the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

FACT SHEET: U.S.-EU Cooperation on Common Security and Defense Policy

The United States and European Union work closely on security issues, including practical cooperation regarding the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), the EU’s mechanism for deploying crisis management missions around the world.  U.S. cooperation with the EU includes our shared efforts to strengthen cooperation between the EU and NATO and their respective work on operations and capabilities, which is of particular importance for the United States as a member of NATO.

The United States and European Union signed a framework agreement on U.S. participation in EU crisis management operations in 2011, providing the legal mechanism for the United States to contribute civilian personnel to EU CSDP missions and strengthening options for practical, on-the-ground U.S.-EU coordination in crisis situations.  This followed an ad hoc agreement in 2008 that facilitated U.S. participation in the EU’s Rule of Law mission in Kosovo.  The United States continues to contribute civilian personnel to the EU’s mission in Kosovo and is also contributing to the EU’s Security Sector Reform mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  The United States and EU have launched negotiations on an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement to provide a mechanism that could facilitate cooperation on logistical support. 

Beyond U.S. participation in EU missions, U.S. personnel and forces have worked hand-in-hand with EU counterparts to address crises around the world, particularly in Africa.  

  • Mali:  U.S. engagement with the EU Training Mission (EUTM Mali) has been important in the development of U.S. security sector reform planning for Mali and will enhance our mutual efforts to sustain the Malian armed forces’ efforts to combat terrorist elements in the country. 
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo:  In addition to contributing to the EU Security Sector Reform (EUSEC DRC) mission, the United States has also collaborated with the EU on a logistics training center for DRC security forces.
  • Somalia:  From 2010 to 2013, the United States and the EU Training Mission (EUTM Somalia) partnered to provide military training in Uganda to Somali National Security Forces, with the United States providing logistical support to Somali trainees, in support of the then-Somali Transitional Federal Government’s efforts to fight al-Shabaab.  Through the provision of several million dollars of U.S. assistance, the Ugandan military with EU advisors trained several thousand Somalis.   The EU training continues in Mogadishu without the need for additional U.S. logistical aid.
  • Horn of Africa:  U.S. and EU naval vessels also continue to work together with other international partners to fight piracy off the Horn of Africa.  Ongoing cooperation between international navies has allowed the international community to cover more effectively an area of water the size of the continental United States.  The communication and cooperation underlying counter piracy operations have resulted in successful interdictions of many pirate action groups in recent years.  The EU has now succeeded the United States as the rotating Chair of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, as the international community continues to take action against organized criminal syndicates targeting merchant traffic off the Horn of Africa.