Common Foreign and Security Policy

Common Defense and Security Policy

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was created and developed as part of the European construction process and as a result of member states acknowledging the benefits of common external action. Briefly, CFSP is forged by all the decisions that member states, including Romania, are reaching in common, regarding their relationship, developed through the EU institutions and policies, with the other actors of the international system.

The Common Defense and Security Policy (CDSP) is a relatively new tool of the intergovernmental component of the EU, in a conceptual evolution since 1998 (the French-UK Summit in Saint Malo); it became operational in 2003 – when the European Security Strategy was adopted and the first missions were launched, being destined to help achieve the goals defined by the aforementioned Strategy. The implementation report of the ESS (2008) includes the new challenges in the international security environment.

An important contribution supporting this vision is represented by the many crisis management missions deployed – as many as 34 from 2003 to 2013. During all this time, the EU has earned the reputation of an actor capable of providing a comprehensive approach of crisis management, by putting a distinctive mark on both the military and the civilian side, especially in the area of the rule of law.

Romania has been actively involved in the security and defense area, known until 2009 as ESDP (European Defense and Security Policy), which makes now the object of the CDSP, even before it became a full EU member on 1 January 2007. Nowadays, Romania is an active contributor to the CDSP, both in relation to the political dimension, oriented to support the interests member states have identified as common in the field of security and defense, and with respect to the operational dimension, being an important player in many EU crisis management missions.

The Lisbon Treaty stands for a new stage in reinforcing the institutional framework in this particular field, marking the new assignment of a High Representative of the EU for Foreign and Security Policy, the creation of a European External Action Service (EEAS) as well as concrete steps in order to implement the provisions concerning the objectives of the Common Defense and Security Policy (CDSP).

A number of changes are operated in order to make the CDSP way of action more effective, while maintaining the intergovernmental line and the rule of unanimity in decision making. Meanwhile, in the general process of consolidating the foreign, security and defense policies, at EU level increased attention is given to the civilian dimension of crisis management.