Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)


The CSDP (formerly ESDP) is the institutional framework for the development and implementation of EU security and defense policy.

It aims to develop the EU's military and civilian capabilities for crisis management and conflict prevention on an international level, under the United Nations Charter.

The ESDP (European Security and Defense Policy) was set up by a decision of the European Council in 1999, whilst the following year the European Council decided to set up the ESDP politico - military bodies. With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on the 1st of December 2009, the ESDP was renamed to CSDP.

The EU seeks to develop the necessary military and civilian capabilities, in order to respond in a comprehensive manner to crisis management in third countries/ regions. These capabilities consist of contributions from Member States. The civilian missions of the CSDP concern, inter alia, missions in the fields of strengthening rule of law, public administration, development of police capabilities, reform of the security sector, etc.

EU security and defense issues are systematically on the agenda of the Council and the European Council. Following the adoption of the EU Global Strategy at the June 2016 European Council, a process of strengthening the CSDP is under way, as a "tool" in the context of the EU's overall approach to dealing with modern security challenges.

This process is based on three key strategic priorities, which are the EU's level of ambition, namely: a) tackling external conflicts and crises, b) building the capacity of EU partners, and c) protecting the Union and its citizens. In this direction, the further development of EU military and civilian capabilities is promoted, as well as the strengthening of cooperation between Member States and of the European defense technological and industrial base, with the contribution of the European Commission.

At present, a number of military and civilian Missions are underway under the CSDP, and several missions have already been successfully completed. In the framework of our support of CSDP and international crisis management efforts, Cyprus has participated in a number of Missions.

In particular, Cyprus has participated in ARTEMIS, EUFOR RD Congo and EUSEC Congo Missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the EU Support to AMIS II in Sudan /Darfur, in the EUPOL PROXIMA in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in the EUFOR Tchad / RCA in the Republic of Chad, in EUBAM Moldova - Ukraine, EUTM Somalia, EUTM Mali and EUNAVFOR MED operation SOPHIA. At present, Cyprus participates with officers in the Military Operations of EUNAVFOR ATALANTA Somalia and EUNAVFOR MED operation IRINI.

Cyprus also contributes to the EU Multinational Battlegroups). These are rapidly deployable multinational Battle Groups of about 1,500 members, which can operate either on their own as a CSDP Operation or as the first phase of a larger Operation. Cyprus participates in the HELBROC Battle Group, with Greece as the framework nation and Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Serbia as additional states.


Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)

The Treaty of Lisbon adopted provisions that expand and strengthen the possibility of cooperation between Member States in the field of defense. In this context the possibility to institutionalize a "Permanent Structured Cooperation emerged. Consultations on the establishment of a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) commenced upon the initiative of Germany and France and was supported by Italy and Spain. PESCO was established in December 2017 by a relevant Council decision and includes 25 participating Member States (Malta, Denmark and the United Kingdom do not participate).

PESCO is a concrete policy framework that is part of the Implementation Plan of the EU Global Strategy. In particular, PESCO aims to:

  • Enhance EU security by building defense capabilities.
  • Increase the EU's presence in the international environment as a security provider and reduce the Union’s dependence on other international organizations.
  • Achieve synergies and invest in technological development and innovation in defense capabilities.
  • To effectively utilize defense spending, reduce duplication in defense material and avoid unnecessary duplication in structures and services.
  • Achieve economies of scale and strengthen the defense capabilities of the EU Member States and the Union itself.
  • If deemed appropriate by the Council, it could become the tool to lead to the creation of a common defense between Member States.

In this context and always based on our capabilities as a State, we participate in programs based on:

  • The need to modernize the National Guard by adopting new practices.
  • The further development of the defense capabilities of the Armed Forces through PESCO programs, which will allow the development of modern technologies in combination with economies of scale.
  • The creation of conditions to upgrade the country's naval and air facilities through opportunities for co-financing via the European Defense Fund, which will be included in the general budget of the Union after 2021.
  • The creation of conditions to involve academic institutions and small and medium enterprises in PESCO programs, especially those that are active in the field of research and technology.


The Republic of Cyprus is one of the 35 signatory states of the “Final Act” concluded in Helsinki in 1975, and was an active participant in the process of the then Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), which on 1 January 1995 became an international Organization under the name of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). 

The Helsinki Final Act, signed by President Makarios, is a politically binding agreement consisting of basic principles guiding the relations between its participating states. These principles also regulate important issues such as sovereignty, territorial integrity, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Since the conception of the CSCE in the early 1970΄s, Cyprus had contributed in making the CSCE a process of common European progress and a forum for dialogue and cooperation between East and West. The end of the Cold War and the transformation of the political landscape in Europe, led the participating states of the CSCE to draw up the Charter of Paris for a new Europe, with the vision of a new role for the CSCE as the main guarantor of security in a new Europe free of dividing lines. 

Today, with 57 States from Europe, Central Asia and America, the OSCE is the world's largest regional security organization, aiming at comprehensive and co-operative security, within a region that stretches from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The OSCE’s acquis consists of significant values and principles and more detailed commitments within three broad dimensions, which are the politico - military, economical - environmental, and human sectors. The Organization carries out a wide range of activities across the aforementioned dimensions, in order to promote co - operation and assist participating states in meeting their commitments. 

In general, the OSCE relies on a number of documents and treaties. The first is the Helsinki Final Act as mentioned above. From then on, the Organization implements the provisions of the Vienna Document 1999 (VD 99), which is a politically binding document. The VD 99 promotes a specific list of Confidence Building and Regional Measures, which are based primarily on the exchange of military – related information in a transparent manner. 


These exchanges of information include the following:

  • Transfers of Conventional Weapons and their Ammunition.
  • Transfers and Controls of Small and Light Weapons. (SALW)
  • National Code of Conduct.
  • National Defense Planning.
  • General Exchange of Military Information. (GEMI)
  • Conduct of Inspection and Evaluation Visits.

Cyprus attaches great importance to the Treaty on Open Skies, an accord on unarmed observation flights over the territory of OSCE participating States, which is closely associated with the Organization as a confidence and security - building measure. Unfortunately, Cyprus is still blocked from joining the Treaty by Turkey which is one participating state of the Organization. 

As a member of the EU, Cyprus continues to be actively involved in the work of the OSCE. It supports the need for implementation of the commitments of the participating states and recognizes the important role of the OSCE in addressing traditional as well as new challenges and threats to security. With its geographical position and longstanding experience, Cyprus actively contributes in reinforcing the OSCE - Mediterranean Partnership.




Cyprus is also a full member of the European Union Satellite Center, which deals with the production and utilization of information, from the analysis of satellite images, with the aim of supporting the CFSP. The Satellite Center is based in Torrejon de Ardoz, Spain.





Cyprus has been participating since December 2018 in the European Center of Excellence for countering Hybrid Threats, with 26 other countries (EU and /or NATO members).

Hybrid CoE is a national initiative and legal entity of Finland. It serves as an expertise hub for participating states so that they can share best practices, build skills, try new ideas and develop their defense against Hybrid Threats. The areas of interest of the Center are hybrid effects on participating States, hybrid operations by terrorist organizations and preparation for building resilience to Hybrid Threats.