EU foreign ministers on Monday approved the bloc’s new defense and security strategy – developed over two years, largely before the Ukraine war, but taking on added relevance in the context of the nearly month-long conflict.
The document, officially called Strategic Compass, sets out “an ambitious plan of action for strengthening the EU’s security and defense policy by 2030,” the Council of the European Union said in a press statement.
The plan aims to make the EU a “stronger and more capable security provider” in a way complementary to NATO obligations, it said.
In order to act in international crises, the bloc will establish a 5,000-strong Rapid Deployment Capacity and put 200 fully equipped security and defense mission experts on reserve to be deployed within 30 days.
EU member states’ armies will also conduct regular live exercises on land and sea, and develop capabilities against cyber-attacks, hybrid threats, and disinformation.
The bloc will also develop a space security strategy, it said.
The document also outlines partnerships with “like-minded countries and strategic partners, such as the US, Canada, Norway, the UK and Japan”, as well as organizations such as NATO, the UN, Organization for Security Cooperation and Development in Europe (OSCE), and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
With the Strategic Compass, EU member states commit to significantly raise their defense expenditures and support the European defense industry.
“The current hostile environment requires a quantum leap forward,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, welcoming the adoption of the security and defense strategy that he had worked on for over two years.
EU heads of states and governments are expected to endorse the Strategic Compass at their two-day summit starting on Thursday.