Since Saint-Malo considerable progress has been achieved in building the military capability of the European Union. However, adapting forces and capabilities is an ongoing and permanent process and further work will continue to be needed. The results achieved to-date have been obtained through an specific process which can be caracterised by three general principals: recourse to volontary contribution, using national assets, andfollowing a capability approach.
This approach has proved to be effective. After two cycles of this process, the volontary contributions announced by Member States, and set out in a "Force Catalogue", constitute a pool of forces that fully satisfy the needs identified to carry out the different types of crisis management missions within the Headline Goal. However, work remains to be done in order to allow the Union to carry out the most complex operations as efficiently as possible, and to reduce any limitations or restrictions. A European Capability Action plan has been designed and agreed to that effect. It is mainly focused on rectifying the remaining deficiencies by rationalising Member States respective defence efforts and increasing the synergy between their national and multinational projects. The initial steps of this plan are encouraging, experts group have been created to identify possible solution for all the significant shortfalls. However, the actual implementation of the results of this process will need financial ressources and innovative solutions will have to be developed to that effect, along with the enhancement of cooperation in the armement field in support of ESDP.