The European Commission and the European Defence Agency: A Case of Rivalry?

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Series Details Volume 53, Number 3, Pages 542-557
Publication Date 2015
ISSN 0021-9886
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This article analyzes relations between the European Commission and the European Defence Agency (EDA) as they relate to European defence‐industrial co‐operation. To undertake the analysis, the article departs from a strictly intergovernmental‐supranational study of institutional relations by building upon the concept of ‘mandate overlap’. Additionally, the focus is on the constitutive policy approach of each institution. The EDA's approach is characterized as ad hoc and project‐based in nature, and the European Commission's approach is structural and market‐based. Once the two approaches are delineated, the article then investigates whether either of the bodies has deviated from their respective mandates over a period beginning in 1996 and ending in 2013.

On this basis, the conclusion is that there is evidence of rivalry between the two bodies, especially when European Union Member States decide to use either entity to secure their interests.

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