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EU military and civilian crisis management

Crisis management is an important part of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The EU has conducted over 30 military and civilian missions and operations since 2003. The activities have contributed to stabilisation in conflict areas mainly in Europe, the south-eastern neighbourhood and Africa.

During its Presidency, Finland will support the further development of the EU’s crisis management missions and operations. The civilian CSDP compact was adopted in November 2018. It is an agreement that is generally deemed to be the most significant step forward in years in in terms of advancing civilian crisis management in the EU. In the agreement, the member states and EU institutions pledged to further advance cooperation in terms of assets, rapid response capabilities and relevant EU actors. Finland was one of the strongest proponents of the civilian CSDP compact, and we will continue to promote its implementation during our Presidency.

During its Presidency, Finland will chair the Athena Special Committee, which handles the financing of common costs relating to EU military operations. We will advance the committee’s agenda, including the 2020 budgets for EU military missions and operations, which will be decided later this year.

Finland also supports the EU’s High Representative in developing the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), established in 2017. The plan is that by the end of 2020 the MPCC can take responsibility for the operational planning and conduct of one small-scale executive military operation.

EU missions and operations

The EU has six ongoing military operations. Three of them are military training missions, operating in Mali, Somalia and Central African Republic, and three are military operations with an executive mandate. These are EUNAVFOR operation Atalanta on the coast of Somalia, EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia on the Mediterranean and EUFOR operation Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The EU also has 10 ongoing civilian crisis management missions. They are conducted in crisis areas and areas where the most critical functions of society require external support. The missions focus on supporting local authorities to develop their law enforcement, judicial system, border management, customs administration and prison services.

Finland is currently participating in three EU military missions and operations: EUTM Somalia, EUTM Mali and EUNAVFOR MED Sophia. Finland has about 50 persons participating in EU missions and operations every year, and we also second observers to EU election observation missions.

European External Action Services: Military and civilian missions and operations 
Press release of the Council of the EU, 19 November 2018: Civilian Common Security and Defence Policy: EU strengthens its capacities to act


Military crisis management: Heli Lehto, Desk Officer, Unit for Security Policy and Crisis Management, tel. +358 295 350 165, heli.lehto(at)
Civilian crisis management: Pekka Marttila, Desk Officer, Unit for Security Policy and Crisis Management, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 233, pekka.marttila(at)