- The Ministry
- Mission and Competences
- Crisis Management Unit
- Diplomatic Academy
- The Directorate General of International Development Cooperation-Hellenic Aid
- Diplomatic and Historical Archives
- Centre for Analysis and Planning
- Office for Promotion of Greek Nominations in International and Supranational Organizations
- Supervised Organisations
- International Conventions
- Foreign Policy
- Greece’s Bilateral Relations
- Foreign Policy Issues
- Regional Policy
- Greece in the EU
- Greece in International Organizations
- Global Issues
- Parliament and Foreign Policy
- National Council on Foreign Policy
- Cultural Diplomacy
- Current Affairs
- Citizen Services
- Services for Enterprises
- Career Opportunities
External Relations - Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)
The European Union's Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) (renamed pursuant to the Lisbon Treaty), is the CFSP’s operational branch. Within the framework of the CSDP, the European Union makes decisions on the deployment of military and civilian missions in order to contribute to the implementation of the CFSP’s goals.
By the end of the ‘90s, the Western European Union (WEU) was the only framework of cooperation between European countries in the field of defense. The WEU gradually evolved into the defense branch of the European Union, but its actions were later fully absorbed by the EU.
The Treaty of Maastricht (1992) and the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) were the first steps towards developing a European defense policy, ultimately aiming at setting up a system of common defense policy that might, on specific conditions, lead to common defence. The Treaty of Amsterdam, in particular, includes explicit reference, for the first time, to security and defence missions the EU might undertake with reference to “the Petersberg tasks”, humanitarian and rescue operations, peacekeeping operations and the use of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking operations.
A decisive push was given to the development of a European security and defense policy in 1998 at the Saint Malo Summit of 4/12/98, which saw the agreement between the UK and France on the potential for autonomous action in these areas on the part of the EU, backed up by credible military forces.
The Treaty of Lisbon introduced innovative provisions expanding and strengthening the capacity of member states to cooperate in the field of defense. Within this framework, the Treaty provides for, among other things, the possibility of setting up a permanent structured cooperation; i.e., a form of reinforced cooperation between the member states of the EU that fulfill certain conditions in the field of military capabilities and operations. Furthermore, it provides for the deployment of joint missions by a group of member states, broadens the scope of crisis-management missions and consolidates the role of the European Defence Agency.
The Greek Contribution in the CSDP
The threats and challenges that the EU is facing, as well as its long-term ESDP (CSDP’s predecessor) goals were set out in the European Security Strategy (ESS), which was drawn up in 2003 during the Greek EU Presidency and has since become a reference framework with regard to the ESDP, today’s CSDP.
Beyond the ESS, during the Greek EU presidency of 2003 important developments concerning many aspects of ESDP took place: deployment of the first civilian ESDP Mission EUPM in Bosnia&Herzegovina, deployment of the first military ESDP operation CONCORDIA in FYROM, finalization of the EU-NATO relations framework, launching of the first training programs on ESDP, and major steps were taken to establish an agency in the field of defence cooperation and arms (the European Defence Agency).
Greece supports a comprehensive approach to confronting crisis, in accordance with which the two branches of CFSP (military and non-military) should be developed in a parallel and balanced manner, with cohesive use of all the tools at the EU’s disposal.
Greece’s contribution to the development of European military and non-military capabilities for crisis management is substantial, and our country is among the main supporters of CSDP. This contribution on our part does not, of course, limit our defensive capabilities, but in fact contributes to strengthening them.
Ιn the framework of enhancing the EU’s military capabilities, our country has made available its Headquarters in Larissa for the conduct of autonomous EU military operations. The Larissa HQ successfully organized the EU’s Military Exercise MILEX 2009. Furthermore, Greece is leading as the Framework Nation an EU Battlegroup formation with the participation of Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine (In the first half of 2014, this battlegroup will be put at readiness for a fourth time.). Greece also participates in the Amphibious Force SIAF EUBG, which is headed in a national context by Spain and will be put at readiness in the second half of 2014.
In the direction of the development of the maritime dimension of the CSDP, the Piraeus Multinational Coordinating Centre for Strategic Maritime Transport has already been put at the disposal of the EU and its member states, and relevant agreements have also been signed.
In December 2013, the European Council is to discuss security and defense policy for the first time since 2008. This has caused a lot of activity in the EU member-states and the co-competent services of the EU. The conversation will be based on the Conclusions of the European Council of December 2012, which identified 3 clusters for discussion: a) improving CSDP effectiveness b) promoting development of EU defense capabilities, and c) strengthening of the European defense industry. The European Council of December 2013 is expected to take decisions that will contribute to the further promotion and development of the CSDP.
Under the Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2014, our country is expected to organize certain support actions in the field of CSDP (e.g. informal meetings, workshops, seminars), given that, following the Lisbon Treaty’s entry into force, the Presidency in matters of CFSP/CSDP is exercised by the High Representative. Therefore, the role of the member-state Presidencies, in certain fields, is limited to organizing support actions.
EU missions and operations within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy & the Greek participation
Most of the missions are of a civilian, and mostly policing, nature. Since 2003, when the first EU crisis management mission was decided on (EUPM in Bosnia-Herzegovina) a total of 28 missions (of military and civilian nature) have been deployed in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Out of the 16 ongoing CSDP operations Greece takes part in the following:
A. Military Operations
- Operation EUFOR-Althea in Bosnia-Herzegovina: This operation was launched in December 2004 as a follow-up to NATO’s SFOR and is carried out through recourse to NATO means and capabilities.
- EU anti-piracy naval operation off the coast of Somalia (EUNAVFOR ATALANTA).
- Greece has also provided staff for the EU military mission for training armed forces personnel and the reorganization of the Mali Armed Forces (EUTM MALI).
B. Civilian Missions
- EU Mission for rule of law in Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo). This is the largest EU civilian mission in progress.
- EU Police mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL Afghanistan), which is also active in the area of rule of law.
- The EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia), which, through the deployment of monitors, aims to assist in consolidating stability in Georgia and the wider region.
- The EUCAP Nestor – Horn of Africa mission for development of local shipping capabilities of the countries of the Horn of Africa and the western Indian Ocean.
- Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya) for the integrated management of the country’s borders.