Muriel Asseburg, Ronja Kempin (eds.)

The EU as a Strategic Actor in the Realm of Security and Defence?

A Systematic Assessment of ESDP Missions and Operations

SWP Research Paper 2009/RP 14, December 2009, 170 Pages

Since the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) emerged into the light of day in June 1999, the EU's capabilities in this field have grown considerably. Twenty-three ESDP missions and operations deployed to places from the Balkans to Africa, the Middle East and even Asia testify to the member states' efforts to join together to engage in crisis management and to tackle challenges to European security. At first glance these engagements would appear to show that the EU has achieved the goals set by the December 2003 European Security Strategy. But a closer examination shows that in fact the EU still has a long way to go before becoming an effective and credible actor in international crisis management.

This study systematically takes stock of the strengths and weaknesses of the policy instrument of ESDP missions and operations, assessing their relevance and effectiveness as an instrument of European crisis management and the contribution they make to honing the EU's capacity to act on security and defence matters. Twelve ESDP missions and operations form the empirical basis of this study. The case studies concentrate on three decisive aspects of ESDP deployments:

  • How did the decision on a deployment originate and what does its mandate look like?
  • How has the mandate been implemented?
  • ow effective was the mission or operation for short- and long-term crisis management?

As it tuns out, to date, no strategic planning of deployments takes place. Also, individual missions and operations have attained very different degrees of success, both in terms of mandate implementation and with respect to their contribution to stabilisation in the area of operations. Moreover, no particular type of mission can be identified where the EU is especially successful.

Table of Contents:

Problems and Recommendations

Muriel Asseburg / Ronja Kempin
Introduction: A Systematic Stocktaking of ESDP Missions and Operations

Marco Overhaus
Operation Althea and the EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Implementing the Comprehensive Approach

Solveig Richter
Promoting Rule of Law without State-building: Can EULEX Square the Circle in Kosovo?

Denis M. Tull<
EUFOR RD Congo: A Success, But Not a Model

Patrick Berg
EUFOR Tchad/RCA: The EU Serving French Interests

Annette Weber
EU Naval Operation in the Gulf of Aden (EU NAVFOR Atalanta): Problem Unsolved, Piracy Increasing, Causes Remain

Muriel Asseburg
The ESDP Missions in the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS, EU BAM Rafah): Peace through Security?

Felix Heiduk
ESDP in Asia: The Aceh Monitoring Mission in Indonesia

Uwe Halbach
The European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia: Peacekeeping on a Controversial Footing

Guido Steinberg
The European Union Integrated Rule of Law Mission for Iraq (EUJUST LEX): A Policy Surrogate with Potential

Ronja Kempin / Stefan Steinicke
EUPOL Afghanistan: The Credibility-Test for Europe's Civilian Engagement

Muriel Asseburg / Ronja Kempin
Conclusions and Recommendations

Overview of Case Studies

Abbreviations and Acronyms

The Authors