Ministry of Foreign Affairs Foreign Policy Security Issues
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1. EU Common Security and Defence Policy – CSDP

Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), as part of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, has been established in order to affirm the role of EU as a major global factor, with distinct foreign policy and civilian and military resources in crisis management, conflict prevention and maintenance of international peace and security. CSDP is an integral part of EU comprehensive approach to crisis management which, in addition to civilian and military capacities, also includes political, diplomatic, legal, development, trade and economic instruments. Such a wide range of instruments and means necessary for efficient crisis management, puts the EU in a unique position compared to other international players.

So far, 35 crisis management operations have been launched within the CSDP. Currently, 16 of those are active: 6 military operations and 10 civilian missions. These operations, in addition to peacekeeping, conflict prevention and strengthening of international security, are also meant to support the rule of law and the fight against human trafficking and piracy.

EU Member States also jointly participate in the concept of EU Battlegroups (rapid response military units) and with the assistance of the European Defence Agency (EDA) and other EU institutions, they develop, share and harmonize their defence capacities, strengthen defence market and launch a series of initiatives in order to further improve the EU security and defence dimension.

Since Europe and the world at large are currently facing emerging security challenges and ever more complex and unsafe environment, in the previous period the EU has undertaken a set of steps to further develop and strengthen CSDP. The groundwork for such development was laid down in the "EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy" devised in June 2016, which was further elaborated by the adoption of "Implementation Plan on Security and Defence" with the following strategic priorities: response to external conflicts and crises; partner capacity-building and protection of EU and its citizens. In December 2016, EU adopted an ambitious "Defence Package", comprised of three interlinked elements: "Implementation Plan on Security and Defence", "European Defence Action Plan" and strengthening EU/NATO cooperation.

The Republic of Serbia maintains a high level of cooperation with EU Member States and institutions within the CSDP. It actively participates in almost all of its segments. In doing so, Serbia reaffirms its strategic commitment to EU membership and demonstrates that it is a reliable and responsible partner, wishing to make its contribution to peace and security exactly through its cooperation with the EU. Participation in the CSDP simultaneously promotes our operational capacities and strengthens interoperability with EU Member States, while supporting our domestic defence industry and research potentials.

The foundations for the development and active participation of the Republic of Serbia in CSDP were laid down in 2011 when two important agreements in this field were signed with the EU – Agreement on Security Procedures for exchanging and protecting classified information and the Agreement establishing a framework for participation of the Republic of Serbia in European Union crisis management operations.

The Republic of Serbia currently participates in 4 EU-led operations: EUTM Somalia (since 2012), EU NAVFOR ATALANTA Somalia (since 2012), EUTM Mali (since 2014) and EUTM RCA (since 2016, following our participation in EUFOR RCA and EUMAM RCA).

Serbia also cooperates with the European Defence Agency – EDA. It is one of only four EDA non-members which concluded Administrative Arrangements with EDA in 2013.

Serbia joined the concept of EU Battlegroups, i.e. HELBROC battlegroup headed by Greece. Other members include Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania and Cyprus. Our participation is expected to become operational in 2020.

Serbia has supported all changes initiated within the EU to strengthen CSDP, launched by the adoption of EU Global Strategy and Implementation Plan on Security and Defence. European Defence Action Plan, Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) and particularly Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) are projects and initiatives that Serbia actively monitors and supports, ready to be included as soon as proper conditions are created.

In the context of activities related to monitoring the implementation of the Republic of Serbia's security policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is kept abreast of, and addresses all activities, decisions and plans of EU institutions and Member States in connection with the development of EU civilian and military capacities, cooperation with third states and other international organizations, EU crisis management operations, EU Battlegroups, work of EDA as well as initiatives for the promotion of CSDP. At the same time, in cooperation with other relevant departments, it encourages strengthening of cooperation with the EU in this field, through the implementation of concluded agreements and by initiating new forms of cooperation.

2. Security challenges

The developments at the global political and security sphere since the beginning of the 21st century (terrorist attack in New York in 2001, "Arab Spring", conflicts in the Middle East and the emergence of the so-called ISIS or DAESH), have changed many aspects of today's world. The present security challenges have become transnational and global, affecting at the same time multiple countries and regions, going beyond the boundaries of countries, regions and even continents. The conflicts among states that were in the past dominated by the use of conventional military forces, even though still present today, increasingly give way to "non-military" threats such as terrorism, organized crime, energy resources management, cybercrime and hybrid warfare, weapons of mass destruction proliferation including global challenges such as poverty, epidemics and climate change. The current conflicts and hot-beds of crises in the world are a result of accumulated economic and political problems that are manifested in ever-deepening divisions at various levels, making partnerships an imperative if we are to build global peace and security.

In that respect, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs follows and analyses global, regional and local security challenges, threats and risks with all implications for the security of the Republic of Serbia, especially the issues of global terrorism, energy and cyber security. In addition, within the scope of the Sector for Security Policy, the activities of certain international security organizations and initiatives at Europe level and beyond are reviewed, including the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and regional security initiatives such as Southeast Europe Defence Ministerials (SEDM) and the Forum for Western Balkans Defence Cooperation (SEEC).