Written by Francois Barbieux
Edited by Stef Clement
Supervised by Paul Dybjer
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, called for Europe’s ‘geopolitical awakening’ in the foreword of the Strategic Compass, published in March 2022. The document, which marked a strategic shift in the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), aimed to make the ‘EU a stronger and more capable security provider’ (EEAS, 2022).
The Strategic Compass embodies this geostrategic urgency, proposing tangible deliverables to bolster the EU’s capacity to defend itself and act decisively. Among the more ambitious proposals is the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity (EU RDC). The EU RDC is a direct evolution of the EU Battlegroups, aiming to establish an efficient and swift military capacity to help the EU respond to unexpected crises (EEAS, 2022). The EU RDC presents considerable opportunities in strengthening the EU’s strategic autonomy and advancing the EU’s trend of ownership towards its own security and defence. The EU’s ability to navigate political and technical issues, including decision-making processes, cost-sharing and operational capacity, will determine whether the EU RDC initiative will meet the expectations.