The Helsinki European Council conclusions of December 1999 aimed at
strengthening the Common European SecuritY and Defence Polif)' (CESDP). The EU
Member States decided that the EU should be able to assume its responsibilities for the
full range of conflict prevention and crisis management tasks required to deal with crises
such as the Balkan crisis.. They are currentlY looking at the degree of the autonomous
capacitY of the EU to take decisions, and where NATO as a whole is not engaged, to
conduct EU-Ied military operations in response to international crises.