The EU Common Security and Defence Policy. Interests of Latvia

Latvia continues its engagement in the development of the EU Security and Defence Policy by actively participating in the elaboration of the Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy. Latvia is convinced that the EU at this moment should concentrate more on its strategic interests and new types of threats, and devote special attention to raising the implementation effectiveness of the security strategy.


The improvement of the EU and NATO relations and a deepening of strategic partnership in all levels - political and expert’s as well is a priority for Latvia.


Operation experience in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Somalia proves that the comprehensive approach and civil-military synergy, whereas the EU and NATO work together, is the way to succeed in conflict resolution and to achieve the highest level of security in the field. 


The broadening agendas of both organisations and growing operational demand determine the need for joint solutions and the harmonisation of efforts, especially, in the area of building and developing capabilities, their mutual complementarity and potential deployment in international operations within the same territory.


Both organizations need to achieve necessary and effective consultation, co-operation and transparency in order to identify areas of common interest as well.


It is vital to continue the improvement of the EU civilian capabilities in correspondence with the Civilian Headline Goal and the formation of a joint EU-level civilian expert training.


Another topical issue is a more effective use of the EU Battle Groups [3] as these Battle Groups have never been activated nor involved in operations. From 1 January to 30 June 2010, for the first time in the history of the Latvian Armed Forces, the Latvian troops were on duty within the EU Battle Group. Alongside with Germany, Slovakia, and Lithuania, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon, the Military Police Section, the HQ officers and the National Support Elements represented Latvia in a Polish-led Battle Group.


In the nearest future, the CSDP development will be directly linked to the Member States' forthcoming decisions on the practical implementation of the CSDP instruments that have been incorporated within the Treaty of Lisbon, as well as to the current changes following the establishment of the EEAS. Nevertheless, the implementation of the new CSDP initiatives can be carried out only when the Member States have discussed these issues and agreed upon their aims and added value.


The participation in the EU missions and operations is of considerable importance to Latvia:


During 2011, Latvia continues to participate with its staff in the following EU missions: the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX KOSOVO) with one expert (a border guard officer-dog handler); the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia with two civilian experts (one from the State Police and one from the State Border Guard). The Latvian observers have also been placed in Gori, near South Ossetia.


Latvia also participates with two police officers in the EU Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL Afghanistan). In spring 2010 in Riga, Latvia also held a training course in the field of criminal investigation for police officers and a prosecutor from the Faryab Province in Afghanistan.


In addition, Latvia supports the implementation of the EU Naval Operation – EU NAVFOR ATALANTA and the expected extension of its mandate until 2012. According to the ATHENA mechanism, Latvia gives financial contribution to the budgets of operations without deploying its military contingent. This is also the case with Latvia's participation in the EU military mission for training the Somali Security Forces (EUTM Somalia) and contributing the joint budget of the EU military operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, EUFOR ALTHEA.