IEP Lunch Debate with Christian Schmidt: “State and Perspectives of European Security and Defense Policy”
State Secretary Schmidt presented an extensive overview of the development of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and the placed new security challenges of the changed strategic environment following the end of the East-West Conflict in connection with the construction of EU structures, strategies and capabilities for operative crisis management in the German Federal Ministry of Defence, 20 November 2006 at 12:30 in the Jean Monnet Building, Bundesalle 22, 10717 Berlin. Schmidt emphasised extensive progress reached in the three areas — structure, strategy and capabilities. He especially underlined the significance of the European Defense Strategy (EDS), which since December 2003 has formed the conceptual framework for the CFSP and the ESDP.
In the German EU Council Presidency starting on 1 January 2007, Schmidt sees a “welcome chance to be actively involved in the development of the CFSP and ESDP from a privileged position.” The continued pursuit of the EU Constitutional Treaty also brings great benefits in this area, since some of the reforms envisioned in the area of CFSP are aimed at strengthening the coherence, continuity and efficacy of European crisis management and thus also the effectiveness of the ESDP (e.g. through the new office of the Foreign Minister of the EU). At the same time, the ESDP is a visible integration project that “produces a sense and an identity for the European citizen”, something which could also be significant to the revival of the Constitutional Treaty.
Some concrete steps to be taken during the German EU Council Presidency identified by Schmidt included the stabilisation of the Western Balkans (especially with respect to the new Kosovo mission of the EU), the further development of military capabilities on the path to the implementation of the Headline Goal 2010 (in the form of work on the so-called Progress Catalogue, which lists progress and deficits of previous capabilities and compares with self-imposed goals), and the improvement of civil-military agreement in the planning and implementation of operations as part of the Civil Military Coordination (CMCO) concept, which has the goal of assuring a “frictionless and synergetic cooperation” of all civil and military actors. In addtion, cooperation with the partners in the framework of an “effective multilateralism” should be improved and the cooperation between the EU and the United Nations should be developed further, oriented toward future practice.