Capabilities, both for civilian and military crisis management, have been a core concern of the EU since the birth of CSDP. Although the Member States operate under the principle of a ‘single set of forces’ many of the EU’s members often think first and foremost in terms of their own requirements for national security and defence. This introduces not only issues of subsidiarity, but also the likelihood of duplication of capabilities as well as significant gaps, such as strategic enablers. In spite of evident knowledge of the principal shortcomings, numerous attempts to address them have often proven frustrating. A number of initiatives since the second half of 2016 open the possibility of more joint development and procurement of often expensive platforms and equipment, aided by the prospect of European Commission funding. Against the potential of these initiatives the prospect of Brexit threatens to impose significant capability shortcomings on the EU at the very moment when the Union has moved security and defence to the fore of its attempt to reinvigorate the European project.