Capability Development Plan

Jul 16, 2017

Start Date: 2008
End Date: n.a.
Participating Countries: All Other partners: n.a.

Since 2008, the European Defence Agency (EDA) has been producing a Capability Development Plan (CDP) to address long-term security and defence challenges. It looks at future security scenarios and makes recommendations about the capabilities European militaries will need to react to a variety of potential developments. The CDP is a comprehensive planning method providing a picture of European military capabilities over time. It can be used by Member States’ defence planners when identifying priorities and opportunities for cooperation.

Project goals

  • Provide a picture of European military capabilities over time
  • Help Member States’ defence planners identify priorities and opportunities for cooperation.
  • Look at the long term trends affecting European Defence
  • Identify list of priority actions detailed enough to direct work on capability development

Detailed description of the project 

Increased insecurity on Europe’s borders combined with continued constraint on military budgets at home has refocused the debate about defence capabilities in Europe. As capability development is a long-term process, one vital question is “how will Europe retain and develop the capabilities needed to react to the threats that may arise in the coming decades?”

Since 2008, the European Defence Agency (EDA) has been producing a Capability Development Plan (CDP) to answer this question. It looks at future security scenarios and makes recommendations about the capabilities European militaries will need to react to different possible developments. The CDP is a comprehensive planning method providing a picture of European military capabilities over time. It can be used by Member States’ defence planners when identifying priorities and opportunities for cooperation.

The European Defence Agency is coordinating this work done in close conjunction with Member States and other stakeholders such as the EU Military Committee. The CDP benefits from several inputs such as the Headline Goal Process, studies on long-term trends, lessons from operations and information on current plans and programs. The latest edition was published in the second half of 2014 and outlines priority actions for the coming decades. Currently the CDP is under revision and will provide a new set of priorities in spring 2018 which will specify and complement the priorities, highlighted in the EU Global Strategy, the Implementation Plan on Security and Defence as well as the European Defence Action Plan.



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Participating Member States

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • France
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Hungary
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • UK