Research Handbook on the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy
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Research Handbook on the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy

Edited by Steven Blockmans and Panos Koutrakos

In times of rapid change and unpredictability the European Union’s role in the world is sorely tested. How successfully the EU meets challenges such as war, terrorism and climate change, and how effectively the Union taps into opportunities like mobility and technological progress depends to a great extent on the ability of the EU’s institutions and member states to adopt and implement a comprehensive and integrated approach to external action. This Research Handbook examines the law, policy and practice of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, including the Common Security and Defence, and gauges its interactions with the other external policies of the Union (including trade, development, energy), as well as the evolving political and economic challenges that face the European Union.
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Chapter 5: Civilian CSDP missions: ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’

Ana E. Juncos


Since the launch of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in 1999, the European Union (EU) has developed the capabilities to plan and conduct civilian crisis missions that cover a wide range of areas, from policing to border monitoring to judicial reform. This chapter seeks to examine progress in this area by focusing on its achievements so far, and especially its contribution to the role of the EU as an international actor (the good); the operational and capability problems it has faced in implementing CSDP civilian missions (the bad); and the politics of civilian crisis management (the ugly). Because of the political nature of civilian CSDP, it has remained a contested policy since its origins. In particular, this chapter focuses on three types of political contestation, namely intergovernmental, bureaucratic and local politics, and how this has affected the implementation of civilian CSDP.

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