The conclusions of the December 2013 European Council on defence sounded like a ‘revise and resubmit’ recommendation for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). That outcome was not too disappointing in itself, because precise technical guidelines were provided to revamp Europe’s defence, with good prospects of real progress. But it was not too ambitious either, as a clear indication of Europe’s future role in global security was in effect postponed until 2015, thus requiring ‘resubmission’ at a later date. Furthermore, member states did not seem particularly committed to reaching a formal agreement on a common strategic narrative; a sign that the governance gap continues to affect CSDP.
Giovanni Faleg asks whether the European Council on defence marked the twilight of CSDP, or whether we will now see a new phase of cooperation, characterised by escalating external pressures in the southern neighbourhood and a resurgent Russian threat in the east.
Giovanni Faleg is an Associate Research Fellow at CEPS.