European Foreign Policy
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European Foreign Policy

Legal and Political Perspectives

Edited by Panos Koutrakos

Written by leading experts, this book focuses on central issues of the foreign policy of the European Union. The issues explored include: • how the EU’s judges understand its relationship with the international order; • the coherence of the Union’s external action; • the EU’s approach to its neighbours; • the Common Security and Defence Policy; and, • the EU’s participation in international organisations.
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Chapter 7: The Common Security and Defence Policy in a multilateral world

Mark Webber


Mark Webber* INTRODUCTION The Cologne European Council of June 1999 took what many at the time and since have regarded as a historic step – namely, the launch of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).1 Conceived within the framework of the existing Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), ESDP marked a stepchange in the ambitiousness of EU external action (it would allow the EU to ‘play its full role on the international stage’) and, by extension, the nature of the European project (ESDP was hailed as ‘a new step in the construction of the European Union’).2 Ten years on, the official position remained highly positive. Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for the CFSP, noted in June 2009 that ESDP was ‘the missing link’ of international peace and security; numerous missions across four continents had demonstrated the ‘crucial role [of the EU] in bringing stability to different parts of the world’.3 ESDP, he suggested a little later, has brought ‘unique added value’, a ‘joint civilian– military approach’ meaning that ‘the EU remains the only organisation that can call on a full panoply of instruments and resources [to] complement the traditional foreign policy tools of its member states’.4 * The author would like to thank Lorenzo Cladi for research assistance provided in the preparation of this chapter. 1 The Lisbon Treaty uses the term Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This chapter, however, will refer to ESDP, the term in common usage in the ten-year period the chapter is concerned...

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