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Still Relevant? Normative Power Europe and the Enabling of the EU's Comprehensive Approach - Comparing EU Strategies towards the Horn of Africa and Sahel

Bjørn Olav Knutsen, Elisabeth Pettersen

With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 and the setup of the EEAS, the CSDP is moving away from small-scale missions and operations based upon partial sub-strategies, towards missions and operations deployed within a more comprehensive and regional strategic framework. The adoption of the EU´s "Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel" from March 2011 and of the "EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa" from November the same year are examples of this new approach. Hence, the aim of this paper is to analyze this change of policy and how it impacts upon the EU as a "normative power". As Manners (2006) emphasize, a militarization of the EU will not necessarily lead to the diminution of the EU´s normative power. However, the paper will challenge Manner´s views that a militarization beyond the crossroads provided by the European Security Strategy (ESS) is weakening the normative claims of the EU. By applying the method of structured, focused comparison the aim is to gain some useful generic knowledge of the EU´s security actorness and power derived from the EU´s performance and impact in these two African regions. As an example, at the Horn of Africa, the EUCAP Nestor mission on maritime capacity marks a shift away from a military-centric strategy towards more integrated and long-term planning for regional capacity construction. The Sahel strategy is also characterized by its comprehensiveness and the EUCAP Sahel Niger mission represents a step towards a regionalization of the EU engagement. Hence, the EU as a normative power is relevant, but through the EU´s ability to conduct a comprehensive approach, which implies the need for effective coordination of the actions of EU actors involved in the planning and implementation of the EU´s response.

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