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Do European Security Capacities have Feet of Clay? — Comments on the Institutional Setup of the European Security and Defense Policy

BOŘEK LIZEC
Perspectives
No. 19 (Winter 2002/2003), pp. 32-51
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23615973
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Do European Security Capacities have Feet of Clay? — Comments on the Institutional Setup of the European Security and Defense Policy
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Abstract

One of the indisputable objectives of the creation of 'the capacity for autonomous action, backed by credible military forces'1 in the form of a Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) is the strengthening of the EU's diplomatic and foreign policy potential in general. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the RRF project, which at present is a flagship of the whole ESDP area, always in the context ofCFSP, of which it is an instrument. If we reverse our thinking, this link between foreign and security policy of the Union and its RRF also junctions the other way. Without a clearly defined common foreign and security policy, the RRF's relevance and possibility to succeed is at least questionable. Although they are less sensitive, a similar conclusion can be drawn with regard to the EU's non-military capacities (e.g. police missions). Clearly defined objectives are not only what is necessary. Clear political and expert control of crisis management operations must be performed in a highly flexible manner at all levels (from strategic to the most concrete operative guidance). Is the current institutional background of the ESDP/CFSP able to do this job? Is there not a severe weakness of the RRF and other crisis management capabilities of the European Union here?

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