Demystifying European defence

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Publication Date 13/09/2007
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The European Security and Defence Policy is more an aspiration than a reality, writes Toby Vogel.

Security and defence are core areas of state sovereignty that have never in history been handled by anyone but states and alliances. Never, that is, until then UK prime minister Tony Blair and French president Jacques Chirac agreed at a Franco-British summit in St Malo in December 1998 to pursue a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) whose main goal would be the creation of an integrated civilian and military capacity for crisis management. The decision came nearly a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the radically new strategic reality it created on the European continent, and half-way between two devastating wars in the Balkans.

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