On 17 January 2017, the Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania approved the National Security Strategy. The strategy stipulates that the national security policy of the Republic of Lithuania is an integral part of indivisible security of NATO and the EU. Also it is emphasized that the strengthening of a united Europe and EU solidarity is one of the national security policy priorities.
In the National Security Strategy it is embedded, that: “Lithuania contributes to the creation of the EU’s efficient, value added foreign policy, security and defence policy, supports decisions on third country policy that are based on international law and reflect the EU’s common security interests through its participation in the activities of the European External Action Service, contribution to the development of the EU’s civil and military capabilities, firstly, through its support for the strengthening of civilian instruments, fostering of the EU’s resilience to hybrid threats, partnership policy, and contribution to ensuring safety in the neighbourhood, as well as close through cooperation between the EU and NATO, aiming to avoid unnecessary duplication of structures.”
The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was introduced in the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, which also enabled the member states to take the first steps towards a common European Security and Defence Policy. Later on in 1999, Amsterdam treaty increased the EU's responsibilities for peacekeeping and humanitarian work. Following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009, the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was renamed to the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The Lisbon Treaty was a cornerstone in the development of the CSDP that we have today. The CSDP sets the framework for EU political and military structures, and military and civilian missions and operations abroad. In a few decades, in order to contribute to international peace and security in conflict and crisis regions, the EU has conducted almost 40 missions and operations, as part of its Common Security and Defence Policy. A large number of these operations and missions is ongoing today.
The Implementation Plan on Security and Defence is part of the follow-up to the EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy that was presented to the European Council on 28 June 2016. This implementation plan sets out proposals to implement the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) in the area of security and defence and, in cooperation with NATO and other international partners. The main goals to be addressed: to protect the EU and its citizens, to better respond to external conflicts and crises, to contribute to building the capacities of partners. The Council Conclusions on the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence of the Foreign Affairs Council of 14 November in 2016 contain these tasks and further EU actions: the review of EU civil-military capability development priorities; the deepening of defence cooperation; improving of EU missions and operations planning and of command structures; a better use of rapid response instruments and mobilization of required funds, as well as exploring the potential of an inclusive Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and taking CSDP partnerships forward.
Lithuania actively implements the Common Security and Defence Policy by developing its national capabilities, participating in PESCO and the EU’s operations and missions.
Military operations of the European Union
The Lithuanian Armed Forces are given the mandate to participate in international operations by means of a resolution adopted by the Parliament (Seimas) of the Republic of Lithuania. By the order of the Minister of National Defence the Lithuanian troops are sent to international training and advisory missions.
Currently, Lithuania participates in the following EU military operations and missions: EUNAVFOR MED operation Irini, the European Union Naval Force ATALANTA (EU NAVFOR) off the coast of Somalia, the EU military training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) and the EU military training mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA).
Information about Lithuania’s participation in international operations and EU training missions is available on the website of the Ministry of National Defence.
Civilian missions of the European Union
Lithuania is participating in the EU civilian missions and currently seconds civilian experts and officials to the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia), that was launched in 2008, and the European Union Advisory Mission in Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine), that was launched in 2014. In addition, Lithuanians were appointed as Heads of Missions both in EUMM Georgia and in EUAM Ukraine: from December 2014 till December 2017 Ambassador Kęstutis Jankauskas served as the Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, from February 2016 till May 2019 Kęstutis Lančinskas served as the Head of the EU Advisory Mission in Ukraine.
EUMM Georgia has the following four tasks: Stabilisation (monitoring the situation of the stabilisation process, the mission operates a 'hotline' to deal with incidents); Normalisation (monitoring the normalisation process between the conflict parties and how people are affected); Confidence building (contributing to the reduction of tensions through liaison, facilitation of contacts between parties and joint projects); Contributing to informing European policy regarding the conflict. Mission’s Headquarters are in Tbilisi and three Field Offices are in Gori, Mtskheta and Zugdidi.
EUAM Ukraine aims to strengthen and support reform in state agencies such as the police, other law enforcement agencies and the judicial sector, particularly the prosecutor's office. The mission provides strategic advice to the Ukrainian authorities, supported by operational activity, including training, to develop sustainable, accountable and efficient security services that strengthen the rule of law. This process is ultimately designed to restore the trust of the Ukrainian people in their civilian security services, which have been beset by allegations of corruption and malpractice. EUAM Ukraine is non-executive civilian mission with its headquarters in Kyiv and four regional presences in Lviv, Kharkiv, Odessa and Mariupol.
The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)
The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is a framework and process introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, for deepening the cooperation in security and defence area for those EU member states that have military capabilities meeting higher criteria and are bound by greater commitments. PESCO was established with Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/2315 of 11 December 2017, which also determined participating Member States. 25 out of 28 EU Member States have joined PESCO, including Lithuania. On 5 November 2020, the Council adopted a Decision on the general conditions under which third States could exceptionally be invited to participate in individual PESCO projects. This Council Decision facilitates cooperation with partners in the field of defense capability development.
PESCO initiative is implemented through projects, at the moment there are 47 projects that are being developed. An initial list of 17 projects was adopted by the Council in March 2018, the list included Lithuania‘s project on Cyber Rapid Response Teams and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security. A second batch of 17 projects was adopted by the Council in November 2018. The newest third batch of 13 projects was adopted by the Council in November 2019. By the end of 2020 a strategic review of PESCO took place, which assessed the progress made on PESCO and provided guidance for the next phase (2021-2025) on the overall aim, policy goals, incentives and projects.
More information on PESCO projects.
Lithuania‘s project on Cyber Rapid Response Teams and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security goal is to develop and deepen voluntary cooperation in the cyber field through mutual assistance in response to major cyber incidents, including information sharing, joint training, mutual operational support and creation of joint capabilities. Prepare and equip multinational teams to support the EU Member States, EU institutions, CSDP missions and partner countries.