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European Peace Facility

Anatomy of an Instrument with a hidden potential to contribute to European Union’s Crisis Management Capabilities

Written by: Jacopo Maria Bosica
Edited by: Michele Puggia
Supervised by: Cansu Macit Karaduman

Defence policy, together with foreign and security policy, is one of the areas where states have historically been reluctant to surrender their competences to an inter/supranational entity. As a result, no significant progress was made during the first years of the European Union’s existence, with the fields being categorised as intergovernmental in nature by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty so as to leave countries free to consult themselves without the obligation to coordinate efforts at the EU institutional level and harmonise legislation on the matter. It was not until the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007 (entered into force in 2009) that the EU’s founding documents set up a fully-fledged Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). They did so through the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) pillar in charge of crisis management, inter-state coordination and cooperation in defence matters (Council of the EU, n.d.-a).

This mostly applies to the deployment of civilian and military missions and operations outside the EU territory, with activities ranging from conflict prevention to peacekeeping, from humanitarian assistance to military training, from disarmament to post-war stabilisation (Council of the EU, n.d.-a).
These overarching objectives were consolidated in the 2016 EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, which envisaged making the Union’s security and defence policy more effective on the basis of enhanced cooperation between member states’ armies, an integrated approach to conflict and crisis management, the promotion of resilience and strategic autonomy (EEAS, 2016; Council of the EU, n.d.-a).