A Civilian European Strategic Culture? Assessing the EU's Peace Project Basis

Laura Chappell, Petar Petrov

Usually analysing a security actor's strategic culture involves evaluating the underlining military trends in its defence policy. However many such cultures have civilian roots, not least the EU. As a peace project the EU has been described as both a 'civilian' as well as 'normative' power. This foundational idea has shaped the EU's approach towards its Common Security and Defence Policy as underlined by the more numerous civilian missions. Thus the aim is to take a step away from the military dimension and complement the existing research in this area by focusing on the EU's civilian missions (EULEX Kosovo, EUCAP NESTOR, EUCAP SAHEL, EUPOL Congo) as a possible demonstration of the EU's strategic culture. To what extent is there agreement concerning when, where and with whom civilian missions are deployed? How far does this agreement reach? At one end we would expect to see decisions taken on an ad hoc basis due to one or a group of countries' national interest. At the other we would see that a decision to deploy is based on common beliefs, attitudes and norms. This paper will give an evaluation as to how far the EU is along this continuum.

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