Council of the
Brussels, 19 November 2018
OUTCOME OF PROCEEDINGS
General Secretariat of the Council
19 November 2018
No. prev. doc.:
Council conclusions on Security and Defence in the context of the EU
- Council conclusions (19 November 2018)
Delegations will find in the Annex the Council conclusions on Security and Defence in the context
of the EU Global Strategy, adopted by the Council at its 3652nd meeting held on 19 November
COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS ON SECURITY AND DEFENCE
IN THE CONTEXT OF THE EU GLOBAL STRATEGY
In the framework of the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and
defence, following the guidance by the European Council and recalling its Conclusions on
these matters, the Council recalls its firm commitment to implement the EU Level of
Ambition in responding to external conflicts and crises, building partners' capacities and
protecting the EU and its citizens. By addressing Europe's current and future security and
defence needs, the EU will enhance its capacity to act as a security provider and its strategic
autonomy, and strengthen its ability to cooperate with partners. It recalls, in line with
November 2017 Council conclusions, that this will contribute decisively to collective efforts,
also in the context of the transatlantic relationship, and will enhance the European
contribution to a rules-based global order with the UN at its core.
The Council welcomes the substantive progress made in the area of security and defence
during the last two years and stresses the importance of keeping the momentum through the
continued engagement of the Member States and EU institutions. It highlights the key role of
Member States in the governance of various initiatives.
In this context, the Council today:
Civilian CSDP Compact
Welcomes the agreement on a civilian CSDP Compact by the Council and the Member States,
marking an ambitious commitment to strengthen civilian CSDP and make it more capable,
more effective and responsive, and more joined up in today’s changed security environment.
It will contribute to the fulfilment of the EU Level of Ambition and its three strategic
priorities in the area of security and defence, by performing the CSDP tasks set out in the
Treaty on European Union. It highlights that this Compact paves the way towards better
addressing the priorities originally defined in Feira and tackling new and long-standing
security challenges as identified in the Global Strategy, better implementing the EU’s
integrated approach to external conflicts and crises as well as fostering cooperation and
coordination between CSDP and Commission services and other Justice and Home Affairs
actors, addressing the nexus between internal and external security. The Council looks
forward to the fulfilment of the Compact and its commitments by early summer 2023 at the
latest and will closely follow its implementation.
Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC)
Welcomes the positive impact of the MPCC in its command and control of the EU’s three
military training missions and underlines the relevance of the MPCC, set up in June 2017 as a
permanent planning and conduct capability at the military strategic level in Brussels for these
missions, in accordance with the principle of avoiding unnecessary duplication with NATO. It
stresses the important contribution of the MPCC to the aim for the EU to react in a faster,
more effective and more seamless manner as a security provider, as part of its integrated
approach to external conflicts and crises.
Agrees, on the basis of the report by the High Representative, to integrate the current
executive tasks of the EU Operations Centre (OPSCEN) into the MPCC, with the objective to
be ready by the end of 2020 to take responsibility for the operational planning and conduct of
the non-executive military CSDP missions and one executive military CSDP operation limited
to EU Battlegroup size. It stresses that the MPCC should be provided with the necessary
human resources as agreed and infrastructure, and its staff be trained and exercised. The
Council underlines that staffing needs to be built up gradually and in a sufficient and timely
manner, and stresses that all agreed conditions need to be fulfilled in order to reach Full
Notes that this enhanced role of the MPCC is complementary with, and without prejudice to,
all other existing command and control options for military CSDP operations.
Highlights the continued importance of intensified coordination between the MPCC and the
Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) through the Joint Support Coordination
Cell (JSCC) to enable and further strengthen effective civilian-military coordination and
cooperation in the operational planning and conduct of CSDP missions, particularly with
regard to key mission support areas, in order to maximise impact and efficiencies. It also
stresses the importance of enhanced cooperation between the MPCC, within its mandate, and
other EU actors as part of the integrated approach.
Agrees to the aim to have a next review by the end of 2020, based on a report by the High
Representative, prepared in consultation with the Member States, without prejudice to any
possible subsequent next steps that would have to be decided by the Council.
Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)
In the framework of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO),
Welcomes the progress in the implementation of PESCO almost one year after its
establishment, with concrete steps forward in the completion of its institutional framework as
well as in the setting up and implementation of PESCO projects.
10. Recalls the recent adoption on 15 October 2018 of a Council Recommendation concerning the
sequencing of the fulfilment of the more binding commitments undertaken in the framework
of PESCO and specifying the more precise objectives. On this basis, the participating Member
States will review and update, as appropriate, their national implementation plans by the
agreed timelines. In this context, the Council calls on the High Representative to provide her
first annual PESCO report, in line with the agreed procedures and timelines.
11. Adopts a Council Decision amending and updating Decision (CFSP) 2018/340 of 6 March
2018 establishing the list of projects to be developed under PESCO to include the next set of
PESCO projects, and calls for the swift implementation of all projects. The Council further
stresses the clear European added value of all PESCO projects, which will contribute to
fulfilling the more binding commitments and to achieving the EU Level of Ambition, with a
view to delivering tangible results in addressing the Union’s capability and operational needs.
They should continue to be designed and implemented in a manner consistent with the agreed
EU Capability Development Priorities and the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence. .
Taking these objectives into account, the Council invites the PESCO secretariat by spring
2019, ahead of the next call for PESCO project proposals, to present a report on the initial
lessons identified, in close consultation with the participating Member States, with a view to
improving the process to identify, assess and select PESCO projects.
12. Recognises that a third State could, and would need to, in line with the Council conclusions of
13 November 2017, provide substantial added value to the PESCO projects, contribute to
strengthening PESCO and the CSDP and meet more demanding commitments, while fully
respecting the principle of decision-making autonomy of the EU and its Member States. In
this context, the Council looks forward to the adoption as soon as possible, in principle by the
end of 2018, of a Council Decision on the general conditions under which third States could
exceptionally be invited to participate in individual PESCO projects, in accordance with
Articles 4(2)(g) and 9 of the Council Decision establishing PESCO, the guidance provided in
the PESCO notification as well as the Council Decision on the common set of governance
Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD)
13. Welcomes the CARD Trial Run report and encourages participating Member States to
implement the recommendations included therein.
14. Taking into account lessons identified, agrees to launch the CARD as a standing activity,
starting with the first full CARD cycle in 2019/2020, with a view to provide further guidance
on collaborative opportunities and a detailed assessment of the European capability landscape,
also taking into account the short-, mid- and long-term trends of capability development.
Based on Member States’ full engagement, the CARD exercise will further contribute
alongside PESCO and the European Defence Fund to promote defence cooperation and
investment in defence capabilities.
15. Recognises that the CARD exercise will thereby substitute earlier taskings on conducting
assessment exercises under the Policy Framework for Systematic and Long Term Defence
16. Acknowledges that the coherence of output between the CARD, as well as the Capability
Development Plan, and respective NATO processes, such as the NATO Defence Planning
Process (NDPP), has been and will continue to be ensured, where requirements overlap while
recognizing the different nature of the two organisations and their respective responsibilities.
European Defence Fund
17. Welcomes the progress made, in the context of both current activities under the Preparatory
Action on Defence Research (PADR) and the European Defence Industrial Development
Programme (EDIDP) and of the future European Defence Fund, in order to foster the global
competitiveness, efficiency and innovation capacity of the European defence technological
and industrial base throughout the Union, by supporting collaborative actions and cross-
border cooperation between legal entities throughout the Union, in particular Small and
Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and middle capitalisation companies (mid-caps), as well as
fostering the better exploitation of the industrial potential of innovation, research and
technological development, thus contributing to the Union's strategic autonomy and its
freedom of action.
18. Regarding current activities, looks forward to the emerging results of the PADR and to the
early finalisation later this year of the work programme for the EDIDP with a view to starting
funding projects as soon as possible in 2019.
19. Has agreed on a partial general approach on the proposal for a Regulation establishing the
European Defence Fund, paving the way for an agreement with the European Parliament
expected as early as possible in 2019, without prejudice to the overall agreement on the
Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
20. Reiterates the need for the implementation of the EDIDP and the further development of the
European Defence Fund to strongly involve the Member States, make full use of the views
and expertise of the European Defence Agency (EDA) and associate the European External
Action Service (EEAS).
Coherence among EU initiatives
21. Acknowledges the progress towards ensuring coherence between the EU initiatives fostering
European defence cooperation (CARD, PESCO, European Defence Fund) with a view to
supporting the implementation of the EU Capability Development Priorities and contributing
to achieving the EU Level of Ambition on security and defence, and calls for enhanced efforts
in this regard.
22. Recalling its conclusions of 13 November 2017, the Council invites the High
Representative/Vice President/Head of the Agency to continue promoting further synergies
and coordination among EU defence initiatives, including CARD, PESCO and the European
Defence Fund, in close consultation with Member States. The Council invites the High
Representative/Vice President/Head of the Agency to present by mid-2019 a forward looking
report on the interactions, linkages and coherence between these initiatives, including the
coordination between the supporting institutions and bodies at EU level, and taking into
account the respective lessons identified as well as Member States' reporting.
Single set of forces
23. Recalls that, as Member States only have a 'single set of forces' which they can use in
different frameworks, the development of Member States' defence capabilities in the EU
framework will thus also help to strengthen these capabilities potentially available to the
United Nations and NATO.
24. Recalling its conclusions on EU-NATO cooperation of 8 June 2018, stresses that security and
defence efforts of the EU and NATO substantially contribute, in a coherent manner, to a
secure Europe, entailing both benefits and responsibilities, and for those Member States
concerned, fostering an equitable sharing of the burden.
25. Reiterates that it continues to ensure coherence and mutual reinforcement between the EU and
NATO and that cooperation continues to take place in full respect of the principles of
inclusiveness, reciprocity and decision-making autonomy of both organisations. In this regard,
the Council welcomes the second Joint Declaration on EU-NATO cooperation signed on 10
July 2018 by the President of the European Council, the President of the European
Commission, and the Secretary General of NATO. The Council acknowledges ongoing work
on the implementation of the common set of proposals covering 74 actions and stresses the
importance of ensuring swift and demonstrable progress in all areas. In this context, it
particularly welcomes the ongoing EU Hybrid Exercise Multilayer 2018 as an example of
Parallel and Coordinated Exercises (PACE).
European Peace Facility (EPF)
26. Recalling its conclusions of 25 June 2018 on the proposal of the High Representative, with
the support of the Commission, for a European Peace Facility (EPF), takes note, without
prejudice to future decisions, of the intention of the proposed EPF to enhance the Union's
ability to preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security, and thus
progress towards fulfilling its Level of Ambition.
27. Emphasises that the governance of the proposed EPF must fully respect Member States'
ownership and their key role in CFSP and notes in particular that, in accordance with the
Treaty on European Union, the financing of each action under the proposed EPF would
require a prior decision by the Council.
28. Takes note of the possibilities offered by the proposed Facility as regards possible actions to
be funded, which must be defined by the Council, the potential for increased coordination,
coherence and complementarity of EU CFSP actions and with other external instruments
under the EU budget, as well as the global geographical scope of the proposed Facility. The
Council notes that the proposed EPF would, inter alia, incorporate the funding of actions now
financed by the African Peace Facility and, in this context, stresses the importance of the
continued EU engagement in support of peacekeeping and stabilisation actions on the African
29. Notes the possibility offered by the proposed EPF to finance capacity building of EU's
partners relating to military or defence matters in pursuit of CFSP objectives, while stressing
the need to fully use the possibilities to that effect under the EU budget.
30. Underlines that the operational efficiency and flexibility of the Athena mechanism should be
31. Recalls that the financial aspects proposed for the EPF will continue to be addressed in the
context of negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2021-2027
and emphasizes in this context the necessity of coherence between the different external
32. Invites the relevant Council preparatory bodies to continue taking work forward, including by
adapting the proposal, as necessary.
Funding of military missions and operations
33. Recalls the important contribution of the Athena mechanism to funding EU military missions
and operations and calls for the ongoing review of this mechanism to be completed as soon as
34. Recalling its conclusions of 18 May 2017 on Security and Defence in the context of the EU
Global Strategy, and pending the completion of this review, hereby agrees that the Council
Declaration on the common funding of the deployment of EU Battlegroups be extended until
31 December 2020.
35. Recalling its conclusions of 25 June 2018, welcomes the ongoing implementation of efforts in
improving the mobility of military personnel, materiel and equipment for routine activities
and during crisis and conflict, within and beyond the EU, by all transport modes and in all
strategic directions, thus enabling the Member States to act faster and effectively in the
context of the Common Security and Defence Policy, national and multinational activities. In
this regard, it recalls that the improvement of military mobility can only be achieved with the
full involvement and commitment of all EU Member States, following a whole-of-
government approach and the involvement of the competent national authorities beyond the
ministries of defence, in coherence with relevant initiatives at the EU level including in the
context of PESCO and in close cooperation with NATO as part of the framework of the
implementation of the Joint Declarations.
36. Reiterates that the national sovereignty, decision-making, laws and regulations, including on
military movements, infrastructure investments, environmental rules and principles, remain
fundamental and will be fully respected. Any decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis
and following the full involvement by all relevant national authorities.
37. Welcomes the further implementation of the PESCO projects related to the area of military
mobility as well as taking forward the four measures at national level by the end of 2019 as
agreed in the Council conclusions on security and defence of 25 June 2018, in particular
paragraph 18 of those conclusions. In this context, the Council will review progress on a
yearly basis and will revert to the issue of the implementation of these four national measures
and tangible results by summer 2019 including by defining, if possible, more ambitious time-
38. Welcomes the progress in the implementation of the Action Plan on Military Mobility with
the completion of the Military Requirements for Military Mobility Within and Beyond the EU
as a follow-up to the overarching part which was agreed by the Council in June, incorporating
the national input by the EU Member States as well as reflecting the generic military
parameters for infrastructure by NATO. Without pre-judging decisions to be taken further in
the process, these requirements provide the military input to the next steps in the
implementation of the Action Plan, including on transport infrastructure.
39. Calls for the timely examination by the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States,
the EEAS/EU Military Staff and the EDA, to identify the gaps between the military
requirements and the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) parameters, duly taking
into account the feasibility, the existing equipment and technical viability, financial and
engineering considerations as well as geographic realities. In this context, the Council
acknowledges the potential of the proposal, without prejudging discussions under the next
MFF, for EU funding through the new Connecting Europe Facility Programme supporting
transport infrastructure on the TEN-T Network in order to improve military mobility.
40. Welcomes the ongoing work in the framework of the European Defence Agency in
accordance with the Action Plan on Military Mobility with the swift establishment of the two
projects: on Customs, highlighting the importance to ensure coherence between the template
and the process to be developed with the NATO procedures, and on Cross Border Movement
Permission, where the Council looks forward to the conclusion of the relevant Programme
Arrangement in early 2019.