National Visions of EU Defence Policy - Common Denominators and Misunderstandings

National Visions of EU Defence Policy - Common Denominators and Misunderstandings

Inspired by the confusion about EU defence policy in most European capitals, the premise of the study is simple: before discussing at Brussels-level what defence strategy the EU should adopt, member states should clarify what they expect individually from the EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

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With the possible exception of the UK, it is quite difficult to grasp what member states really want from CSDP, so any debate over a possible European grand strategy would appear to be premature.

This study inverts the usual analytical approach applied to the European strategic debate. Rather than initiating the enquiry from the perspective of common interests guiding CSDP, it analyses how seven prominent member states see CSDP as a tool to pursue their strict national interests. Five researchers thus took the opportunity to immerse themselves in the foreign policy worlds of Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, Warsaw, Stockholm and Madrid, looking at CSDP through national lenses – away from potentially distorting influence of the ‘Brussels-mentality’ or rhetoric.

In brief, this book does not set out to analyse European defence policy as an end in itself or as a collective project, but rather as a vector of individual – indeed self-interested – visions for the member states studied. By following this rather more pragmatic path, the survey aims to identify the common denominators, misunderstandings and rigid deadlocks on the strategic debate around CSDP, with a view to enriching it.


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