A Global Actor in Search of Strategy: A Secure Europe in an Uncertain World

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The 2003 European Security Strategy “A Secure Europe in a Better World” was a definite step in the construction of the CSDP and contradicted the more sceptical positions, translating the EU’s political project, its expectations and its ambitions. For the first time, a European policy document articulated the role of the EU sought to play in crisis management. While the document was received in a positive way, summarizing the EU’s security aspirations and establishing clear principles and objectives to promote EU security interests based on European fundamental values, many were also the critical voices (Heisbourg, 2004; Toje, 2005) arguing that it reflected only internal perceptions, being only a de facto codifying and reactive document (Biscop, 2008: 7). Regardless of the evaluation, the ESS resulted from a considerable effort to aggregate distinct and highly sensitive strategies of high politics among Member States and its attempts to build a global and cohesive actor in the international system, constrained by a process of taking Intergovernmental decision-making.

This paper seeks to evaluate the review of the European Security Strategy and to present the efforts that have been developed since 2015 for the drafting of a new global document. So we will try to answer questions of what is the European Union’s Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy and how we arrived on 28 June 2016, when it was formally presented to the Member States?

We conclude that it is important to achieve tangible results in the short term, thereby reiterating the centrality of the CSDP and supporting the drafting of an EU Security and Defence Implementation Plan, synchronized with the European Action Plan on Defence.

Liliana Domingues (ldrf@ubi.pt)

Liliana Domingues Reis Ferreira is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Beira Interior and Director of the Degree in Political Science and International Relations and the Master in International Relations of the same institution.
She holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Minho, a Master’s degree in International Relations and Political Science from the Institute of Political Studies of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa and a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from Universidade do Minho.
She was a Fellow of the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, both at Master level and at doctoral level and assistant at the University of Minho.
She recently received the honourable mention of the José Medeiros Ferreira Prize.