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European Security in the 21st Century: The EU’s Comprehensive Approach

European Security in the 21st Century: The EU’s Comprehensive Approach

Linda Barry

17 July 2012

You can download the paper here

European Security in the 21st Century: The EU’s Comprehensive Approach

Written by Linda Barry

17 July 2012


Under its comprehensive approach to crisis management the EU takes a holistic view of a (potential) crisis situation and recognises that an effective, sustainable solution can only be achieved by using the full range of civilian and military instruments at its disposal.

This paper considers how the EU institutions have been adapted by the Lisbon Treaty to facilitate the implementation of the comprehensive approach. It demonstrates that this is a work in progress and that the operational aspects currently lag behind conceptual developments. It examines the implications for Ireland and concludes that the comprehensive approach creates an opportunity for Ireland to be at the centre of the Union’s response to the complex security threats of the 21st century in a manner that respects the country’s particular strengths and values.

This paper forms part of a series of fact sheets and briefing papers on specific aspects of European security and defence policy. An introduction to the project was published by the IIEA in April 2012, offering a broad outline of the policy sector as a whole. This paper focuses specifically on the comprehensive approach in the context of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy. It is written by Linda Barry, IIEA researcher for Security and Defence Policy and the Future of Europe.

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