In the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) the EU has acquired an operational military dimension, which has two objectives: equipping the EU with the institutions and procedures to plan for, decide on and implement military (and civilian) operations abroad, and enhancing the quality and quantity of deployable military capabilities at the disposal of the EU. Great progress has been achieved on the institutional side, but the capabilities side is lagging behind as the bottom-up nature of the capability-building process has made for slow progress.This paper aims to assess:<ul><li>How the bottom-up nature of the capability dimension of the ESDP and the resulting persisting national focus of EU Member States (each striving for full capacity at the national level) impede the generation of deployable capabilities for the EU;</li><li>Whether a reorientation towards capacity at the aggregate EU-level and the introduction of top-down coordination is achievable;</li><li>How such reorientation, via pooling of national assets into multinational frameworks and reduction of intra-EU duplication, could generate more deployable capabilities within the existing and expected budgetary context.</li><li>How use can be made, in this regard, of the mechanism of 'permanent structured cooperation' in the new Treaty.</li></ul>
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