"Austria will craft its security policy predominantly within the UN, the EU, the OSCE, in its partnerships with NATO and within the Council of Europe", reads one of the central statements of the Austrian Security Strategy which was adopted, as a Resolution of Parliament, on July 3rd, 2013. The Strategy indicates the reasons as follows: “Today, due to their complexity, security issues can only be resolved through international cooperation. The role of international organizations and forums is thus becoming ever more important, as is their collaboration in a ‘comprehensive approach’. At the same time, the role of individual states is generally diminishing in relative terms.” The said complex security issues are often referred to as the “new”, the “asymmetric”, or the “unconventional” threats: cyber threats, energy security, consequences of climate change an resource scarcity, global implications of regional conflicts or of “failing” states, piracy, trans-border organized crime, etc. This message of the Austrian Security Strategy – which can be found in similar terms in practically all recent doctrines by states and international organizations – demonstrates the necessity to act in international collaboration. Security policy can only be effective if one cooperates with suitable partners. A country like Austria cannot successfully craft its security policy alone or without internalizing the said global developments. Thus, the Austrian Security Strategy pledges our future participation in crisis management missions and operations of EU, NATO and UN – the Austrian Armed Forces ensuring that at least 1,100 soldiers are deployed on a permanent basis to international operations – as well as our active collaboration in the further conceptual crafting and developing of these organizations’ work in the field of international security policy.
The Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) – an integral part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), reinforced by the Lisbon Treaty and currently undergoing a process of reform – is the EU’s main instrument to deal with those new security challenges, to enhance the efficiency of the European defense sector, to deepen the defense coordination among EU Member States and to prepare for an eventual future common European defense. By virtue of Article 23j of its Constitutional Law, Austria fully participates in the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union. NATO is the most important organization in the Euro-Atlantic context, and is the predominant security forum for those 22 (out of a total of 28) EU member states which are also members of NATO. Austria has, for almost two decades, been participating, as a partner to NATO, in the alliance’s security activities in many ways. Moreover, Austria is taking part in the security policy activities of the United Nations, OSCE, and others.