Europe in the World

Reports and papers

Spearheading European Defence

30 Sep 2016 - 12:10
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Employing the Lisbon Treaty for a Stronger CSDP

It is now more urgent than ever that the EU delivers as a security provider in an increasingly complex and insecure environment.

This report assesses to what extent the provisions that were introduced with the Lisbon Treaty could contribute to spearheading the CSDP. This includes Articles 42.6 and 46 on Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), Article 44 on groups of states taking the lead on operations, as well as Article 42.7 on mutual assistance – the latter having recently been invoked by France. The articles can be instrumental in circumventing some of the CSDP’s bottlenecks by offering more political and operational flexibility; increase the potential for attaining more relevant capabilities and a broadening of the CSDP’s purpose to fit today’s security challenges.

Although all member states share the assessment that a more credible role for the EU in security and defence requires more cooperation, not all of them are willing to act on it. Therefore, flexible formats of groups of countries that choose to work together more closely or on a faster time scale are inescapable.

The authors of the report provide a series of conclusions and recommendations on how the Treaty can be tapped to strengthen the CSDP.
External author Sven Biscop is director of the Europe in the World Programme at the Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels, and teaches at Ghent University and at the College of Europe in Bruges.