The European Union’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) promotes security in domestic and international contexts, and is reliant on the EU’s military, diplomats, development agencies and technology, according to Joelle Jenny, the Director for Security Policy and Conflict Prevention at the European External Action Service

The military dimension of the CSDP resulted from the war in the Balkans when the EU realised that if the US is not prepared to intervene, there is nothing to stop conflict at the EU’s doors.  In these conflict situations, NATO machines may need to be deployed.  Currently, military planning is linked to the EU’s internal security, such as migration flows and terrorist threats.  

The CSDP also focuses on resolving conflict through diplomacy and played an important role in brokering the Iran nuclear deal.  EU mediators brought together key players to craft a deal that offers the possibility of Iran giving up its nuclear weapons ambition.  Jenny acknowledged that unless diplomatic solutions can be found, there is a risk of military solutions. 

Jenny told the audience that we need to recognise that our security depends on the technologies around us, and responding to the challenges that technologies pose.  Cyberspace is no longer exclusively in the hands of government and state institutions because it also belongs to the private sector.  Internet governance involves multiple stakeholders and requires private sector involvement.  Societies are also increasingly reliant on state assets in space for geo positioning, communication and weather monitoring.  This unprecedented use of space has required the EU to act as a normative power to encourage the development of an international code of conduct in space. 

The fourth dimension – development – is used to address the root causes of conflict.  If we want to tackle conflict risks it is essential to address people’s fundamental aspirations and needs.  A society that is characterised by growth, prosperity and dignity will be stable. 

The CPSD plays a critical role in fostering government for the greater good.  Jenny suggested that people are drawn to terrorism if they no longer recognise themselves in the institutions that govern them.  Our collective security depends on the trust that people have in institutions and the international system.  The EU needs to have agreed rules for how it conducts itself in space, cyberspace and warfare. 

The 28 member states of the EU are tasked with the complex tasks of preventing conflict, building peace and fostering development.  Although these challenge should not be underestimated, Jenny reminded the audience that Europe can come together when there is a collective sense of state. 


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Published Date
11 January, 2016