Defense Capabilities for the European Union


Stephen Bunnell

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The European Security and Defence Policy or ESDP is considered a major element of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the second of the three so-called ?pillars? of the European Union (EU). The ESDP was initiated by provisions of the Amsterdam Treaty (1997) which stipulated the progressive framing of a common security and defense policy that could deal with humanitarian and rescue, peacekeeping, peacemaking and combat forces crisis management tasks, called the Petersberg tasks. When the Cologne European Council in June 1999 appointed Javier Solana as the High representative of the CFSP they also declared that ?the EU must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and a readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises without prejudice to actions by NATO?. The total spent by the 25 EU nations on defense is approximately ?160 billion. On July 12, 2004 details of an EU defense agency were finalized. The 80 person agency will be headed by Javier Solana. It will provide political guidance to ensure greater efficiency in EU members? military spending, liasing closely with NATO in the process. This project will focus primarily upon the actual military capabilities of EU member states, and whether or not their contributions will be able to meet the goals embodied in Headline Goal 2010, and, if not, whether this will be a serious or a minor state of affairs to the ESDP and the EU as a whole.


Larry Caldwell




Ford Research Endowment

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