International demand for military crisis-management missions continues to grow and demand for troops continues to outstrip supply. Like other Western democracies, European Union member states, because of their wealth, relative military competence and commitment to human rights, bear a particular responsibility to expand the international community’s capacity for action. But while the EU has succeeded in defining a complex military-technical and political-strategic framework to boost its role and that of its member states in crisis management, its performance so far has fallen well short of its ambitions.
This paper analyses what the EU wants to be able to do militarily – its level of ambition – and contrasts this aspiration with the current reality. To explain the gap between the two, the paper examines national ambitions and performance across the EU and analyses their domestic determinants using the examples of Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom. The paper concludes by suggesting that the EU might need to strike a new balance between the inclusiveness and the effectiveness of its activities in this area if it wants to increase its military crisis-management performance and live up to its declared ambitions.
Introduction 1. EU Crisis Management: Ambitions and Achievements 2. National Ambitions and Performance 3. Domestic Determinants of National Profiles: Constraints or Enablers? Conclusion
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