Institutionalists have assumed that institutions can shape behaviours of actors and then achieve collective and better prospects. To this end, the EU has developed an institutionalised framework to shape the security role since the establishment of the CFSP and ESDP/CSDP. A series of institutional reform since the Treaty of Maastricht has attempted at improving the role of the EU to be an effective and credible security provider. In fact, the EU not only aims to better the capability of intervention in crises, but in that institutionalisation process, the EU is also on the way to form its approach to address external security issues and crises; it is also a process to balance the ambition and its own capability. Therefore, in spite of having institutional overlap in the field of Security with NATO, the EU presents a distinct profile. This paper aims to investigate the security approach and strategic ideas of the EU when undertaking crisis management in the development of the CFSP, especially after the Lisbon Treaty since the Treaty consolidated the institutional base for the EU to intervene crises. The paper will also examine the role of the EU played in resolving the Ukraine crisis. The paper argues that the EU nevertheless admitted the critical effect of military intervention in crisis, but compared to NATO, it promises more to political and diplomatic measures to resolve the crisis. Especially concerning the Ukraine crisis, since the crisis involves not only Ukrainian domestic political disputes, but also geopolitics with Russia, it is not appropriate to focus on military resolution. Moreover, the paper argues that the EU shall specify its security concern and approach, and then shape a new division of labour with NATO.
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