CONVERGENCE AND PRAGMATISM IN STRUCTURING THE EU DEFENCE PLANNING PROCESS. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE COORDINATED ANNUAL REVIEW ON DEFENCE (CARD)
Keywords:CSDP; PESCO; EDF; CARD; MPCC; EUGS; EDA.
European defence cooperation has recently made significant progress in a wide range of instruments aimed in particular at streamlining the way in which defence capabilities are generated under the auspices of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). In this context, there is also an interest in optimising the defence planning process by strengthening the integrated nature and ensuring interconnectivity between the different CSDP-related initiatives, such as the Permanent Structured Cooperation, the European Defence Fund or the Capability Development Plan. Thus, the launch of the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) is an endeavour to help harmonise these initiatives by identifying concrete opportunities for cooperation between Member States and making recommendations to guide cooperation between Member States. The potential of CARD has been preliminary tested within two operating cycles, with promising results and practical effects in generating optimal formulas for the use of Member States’ resources. From this perspective, the study aims to deepen the way CARD contributes to the creation of an integrated framework for the functioning of European defence cooperation. The article also proposes a comprehensive perspective by analysing how CARD contributes to guiding the interaction between Member States on the capability dimension and, last but not least, to strengthening EU-NATO complementarity. The main premise of this approach is precisely to value the potential of CARD to ensure the sustainability of cooperation under the aegis of CSDP. At the same time, the overriding interest of Member States in ensuring the transposition of the recommendations and cooperation priorities identified by CARD at the level of national defence planning processes is considered.