The German Presidency of the Council of the European Union initiated the strategic compass process in the second half of 2020. Now, the new security policy document of the European Union has entered its decisive phase.
Since the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the EU member states have looked deeply into how to make the EU stronger, more resilient and better able to act in the area of security and defence. The key issues have been grouped into four baskets: crisis management, resilience, capability development, and partnerships.
The process started with the first intelligence-based comprehensive threat analysis of the EU, followed by an inclusive dialogue phase. The results served as the basis for a first draft of the strategic compass, compiled by the European External Action Service (EEASEuropean Union External Action Service). This draft was presented to the member states in November 2021.
The new key policy document on security includes proposals for improved crisis management made by Germany together with Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Slovenia in October 2021, after the dramatic events in Afghanistan. The countries recommended mechanisms for faster joint decision-making, increased cooperation, and the development of the EU battle groups towards a common rapid response capability.
Furthermore, Germany presented proposals on how to improve EU-NATO cooperation, and considerable progress has been made with the PESCOPermanent Structured Cooperation project on Military Mobility, in particular. For Germany, the Transatlantic Alliance remains the cornerstone of our security, even as we enhance the EU’s ability to act in matters of security policy.
At the Foreign Affairs Council on 15 November 2021, the EU foreign and defence ministers deliberated on the first draft of the strategic compass. Since then, the EU member states have been discussing the details of the content and additional issues in the relevant bodies. The strategic compass is to be finalised and adopted in March 2022, during the French EU Council Presidency.
The strategic compass aims to enhance the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union (CSDPCommon Security and Defence Policy ) in order to make the EU better able to act and to jointly respond to current and future threats.
The compass defines what the EU’s civil and military crisis management can and should do in the area of security and defence, and what it cannot or should not do. Based on these clear shared goals, the EU will be able to respond more swiftly in future. Moreover, they facilitate shared and goal-oriented civil and military capability planning.