The European Security and Defence Policy: From Distant Dream to Joint Action

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterEducation

The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), which is the operational military and civilian dimension of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), is today one of the most dynamic areas of the European Union. However, it is only recently that the EU has acquired explicit military decision-making capacities and capabilities. For many years, a genuine European defence policy remained a distant dream for an exclusive group of political leaders from federally oriented states such as Belgium and Luxembourg. Yet since 1999, the EU has carried out 23 military missions in the Balkans, Africa and Asia. The Union is thus gradually emerging as an important player on the international scene, with a strategic vision, as well as diplomatic, civilian and military crisis-management instruments that complement the existing economic, commercial, humanitarian and development policies on which the EU has hitherto built its reputation as a ‘soft power'. Despite its rapid development, many still regard the EU as weak and ineffi cient when it comes to security and defence policy. Moreover, the EU struggles with internal divisions and has a strained relationship with NATO. Nonetheless, there are good reasons to believe that its capacities and capabilities within the fi elds of security and defence will only be strengthened in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Organisations : Their Role in Conflict Management
EditorsPeter Dahl Thruelsen
Number of pages31
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherRoyal Danish Defence College
Publication date2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ID: 16187653