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Foreign Affairs | European Union vigilance to security threats

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which the European Union is alert to the threats to the security of the Union and possible future members; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine has resulted in a fundamental change in Europe’s security landscape.  However, even prior to this, Europe had been facing a series of evolving security challenges from cyber and hybrid threats, to climate change. Against this backdrop, efforts have been underway to further strengthen the European Union’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) with recent innovations designed to address this major shift in the European Union’s strategic environment and ensure that it remains a relevant, strong and coherent political actor, upholding the values and principles that underpin our democracies.

The Strategic Compass, approved by the Foreign Affairs Council and endorsed by the European Council in March of this year, outlines the way forward for the European Union in the field of security and defence over the course of the next ten years. The document sets out the reality of the current European security environment, notably in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It then proposes a series of actions and deliverables in areas such as crisis management, resilience, capability development and partnerships with key international actors. Each of these actions lists a set of clear policy objectives, with timelines for implementation.

The implementation of the Strategic Compass began immediately after endorsement by the European Council. Implementation is progressing rapidly in a number of areas, notably in relation to cyber and hybrid threats, as well as capability development and procurement. The Strategic Compass will mean an increase in the level of ambition for EU CSDP, including through existing initiatives such as PESCO and the European Defence Fund. It will also put in place a 5,000 strong force ready to deploy to complex crises across the globe, in the form of a new Rapid Deployment Capacity.

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