European Defence – Perception vs Realities

June 2002


This paper is the result of the EuroMeSCo working group on European Security and Defence Policy: Impact on the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP). In its attempts to set up a defence structure and to build a defence and security policy, the European Union has created the relevant institutional mechanisms but, so far, has done so in the absence of a strategic concept or a clear set of foreign policy goals. While the overriding goal of maintaining stability within the boundaries of the European continent is clear, wider objectives, intended force projection and policy aims generally remain unclear, specifically with regard to the Mediterranean. The aim of the paper  is twofold: first, to analyse developments in European Union security and defence policy, looking at both the explicit and the implicit factors shaping such developments and, second, to shed light on perceptions of these developments by elites in the South and to demonstrate how they would affect Euro-Mediterranean relations.

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