass provides a shared assessment of the strategic environment in which the EU is operating and of the threats and challenges the Union faces. The document makes concrete and actionable proposals, with a very precise timetable for implementation, in order to improve the EU’s ability to act decisively in crises and to defend its security and its citizens” said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The Compass covers all the aspects of the security and defence policy and is structured around four pillars: act, invest, partner and secure.

Act
In order to be able to act rapidly and robustly whenever a crisis erupts, with partners if possible and alone when necessary, the EU will:

– establish a strong EU Rapid Deployment Capacity of up to 5000 troops for different types of crises

– be ready to deploy 200 fully equipped CSDP mission experts within 30 days, including in complex environments

– conduct regular live exercises on land and at sea

– enhance military mobility

– reinforce the EU’s civilian and military CSDP (Common Defence and Security Policy) missions and operations by promoting a rapid and more flexible decision-making process , acting in a more robust way and ensuring greater financial solidarity

– make full use of the European Peace Facility to support partners

In order to be able to act rapidly and robustly whenever a crisis erupts, with partners if possible and alone when necessary, the EU will:

– establish a strong EU Rapid Deployment Capacity of up to 5000 troops for different types of crises

– be ready to deploy 200 fully equipped CSDP mission experts within 30 days, including in complex environments

– conduct regular live exercises on land and at sea

– enhance military mobility

– reinforce the EU’s civilian and military CSDP (Common Defence and Security Policy) missions and operations by promoting a rapid and more flexible decision-making process , acting in a more robust way and ensuring greater financial solidarity

– make full use of the European Peace Facility to support partners

Secure
In order to strengthen its ability to anticipate, deter and respond to current and fast-emerging threats and challenges, and safeguard the EU’s security interest, the EU will:

– boost its intelligence analysis capacities

– develop Hybrid Toolbox and Response Teams bringing together different instruments to detect and respond to a broad range of hybrid threats

– further develop the Cyber Diplomatic Toolbox and set up an EU Cyber Defence Policy to be better prepared for and respond to cyberattacks

– develop a Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference Toolbox

– develop an EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence

– strengthen the EU’s role as a maritime security actor

Invest
Member states have committed to substantially enhance their defence expenditures to match our collective ambition to reduce critical military and civilian capability gaps and strengthen our European Defence Technological and Industrial Base. The EU will:

– exchange on national objectives on increased and improved defence spending to match our security needs

– provide further incentives for member states to engage in collaborative capability development and jointly invest in strategic enablers and next generation capabilities to operate on land, at sea, in the air, in the cyber domain and in outer space

– boost defence technological innovation to fill strategic gaps and reduce technological and industrial dependencies

Partner
In order to address common threats and challenges, the EU will:

– strengthen cooperation with strategic partners such as NATO, the UN and regional partners, including the OSCE, AU and ASEAN

– develop more tailored bilateral partnerships with like-minded countries and strategic partners, such as the US, Canada, Norway, the UK, Japan and others

– develop tailored partnerships in the Western Balkans, our eastern and southern neighbourhood, Africa, Asia and Latin America, including through enhancing dialogue and cooperation, promoting participation in CSDP missions and operations and supporting capacity- building

EU focus on Strategic Compass

Brussels 21.03.2022 “Today is going to be a very long day. We are going to have a joint meeting with the Defence Ministers in order to approve – I hope – the Strategic Compass. Which is not the answer to the Ukrainian war, but it is part of the answer. We have been working on that for two years, and when we started working, we could not imagine that it the last moment of approval, the situation would be so bad, and that Europe was going to face such a big challenge,” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said upon arrival to the Foreign ministers Council in Brussels.

“This is the moment to rethink the future of European capacities to face challenges like a war. That is why the European Union Member States will have to increase their military capacities. [And to] do it in a coordinated manner. As responsible for the Common Security and Defence Policy, we will be working to make us stronger militarily and use our capacities in a more coordinated way.

“We are going to continue providing support to Ukraine – with the second tranche of the European Peace Facility providing more financial support. We are going to have a meeting with the [Deputy Prime Minister] and Foreign Affairs Minister of the [Republic of] Moldova [Nicu Popescu]. Moldova is providing incredible support to the Ukrainian refugees. And then we will have a video-conference with the Defence Minister of Ukraine [Oleksii Reznikov], who will talk about the war situation.

“Russia is really committing a lot of war crimes – that is the word, we have to say it. What is happening in Mariupol is a massive war crime. [They are] destroying everything, bombarding and killing everybody in an indiscriminate manner. This is something awful that we have to condemn in the strongest terms. This is a war crime, a massive war crime, what is happening in Mariupol. The city will be completely destroyed, and people are dying. We will continue working and supporting Ukraine, with all of our resources. We will continue talking about what kind of sanctions we can think of again, more – especially related with energy. And we will see from [our discussions with] the Defence Minister of Ukraine, what is the situation there and how we can continue supporting them.

The enhancement of the EU defence plans is due to the France Presidency of the Council of the European Union. President Emmanuel Macron has ensured that his goal is to “to move from being a Europe of cooperation inside of our borders to a powerful Europe in the world, fully sovereign, free to make its choices and master of its destiny.” The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell clarified that it is means the EU should be “learning the language of power,” and being willing to act more rigorously to defend its interests wherever they are threatened.

The France Presidency has an ambition to upgrade the European defence to become fully operational. That is why the Strategic Compass has been promoted as the first White paper on the EU defence, becoming the major achievement of the French presidency. The document will lay out a common strategic vision for EU security and defence, and set the practical objectives in accordance with the timetable, or a roadmap.

There will be strong incentives to follow up on the commitments included, the EU diplomats ensure, as the document will be endorsed by the heads of state and government and will leave room for potential adaptations. The Strategic Compass will be a barometer for both member states’ and the bloc’s ambitions to make the EU a leading security provider for its citizens on the continent and beyond.

EU needs more “European Defence”

Brussels 02.09.2021 “Today, we are going to have a meeting that will be dominated by the events in Afghanistan. Afghanistan will be the backdrop of our discussions today” said the High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival to Informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers.

“I think that it is clear that the need for more ‘European Defence’ has never been as evident as today – after the events in Afghanistan. I am sure that the Ministers will discuss how to face this new situation and how we can be more prepared for future challenges.

“The Strategic Compass is a work in progress. In a couple of months, I think we will be able to present the report of our work, but sometimes there are events that catalyse the history. Something happens and pushes the history, it creates a breakthrough. I think that the events in Afghanistan this summer are one of these cases.

“I hope that today the discussion will be more lively and we will be more engaged on concrete results – no, [there will be no] decisions today, because it is an informal meeting, but to prepare, no later than October or November, the final draft of the Strategic Compass”.

According to Reuters news agency in the last call between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Afghanistan counterpart before the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, the leaders discussed military aid, political strategy and messaging tactics, but neither Biden nor Ashraf Ghani appeared aware of or prepared for the imminent danger of the entire country falling to feet of insurgents, a transcript reviewed is a convincing evidence of this lack of awareness.

The politicians spoke for roughly 14 minutes on July 23. On August 15, Ghani fled the presidential palace, and the Taliban entered Kabul. Since then, tens of thousands of desperate Afghans have fled and 13 U.S. troops and scores of Afghan civilians were killed in a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport during the frenetic U.S. military evacuation.

EU defence Strategic Compass

Brussels 10.05.2021 The Council today approved conclusions affirming its determination to move forward on implementing the EU’s security and defence agenda, enabling the EU to take more responsibility for its own security.
In line with its Strategic Agenda 2019-2024, the Council calls for the EU to pursue a more strategic course of action and to increase its capacity to act autonomously. The EU should promote its interests and values and be able to tackle global security threats and challenges.

Against this background, an ambitious and actionable Strategic Compass will enhance and guide the implementation of the level of ambition on security and defence. The Council therefore calls on the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to present a first draft of the Strategic Compass for discussion at the Council meeting in November 2021.

The Council calls for further work to enhance the EU’s capacity to undertake CSDP missions and operations across the whole spectrum of different crisis management tasks. The Council also encourages further reflection on a timely and efficient decision-making process, possibly using Article 44 of the TEU. More work should be done on ways to incentivise member states to improve force generation and provide sufficient means and personnel for CSDP missions and operations.

The conclusions underline the importance of strengthening EU defence initiatives, like Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), and other initiatives such as the Action Plan on synergies between civil, defence and space industries, while ensuring coherence in the use of the various tools.

The need to further strengthen the EU’s resilience and ability to counter hybrid threats is also strongly emphasised.

A strong EU in terms of security and defence will bring tangible benefits to transatlantic and global cooperation. The Council reaffirms the centrality of international partnerships with multilateral organisations such as the UN and NATO, in line with the statement of the members of the European Council of 26 February 2021.