Across the thirteen candidate countries, the level of support is similar - 64% in favour of CFSP, and 71% in favour of CESDP
(and 67% and 77% in just the ten acceding states).
Even before CESDP
has become a reality, the EU is already the largest provider in the world of development assistance and humanitarian aid, the countries of the European Union provide 70% of the troops keeping the peace in Kosovo and Bosnia, and European forces contribute to every one of the UN's 15 peace-keeping operations.
One of the numerous shadows currently darkening prospects for evolution of the CESDP
is the concern on the part of the military in the Member States and in NATO over confidentiality in the European Union institutions.
But he did at least essay another definition of defence policy, in what is becoming a concerted EU attempt to escape the difficulties created by the term "defence" and focus instead on the concept of the Rapid Reaction Force foreseen in CESDP
After long drawn out negotiations with the Secretary-General of the Council, Javier Solana, and the French Presidency, a solution was sketched out consisting of providing restricted access to classified CESDP
documents for a selected group of MEPs (see European Report No 2544).
Among the options being examined are offering the author of any classified document a veto on wide access, exempting CESDP
(or even all EU) documents classified as top secret or secret from the general EU rules on transparency, and exempting all CESDP
documents classified as secret, top secret or confidential from the transparency rules.
Council of Ministers sources say that the week's meetings are aimed at providing a solid base on which to advance in line with last month's Feira Summit Conclusions, so that a successful Capability Commitment Conference can be held in November, and the pace can be maintained across the range of other CESDP
If public confidence in CESDP
is to grow, parliamentary participation is essential.