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EU CSDP military missions and operations

13 March 2024

The EU's role in global security took centre stage on 13 March 2024, as we co-hosted a dynamic discussion with the EGMONT Institute and the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

For more than 20 years, the EU has conducted peacekeeping operations, conflict prevention and the strengthening of international security under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

Today, military CSDP missions and operations are an integral part of the EU's comprehensive approach towards crisis management. The EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine) will soon have trained 40 000 Ukrainian soldiers, and the EU is about to launch a new naval CSDP operation, ASPIDES, to escort merchant ships in the Red Sea. To further strengthen its ability to respond to threats or crises outside the Union, the EU is committed to establishing an EU Rapid Deployment Capacity, of up to 5,000 troops with necessary strategic enablers by 2025.

During a lively seminar we delved into the two-decade legacy of EU CSDP military missions and operations. The conversation explored both achievements in peacekeeping and crisis management, and ongoing challenges such as the situation in the Sahel. We also looked ahead to future directions for the EU's CSDP.

Introducing the discussions, Jan Joel ANDERSSON presented his latest Brief on three scenarios for the future of EU CSDP military missions and operations and Nina WILEN's her analysis of how the wave of coups in Africa has provoked an identity crisis for the EU.

Major-General Bernard PHALEG, Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategy of the Belgian Armed Forces, and Lieutenant-General Michiel VAN DER LAAN, Director-General of the European Union Military Staff gave keynote remarks.

Panel 1: EU military CSDP

Moderated by Dr Jan Joel ANDERSSON, Senior Analyst for Security and Defence, EUISS


  • Stijn MOLS, Head of Division Security and Defence policy, EEAS
  • Prof. Dr Sven BISCOP, Director of Europe in the World Programme, Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Brigadier-General Nicolas CHAMBAZ, Deputy Military Representative of France to the EU

Panel 2: Africa and CSDP

Moderated by Prof. Dr Nina WILÉN, Director of the Africa Programme, Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations


  • Cosmin DOBRAN, Director for Peace, Partnerships and Crisis Management, European External Action Service
  • Dr Rossella MARANGIO, Senior Analyst for Africa, EU Institute for Security Studies
  • Katherine PYE, Researcher, London School of Economics