Brussels, 20 March 2023
Today, 20 March, the High Representative Josep Borrell presents the first annual report on the implementation of the Strategic Compass to both Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence during the Foreign Affairs Council.
High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security policy, Josep Borrel said:
“The past twelve months have been a brutal wake up call for Europeans. As Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine continues and the world becomes more unstable and unpredictable, Europeans are investing in their common security. With the Strategic Compass we are moving from words to action: for our own security, for the security of our partners and for international peace and security. All three are inextricably linked.”
Over the past 12 months, the EU has strengthened its security support to partners around the world. Collectively, the EU and Member States have risen to the challenge and elevated their level of ambition and credibility.
In one year, the Strategic Compass has proven its ability to guide the EU’s action on security and defence across all its four pillars: act, secure, invest and partner.
For the first time ever, the EU is providing lethal equipment to a partner country under attack. Through the European Peace Facility, we have provided €3.6 billion in military supplies to Ukraine and launched a Military Assistance Mission to train 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers by the end of 2023.
In parallel, the EU continues to be reliable global security provider. The EU is stepping up its support in the Gulf of Guinea, the Indo-Pacific, the Western Balkans, and in the South Caucasus, amongst others. In particular, the EU has launched two new missions in Niger and Armenia and used the European Peace Facility to support its partners with military equipment.
We have designed new tools to anticipate and counter hybrid threats, strengthen our cyber defence, and fight disinformation campaigns and foreign interference. We have also upgraded our approach to maritime security and advanced our understanding about the security and defence implications stemming from space.
Member States are increasing defence spending and investments. Collectively, since the start of the war against Ukraine, EU Member States have announced increases in defence spending that are estimated to bring an extra €70 billion by 2025. This represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to progress towards stronger collaboration, designing and acquiring next-generation capabilities together. Spending together must become the norm instead of the exception. For the first time, the EU is supporting Member States in the joint procurement of ammunition.
Working with partners lies at the heart of the EU’s vision as a security and defence actor. We continue to invest in multilateralism, defend and uphold the rules-based international order with the United Nations at its core. The EU’s partnerships with both the United States and NATO have never been stronger. In the same way, the EU has invested in its global network of partners. On 20-21 March, the EU will hold the first edition of the Schuman Security and Defence Forum on 20-21 March 2023 to deepen these partnerships, exactly one year since the adoption of the Compass. This high-profile event will bring together the EU and key partners to discuss the full range of international security threats and challenges we all face and how we can best work together to address them.
Read the report to learn more about the implementation of the Strategic Compass.
On 21 March 2022, the EU and Member States collectively agreed to increase our capacity and willingness to act, strengthen our resilience, secure our access to the strategic domains, build solidarity and mutual assistance, invest in much needed capabilities and strengthen our strategic partnerships. The Strategic Compass has more than 80 concrete and time-bound actions that set out a clear and ambitious agenda for our security and defence.
Source – EEAS