1. I’m very pleased to give the keynote address at this seminar on civil-military co-ordination. This seminar is extremely useful and I want to thank the UK Presidency, and John Reid in particular, for this initiative. A few days ago we were at Lyneham with EU Defence Ministers, today we are here in London. This shows the commitment of John and the UK to the further development of ESDP. And without the support of all member states, and the UK in particular, ESDP cannot succeed.

If there is a "lesson learned" from interventions in crisis areas such as Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan/Darfur, the Congo and many others, it is the need to enhance our effectiveness through better co-ordination of civil and military crisis management instruments.

This is what crisis management in the 21st century demands.

And that is why civil-military co-ordination is at the heart of effective EU external action. The EU is uniquely equipped among international actors in its ability to tackle problems using a wide range of instruments. The trick is to use them in a co-ordinated way to achieve the greatest impact. This is not always easy, but where there is a will, there is usually a way.

We have considerable experience in the EU in civil-military coordination. I think we do quite well already. But it would be naive to claim that everything we do is perfect. I look forward to the contribution of those who can help us with suggestions on how we - as EU and as EU Member States - can fine-tune our performance. The UK Presidency has been particularly active in putting ideas on the table. I am very grateful for that.

The EU has been engaged in a wide variety of crisis areas. Many of our operations have been civilmilitary in nature. Bosnia is perhaps the most obvious example. The EU runs both the military and police missions, and it is also the key donor in the rebuilding of its institutions and society. So our engagement is comprehensive in scope and ambition.

But Bosnia is just one of our operations. On many occasions we may be in operations where we must mesh carefully what we do with the efforts of others. So I hope that part of your discussions will also look at managing an operation where we are just one part of a broader international effort.

2. So civil-military co-ordination is important. But it can be quite complex too. I’d like to put civilmilitary co-ordination in a broader context: that of the changed nature of international security. A consequence will be what we are doing in the EU in the area of security policy.

Everybody is now familiar with the new strategic environment. These days, the biggest threats often arise from frail or failing states and from non-state actors, such as terrorist networks, criminal gangs or Janjaweed-style militias.

We have moved from a world of front-lines, with armies facing each other, to one where people are at risk everywhere, including in our own city centres. Dealing with this dynamic security environment has required a paradigm shift. Because the new threats are diffuse and complex, they defy traditional ways of operating. They call for agile and multi-faceted responses. In principle, the EU has it all. A wide panoply of instruments: from trade, aid and diplomacy to civil and military crisis management tools. But also an acute awareness of the need to act. And, importantly, the staying power to remain engaged for the long-term when required.

Since the year 2000 when we began to work on these ideas, the European Union has made significant progress in framing and implementing an increasingly credible foreign and security policy. In the last years, we have also made huge strides in developing a comprehensive capacity for crisis management. In particular, we have focused on building up what we lacked and needed:

- a comprehensive crisis management capability, consisting of both civilian and military elements;
- structures and procedures to take and implement decisions in real time; and
- a sense of doctrine of what the EU stands for in international affairs, provided by the EU Security Strategy, with which many of you are familiar.

3. For the EU, the defence component has always been part of a broad approach to confronting insecurity and managing crises. This stance reflects our origins as an organisation. But it also fits the new strategic environment.

In the Balkans and elsewhere, we have learned that there is no simple sequencing of military first and civilians later. The strictly military phase of crisis management is never as short as one thinks or hopes. And the stabilisation and reconstruction efforts are never as civilian as one wishes. Thus we need both civilian and military tools from day one.

More than other actors, the EU can bridge the worlds of diplomats, soldiers and development experts. But we have to deliver on our potential, right across the entire conflict cycle of prevention, management and reconstruction. We must ensure coherence across policy areas and over time. This, of course, is where the concept of comprehensive planning comes in and it goes to the heart of the issue you are discussing today: civil-military co-ordination. I am confident that your discussions today will lead to a better insight on how we can improve our effectiveness right through the entire conflict cycle.

4. Of course, no concept, however beautiful or sophisticated, can be a substitute for practical improvements.

So let me mention, in a headline style, some of the action tracks we are developing, to improve the effectiveness of our overall crisis management capacity:
- we are working hard on defence reform and modernisation. There is a general move towards task sharing, pooling and specialisation. The European Defence Agency has a great potential so that we get more usable capability for our armed forces.

- we are also making steady progress with the formation of the battle groups. As you know, the plan is to have, by next year, 13 rapidly deployable, self-sufficient units geared for international interventions and tasks up to full combat situations.

- we have set up a Civil-Military Cell. Its task is precisely to work on the interplay between civilian and military crisis management tools - right through the conflict cycle. Heinrich Brauss will say more about this.

- we are advancing on the so-called Civilian Headline Goal. The aim is to be able to deploy quickly various missions, by knowing in advance how we could assemble the right mix of personnel, from the capabilities available among member states.

- Most of all, we now have no fewer than 8 operations: 3 in the Balkans, 2 in Africa, plus our support for what the African Union is doing in Darfur, one in the Middle East and one in Asia. Surely there are more to come.

In all these operations, we work hard to practice the mantra of comprehensive crisis management. I have already mentioned that our military and police missions in Bosnia are only one aspect of a broader and deeper EU strategy to bring the country into the European mainstream.

In Aceh in Indonesia, our monitoring of the peace accord there is flanked by support from the European Commission for the re-integration of rebel fighters and the broader development of the province. It is the same in other theatres.

5. Finally, I would like to stress that a focused discussion, such as today’s, on civil-military coordination is immensely important. But let’s not forget that concepts are tools, not aims in themselves. The goal is to act in a comprehensive, and therefore effective, manner on the ground.

The answer to a crisis cannot be a paper, or a concept. It can only be action.

Thank you very much.

Ref: S336/05