EU capability development priorities under review

On 3 May, the Security and Defence committee in the European Parliament discussed the ongoing review of the EU Capability Development Plan. The discussion provided an opportunity for MEPs to evaluate the EU capability priorities and requirements and the progress made since the last review in November 2014.


ince 2008, the European Defence Agency has been producing what is unanimously considered as a cornerstone to address security and defence challenges in the short-, mid- and longer-term: the EU Capability Development Plan (CDP). It looks at future security scenarios and makes recommendations about the capabilities European militaries will need to react to a variety of potential developments. It works as a user-friendly, comprehensive planning method providing a picture of European military capabilities over time to be used by Member States’ defence planners when identifying priorities and opportunities for cooperation.

In line with the Council’s Implementation Plan on Security and Defence of December 2016, and as part of a wider package including the Commission’s European Defence Action Plan and the follow-up of the Joint Declaration signed in Warsaw, Member States agreed to take forward work in the European Defence Agency to specify and complement capability priorities, as part of the revision process of the CDP.

Among the priorities mentioned are the need for the Capability Development Plan to have a broader scope with a focus on cooperative solutions for identified capability challenges, considering short term shortfalls, midterm requirements, long term opportunities, the need to be more outcome-oriented, linking up priorities with the EU industrial stakeholders at a much earlier stage, and the objective to enable Member States to fulfil their ambitions, therefore serving at the same time the NATO environment.

Those new priorities will be established by the European Defence Agency and will be agreed by the Member states in April 2018.

Photo credit : Creative Commons CC – © Ralf Roletschek – Fahrradtechnik und Fotografie

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