1st Edition

Europe, Strategy and Armed Forces The making of a distinctive power

By Sven Biscop, Jo Coelmont Copyright 2012
    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines how the European Union can pursue a grand strategy and become a distinct global actor in a world of emerging great powers.

    At the grand strategic level, its sheer economic size makes the EU a global power. However, the EU needs to take into account that many international actors continue to measure power mostly by assessing military capability. To preserve its status as an economic power, therefore, the EU has to become a power across the board, which requires a grand strategy, and the means and the will to proactively pursue one. The authors of this book aim to demonstrate that the EU can develop a purposive yet distinctive grand strategy that preserves the value-based nature of EU external action while also safeguarding its vital economic interests.

    The book analyses the existing military capability of the European Union and its bottom-up nature, which results in a national-based focus in the member-states, impeding deployment capability. A systematic realignment of national defence planning at the strategic level will enable each member-states to focus its defence effort on the right capabilities, make maximal use of pooling and specialization, and contribute to multinational projects in order to address Europe’s strategic capability shortfalls. A stronger Europe will therefore result, it is argued, a real global actor, which can then become an equal strategic partner to the United States, leading to a revitalized Transatlantic partnership in turn.

    This book will be of interest to students of military studies, European Union policy, strategic studies and International Relations generally.

    Introduction  1. EU Grand Strategy and Foreign Policy  2. A Strategy for CSDP  3. Military Capability Development in CSDP  4. Military Convergence through CSDP  5. CSDP and Nato  6. Conclusion.  Bibliography


    Sven Biscop is Director of the Europe in the World Programme at Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels, and Visiting Professor at Ghent University and at the College of Europe in Bruges.

    Jo Coelmont is the former Permanent Military Representative of Belgium to the EU Military Committee, currently he is a Senior Associate Fellow at Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels.