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 13: The CFSP–humanitarian aid nexus

Mireia Estrada Cañamares


The chapter focuses on the interconnections between the CFSP and EU humanitarian aid, two policy areas that often coexist in the Union’s action in crisis situations outside our borders. It reflects on the tension between the CFSP–humanitarian aid nexus and the need to respect the special character of humanitarian aid, a policy that is subject to the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. The chapter also highlights the risks of this nexus from the perspective of the effectiveness of EU humanitarian aid. It furthermore suggests that the quest for coherence, which was relaunched by the Lisbon Treaty reforms, has the potential to reinforce the CFSP–humanitarian aid nexus, adding even more pressure to the independence of humanitarian aid.

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