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The European Union in the global security architecture

Koutrakos, P. (2013). The European Union in the global security architecture. In: Wouters, J. & Van Vooren, B. (Eds.), The Legal Dimension of Global Governance - What Role for the EU. (pp. 81-94). Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Whilst its genesis was focused on the economic dimension of market building, the whole process of European integration has always been, in essence, a security policy project. Seeking to ensure the impossibility of another war in Europe has been a central part of the DNA of the European polity. It was for this reason that the wars in the former Yugoslavia shocked the European Union (EU) system so profoundly. They also proved to be a powerful incentive for the development of the Union’s foreign and security policy, both in terms of its legal grounding in primary rules and its increasingly prominent position in the rhetoric of the Union’s elites.

However, to focus exclusively on its self-referential aspects is to ignore not only the direct interaction between the development of the EU’s security and defence policy and the fundamental and constant changes of the international geopolitical landscape in the last twenty years, but also the distinct emphasis on the international outlook of the Union’s strategic objectives and the relevant provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon. In terms of the geopolitical changes, whilst they have had an impact on the Union in various ways, two in particular are noteworthy. On the one hand, there has been a growing expectation by third parties, such as the United States, countries where EU missions are deployed and international organizations such as the African Union, that the EU shares the responsibility of monitoring international security. On the other hand, international organizations directly involved in global and regional security governance expect the EU to participate too.

This chapter explores the extent to which there is congruence between the current global security architecture and the Union’s ambition to assert its identity on the international scene as a security actor. It identifies certain factors which are inherent in the genesis of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and which have imposed a constraint on its development, preventing it from achieving the Union’s ambition and meeting the expectations of other security actors.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: The European Union in the global security architecture by P. Koutrakos, 2013, reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press
Subjects: K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
The City Law School > Institute for the Study of European Laws
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