The CSDP toolbox

Key achievements of CSDP since 2016

This text provides an overview of recent developments in the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union.

It highlights key achievements since 2016, including the establishment of new structures and initiatives aimed at enhancing cooperation and capabilities in the defence sector.

Since 2016, the CSDP has achieved a number of successes, including:

  • the launch of PESCO;
  • a permanent command and control structure for planning and conducting non-executive military missions;
  • the EDF;
  • the Civilian CSDP Compact;
  • a strategic review of the civilian dimension of the CSDP;
  • and an off-budget European Peace Facility (EPF).

The first CARD report was presented to EU Defence Ministers in November 2020, with the EDA acting as the penholder. It identified 55 collaborative opportunities across the entire capability spectrum.

In December 2020, the Council reached a provisional political agreement with Parliament representatives on a regulation establishing the EDF, in the context of the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027. The allocated budget for seven years is EUR 8 billion. The EDF will stimulate European defence industry cooperation. On 30 June 2022, the Commission launched the first calls for proposals for the fund.

Through the EPF, an off-budget instrument, the EU will fund the common costs of the military CSDP missions and operations, thereby enhancing burden sharing between the Member States. The EPF can also be used to finance the provision of training and military equipment (including lethal equipment) for EU partner countries’ security and defence sectors. By reinforcing the capacities of peace support operations and the capacities of non-EU countries and partner organisations in military and defence matters, the EU will increase the effectiveness of its external action. By March 2023, the EU had provided around EUR 3.6 billion in military assistance to Ukraine through the EPF to help fend off the Russian invasion. The initial facility budget of EUR 5 billion for 2021-2027 was increased by EUR 2 billion in 2023 (with the possibility for a further increase of EUR 3.5 billion if needed).

On 19 July 2022, the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on establishing the European Defence Industry Reinforcement through common Procurement Act (EDIRPA) after being given a mandate for this at the Versailles Summit in March 2022. The EDIRPA is a short-term joint defence procurement instrument worth EUR 500 million. It seeks to address the most urgent and critical defence capability gaps and to incentivise Member States to procure defence products jointly.

Following interinstitutional negotiations, Parliament adopted the regulation in plenary on 12 September 2023.

On 3 May 2023, the Commission put forward a proposal for an act in support of ammunition production, which aims to provide Ukraine with ammunition, increase common procurement and augment production capacity.

Following brief interinstitutional negotiations, Parliament adopted the act on 13 July 2023.

In addition, the Commission will propose a European defence investment programme regulation, which will serve as the anchor for future joint development and procurement projects of high common interest to the security of the Member States and the Union.