Questions and answers: a background for the Strategic Compass

Questions and answers: a background for the Strategic Compass by 22 January 2022

[Source: European External Action Service] The European Union and its Member States face multiple threats and challenges that are rapidly evolving and increasing in magnitude and complexity. To tackle them, the EU has strengthened its work in the field of security and defence with a comprehensive set of defence initiatives implemented since 2017. As the global security environment deteriorates and new threats emerge, the EU now needs to step up its capacity and willingness to act.

With the Strategic Compass, Member States will set out a common strategic vision for EU security and defence for the next 5-10 years. Building on a common assessment of the threats and challenges we face, the Compass will provide operational guidelines to enable the EU to become a stronger security provider and a more responsible and reliable partner, namely when it comes to responding to external crises, building the capacity of partners and protecting the Union and its citizens.[1]

As proposed to Member States, the Strategic Compass will set policy orientations, specific goals and objectives in four work strands:

  • Act: we need an EU able to act rapidly and robustly whenever a crisis erupts, with partners if possible and alone when necessary;
  • Secure: we need to enhance our ability to anticipate threats, guarantee secure access to strategic domains and protect our citizens;
  • Invest: we need to invest more and better in capabilities and innovative technologies, fill strategic gaps and reduce technological and industrial dependencies;
  • Partner: we need to strengthen our cooperation with partners to address common threats and challenges.

These four strands are interconnected. The Strategic Compass is a guide for action. It puts forward concrete actions with timelines to measure our progress in the implementation.

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