Making Europe and Europeans safer

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Series Details No.39, October 2016
Publication Date 24/10/2016
ISSN 2315-1129
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One of the criticisms associated with plans for closer European defence cooperation is that there are no new ideas around. The ‘EU Battlegroups’, ‘Permanent Structured Cooperation’, even the idea for an ‘EU Operational Headquarters’ or a ‘Defence Semester’ are seen as old and sometimes unwieldly initiatives, reminiscent of debates that have hardly made any progress. For their part, labels such as ‘EU Army’ or ‘Permanent Military Headquarters’ have counterproductively hijacked the entire public discussion.

Yet perhaps the various policy ideas and treaty provisions that relate to defence need to be looked at in a different light. Perhaps the key is to experiment with combinations of old ideas with a new perspective in mind: out of the old comes the new.

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Related Link(s)
ESO: Background information: Debate of the Foreign Affairs committee on a common defence policy
ESO: Background information: 28 EU Defence ministers agree to move forward on European Defence
ESO: Background information: Revisiting EU Defense Is a Bad Idea
ESO: Background information: What chances for a real European Common Security and Defense Policy?

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