The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) is part and parcel of the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
Its main purpose is to conduct concrete crisis management operations designed to help the Union achieve its CFSP goals. Such operations are an important tool in the Union's extensive and diverse range of foreign policy instruments.
This means the ESDP has a two-fold focus:
Civilian operations are as important a part of the ESDP as military operations.
The range of possible ESDP military operations extends from evacuation and humanitarian missions to peacekeeping and peace-building missions.
The range of possible ESDP civilian operations includes notably police missions as well as the development and consolidation of rule of law institutions, the strengthening of civilian administrative structures and observer missions in, for example, the field of human rights.