Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

The CSDP (formerly known as ESDP) constitutes the institutional framework for the development and implementation of the EU’s security and defence policy. It aims, among other issues to the development of the EU’s military and civilian capabilities for crisis management and conflict prevention worldwide, within the framework of the UN Charter.

The ESDP (European Security and Defence Policy) was created by the decision of the European Council of Cologne in 1999, whereas the following year, the Nice European Council decided to establish the civil-military bodies of the ESDP. After the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 01 December 2009, come to force, ESDP was renamed to CSDP.

The EU has gradually developed the necessary military and civilian capabilities in order to be able to respond in a comprehensive manner to crisis management in third states / regions. These capabilities consist of Member-States’ contributions. The civilian CSDP Missions deal with, inter alia, rule of law, public administration, development of police capabilities and security sector reform.

Defence and Security affairs are on the agenda of the Council and of the European Council on a regular basis. After the presentation of the EU’s International Strategy on External Policy and Security in June 2016 European Council is in the process of supporting the ESDP, as a tool, as part of the general EU approach for the handling of contemporary security challenges. This procedure is based on three key strategic priorities which constitute the ambition level of the EU, namely a) dealing with external conflicts and crises, b) creating opportunities of third parties of the EU and c) protecting the Union and its citizens. To this end the further development of the military and non-military capabilities of the EU, the support of the European defence technological and industrial base, with the contribution of the European Union. 

At the moment, there is a number of ongoing military and non-military missions within the context of CSDP, whereas various Missions have already been successfully concluded. Within the context of supporting CSDP and the international crisis management efforts, Cyprus has participated in a number of Missions. Namely, it has been part of Missions ARTEMIS, EUFOR RD Congo and EUSEC Congo in the people’s Republic of Congo, EU Support to AMIS II in Sudan/Darfur, EUFOR Tchad/RCA in the Republic of Chad, EU Border Assistance Mission in Moldova Ukraine and in Mali EUTM Mali. Currently, Cyprus participates in the military operations of EUNAVFOR ATALANTA Somalia.

Cyprus also contributes to the EU Battlegroups. These are multinational military rapid-reaction groups, consisted of about 1500 members, which can either operate independently as an ESDP operation or constitute of the initial stage of a wider operation. Cyprus participates in an EU Battlegroup together with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)

With the Treaty of Lisbon which was signed on 13.12.007 and entered into force on 1.12.2009, clauses that investigate and enhance the possibility of cooperation in the defence sector between member states, were adopted. Within this framework, the possibility of establishing permanent structured cooperation is provided. 

The discussions for the creation of the Permanent Structured Cooperation – PESCO, began after the United Kingdom decided to leave the EU, by Spanish and German initiative, which was supported by Italy and Spain. PESCO was established in December 2017 by the Council’s relevant decision and 25 member states participate in it (Malta, Denmark and the United Kingdom do not).   

PESCO constitutes of a stable political framework which falls under the EU International Strategy for Security and Defence Implementation Plan. Specifically PESCO aims at: 

Ø the reinforcement of security in the EU through the creation of defence capabilities.

Ø the increased presence of the EU in an International environment as a security agent and reducing its dependence on other international organisations.

Ø the creation of synergies, the investment in technological development and innovation in defence capabilities.  

Ø the better use of defence funds, the decrease of variation in defence material and the avoidance of unnecessary doubling in structures and services.

Ø the achievement of economies of scale and the fortification of the defence capabilities of the Member-States of the EU and the Union itself.

Ø if deemed appropriate by the Council, it may become the vehicle that will later on lead to the creation of common defence between Member-States. 

The Defence Ministry has signed up to the following 7 programs (6 full participation – 1 as an observer):

Ø Network of logistic Hubs in Europe and support to Operations.
Ø EUFOR Crisis Response Operation Core - EUFOR CROC.  
Ø European Union Training Mission Competence Centre (EU TMCC).
Ø Upgrade of the Maritime Surveillance.
Ø Cyber Threats and Incident Response Information Sharing Platform
Ø Military Mobility.
Ø Energy Operational Function- EOF, as an observer. 


European Defence Agency

Cyprus is a full member of the EDA since its establishment in July 2004. EDA’s main mission is to support the member-states and the Council in their efforts to improve European defence capabilities in support of the CSDP.


EU Satellite Centre 

Cyrus is also a full member of the European Union Satellite Centre, which deals with the production and utilisation of information, that mainly come from the analysis of satellite observation images in order to support the CSDP. The centre is based in Torrejón de Ardoz in Spain. 


European Security and Defence College 

The aim of the ESDC, that was established in July 2005, is to contribute to the development of a European security culture. It offers a series of courses that cultivate a common understanding of ESDP in the military and non-military staff of member-states and the European Institutional bodies. Cyprus actively participates in ESDP activities, both by observing the provided courses as well as contributing to their organisation.

Institute for strategic Studies (ISS)

Cyprus, as a member state of the EU, is also a member of the Institute of Strategic Studies of the European Union. The ISS contributes to the development of the CFSP with the carrying out of academic research and studies, as well as the encouragement and supporting of the dialogue for the most important security and defence issues that relate to the Union.