Elena Deola


The aim of this project is to understand what factors make the European Union a more effective and decisive security actor. Following the analysis of the process that led to the current Common Foreign and Security Policy and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), three main arguments are proposed and supported by making reference to the missions debated, initiated and concluded under the Union’s flag. In particular, it is argued that European action is more likely to take place if a United Nations Security Council Resolution exists and other third parties and international organisations have deployed presence to the crisis area, if the conflict addressed is of the intra-state rather than inter-state type and if the interests and positions of Member States are aligned. Given that all Member States have veto power over military missions, consistency among their positions is, in the end, the most important factor. Moreover, three countries are shown to have a pivotal role in the debate over intervention: France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Based on the analysis of the structures and arguments, the third part of this project provides some insights into the current missions in Libya, the Central African Republic and Ukraine. The overall image that emerges is that the CSDP is doomed to remain a highly intergovernmental policy and the Union will be decisive in situations of crisis only when a quick common position can be achieved among the three geopolitical players.


Public Policy & Administration Department

Degree Name

MA in Global Affairs

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2015

First Advisor

Awad, Ibrahim

Committee Member 1

Hodgkins, Allison

Committee Member 2

Pinfari, Marco


89 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

European Union -- Foreign relations.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

European Union -- Politics and government -- 21st century.


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


I would like to thank: Dr. Ibrahim Awad, for being the person with the widest knowledge I have ever met. Dr. Allison Hodgkins, for always pushing me to do better. Dr. Marco Pinfari, for agreeing to jump on a running train.