The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) will continue to develop in full complementarity with NATO in the agreed framework of the strategic partnership between the EU and NATO and in compliance with the decision-making autonomy and procedures of each. This requires having the necessary means and maintaining a sufficient level of investment. Today, the European Council is making a strong commitment to the further development of a credible and effective CSDP, in accordance with the Lisbon Treaty and the opportunities it offers. The European Council calls on the Member States to deepen defence cooperation by improving the capacity to conduct missions and operations and by making full use of synergies in order to improve the development and availability of the required civilian and military capabilities, supported by a more integrated, sustainable, innovative and competitive European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB). This will also bring benefits in terms of growth, jobs and innovation to the broader European industrial sector. . . .
Through CSDP, the Union today deploys more than 7000 staff in 12 civilian missions and four military operations. The European Union and its Member States can bring to the international stage the unique ability to combine, in a consistent manner, policies and tools ranging from diplomacy, security and defence to finance, trade, development and justice. . . .
The EU and its Member States need to be able to plan and deploy the right civilian and military assets rapidly and effectively. The European Council emphasises the need to improve the EU rapid response capabilities, including through more flexible and deployable EU Battle groups as Member States so decide. The financial aspects of EU missions and operations should be rapidly examined, including in the context of the Athena mechanism review, with a view to improving the system of their financing, based on a report from the High Representative. The European Council invites the Commission, the High Representative and the Member States to ensure that the procedures and rules for civilian missions enable the Union to be more flexible and speed up the deployment of EU civilian missions.
New security challenges continue to emerge. Europe’s internal and external security dimensions are increasingly interlinked. To enable the EU and its Member States to respond, in coherence with NATO efforts, the European Council calls for:
• an EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework in 2014, on the basis of a proposal by the High Representative, in cooperation with the Commission and the European Defence Agency;
• an EU Maritime Security Strategy by June 2014, on the basis of a joint Communication from the Commission and the High Representative, taking into account the opinions of the Member States, and the subsequent elaboration of action plans to respond to maritime challenges;
• increased synergies between CSDP and Freedom/Security/Justice actors to tackle horizontal issues such as illegal migration, organised crime and terrorism;
• progress in developing CSDP support for third states and regions, in order to help the mto improve border management;
• further strengthening cooperation to tackle energy security challenges. . . .
The European Council remains committed to delivering key capabilities and addressing critical shortfalls through concrete projects by Member States, supported by the European Defence Agency. Bearing in mind that the capacities are owned and operated by the Member States, it welcomes :
• the development of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in the 2020-2025 timeframe: preparations for a programme of a next-generation European Medium Altitude Long Endurance RPAS; the establishment of an RPAS user community among the participating Member States owning and operating these RPAS; close synergies with the European Commission on regulation (for an initial RPAS integration into the European Aviation System by 2016); appropriate funding from 2014 for R&D activities;
• the development of Air-to-Air refuelling capacity: progress towards increasing overall capacity and reducing fragmentation, especially as regards the establishment of a Multi-Role Tanker Transport capacity, with synergies in the field of certification, qualification, in-service support and training;
• Satellite Communication: preparations for the next generation of Governmental Satellite Communication through close cooperation between the Member States, the Commission and the European Space Agency; a users’ group should be set up in 2014;
• Cyber: developing a roadmap and concrete projects focused on training and exercises, improving civil/military cooperation on the basis of the EU Cybersecurity Strategy as well as the protection of assets in EU missions and operations.
Excerpts from European Council Conclusions, December 19, 2013.