Boosting the EU as a security and defence actor: what to expect from the EUGS follow up?

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Following the presentation of the European Union Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy on June 28 by Federica Mogherini, the October’s EC decided a set of strategic priorities for implementing the EU Global Strategy. The area of security and defence was further discussed in the FAC in November and the European Council in December, embracing a wider package that also includes the European Defence Action Plan and the follow-up of the Joint Declaration signed in Warsaw. In order to raise the EU’s level of ambition and contribute to a more united and influential actor on the world stage, the implementation guidelines seem to open the door to a more efficient joint procurement and capability development, namely helping governments jointly build military capacity, and develop better response to crises. Bearing this background in mind, this proposal aims to analyze and question what to expect in the security and defence field, namely in what concerns the joint up of better and more efficient capabilities to address the strategic environment identified in the EUGS. One of the key questions that this presentation will raise is if the EU battlegroups, which reached full operational capability in 2007 but had not yet been used by the end of 2016, can be readjusted for military tasks of a humanitarian, peacekeeping and peacemaking nature and if so in what conditions.

Keywords:  European Union, Security, Defence, EUGS, Defence action plan, EU Battlegroups

Ana Isabel Xavier (

New University of Lisbon, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FCSH-UNL); Portuguese Institute of International Relations (IPRI)