The "Petersberg tasks" are an integral part of the European security and defence policy (ESDP). They were explicitly included in the Treaty on European Union (Article 17). The Treaty of Lisbon (Article 42 of the TEU) complements the range of missions which may be carried out in the name of the European Union (EU). From now on, they cover:
- humanitarian and rescue tasks;
- conflict prevention and peace-keeping tasks;
- tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking;
- joint disarmament operations;
- military advice and assistance tasks;
- post-conflict stabilisation tasks.
These tasks were set out in the Petersberg Declaration adopted at the Ministerial Council of the Western European Union (WEU) in June 1992. On that occasion, the WEU Member States declared their readiness to make available to the WEU, but also to NATO and the European Union, military units from the whole spectrum of their conventional armed forces.