Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy (Sub-Committee C)

Remit - European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)

This is a rapidly expanding area of EU foreign policy. An EU Security Strategy was endorsed in December 2003 alongside an EU Strategy against Weapons of Mass Destruction. The EU is working towards developing a Rapid Reaction capability for crisis management by 2007, and is seeking to meet a Headline Goal in 2010 for capability requirements. ESDP missions have already been launched in Macedonia, Bosnia and Georgia. A European Defence Agency has been established to co-ordinate capabilities, armaments and research spending across the EU. Where possible, the EU makes use of NATO assets through the Berlin Plus Agreements, and has negotiated Framework Agreements for Third Country Participation in future crisis management operations.

Sub-Committee C is currently conducting inquiries on the EU Security Strategy and on the European Defence Agency, and will be taking further Evidence Sessions this year. It will also be launching an extensive Inquiry on the EU Strategy against Weapons of Mass Destruction in the autumn. The Committee published a Report on the EU's crisis management capabilities in March 2003, and Sub-Committee C maintains a constant scrutiny of all military operations launched by the EU.