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Major advances in the area of the ESDP, which becomes the “Common Security and Defence Policy” (CSDP)

It creates the position of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, which will embody the foreign policy of the Union, merging the current tasks of the Presidency, the High Representative and the Commissioner responsible for External Relations. Guarantor of the consistency of all European external actions, he/she is appointed by the European Council with a qualified majority and with the agreement of the President of the Commission. The High Representative has the ability to make proposals in the area of the CSDP, exercises its authority over the EU’s crisis management bodies that are part of the European External Action Service and manages the EU’s missions together with the Member States. He/she chairs the Foreign Affairs Council with authority on CSDP issues and appoints a representative to permanently chair the Political and Security Committee that monitors the CSDP.

The treaty extends the scope of the European Union’s missions

The so-called Petersbergmissions currently cover humanitarian missions, missions evacuating nationals, peacekeeping missions, combat missions for crisis management, including peacemaking missions. The Treaty of Lisbon provides for their expansion to joint actions in the area of disarmament, missions to provide advice and assistance in military matters, post-conflict stabilization operations and the fight against terrorism.

The treaty opens up the possibility to Member States who want it of deepening their cooperation to build the Europe of defence

The treaty will expand enhanced cooperation to the area of defence (art. 44); initiation thereof remains subject to unanimous voting.

The Treaty of Lisbon (art. 42.6 and article 46) institutes the possibility, specific to the CSDP, of permanent structured cooperation (PSC) in the area of defence, decided on by qualified majority, and open to Member States that will commit to capability objectives and criteria. This framework must make it possible, in particular, to strengthen the capacities and military capabilities made available to the European Union and its operations.

The treaty strengthens the solidarity between European States to ensure their defence and security

The treaty introduces an obligation of aid and mutual assistance (art. 42.7) in the event a Member State is the victim of an armed aggression on its territory (without prejudice to collective defence commitments within the framework of NATO or the distinct characteristics of defence policies - i.e. neutrality - of certain Member States). This provision is comparable in its wording to article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, or to article V of the Western European Union Treaty (WEU). It constitutes progress towards common defence, the possibility of which is confirmed in the TEU in art. 2 and 17.

Finally, the treaty institutes a solidarity clause (new title VII, art. 222) towards a Member State that would be the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster. This clause, the terms of implementation of which still need to be specified, provides for the possibility of using, within the framework of the CSDP, the Member States’ military resources within the borders of the EU. It enables the EU to take non-State threats into consideration, and streamlines its instruments to respond to them: accordingly, the action of resources today reserved for the CSDP under the TEU may intervene in response to crises calling for essentially civilian resources. On the basis of this clause (included in the fifth part of the new treaty, relating to the “Union’s external actions”), the CSDP is thus called on to be mobilized in support of other policies, coming under the “area of freedom, security and justice”, in particular.


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All rights reserved - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development - 2014